What are my rights in this workplace dispute?
December 9, 2007 8:58 AM Subscribe
A bad work situation gets even worse...I need advice about my rights in the workplace.
posted by Biblio to work & money (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Things at work have gotten increasing bad over the past view months. 2 of my co-workers and I contacted our HR dept. separately and unbeknownst to each other. HR suggested the 3 of us get together, write up our complaints and go to our boss's boss, who I'll call VP. (Because he's a VP!)
We did as HR suggested, and wrote up 3 pages of issues that we had. Many of these issues are quite serious, such as our boss lying to us to obtain our network logins and passwords, sharing our personal medical information with staff, failing to set policies or follow existing policies, etc. We met with VP after giving him this list and, at his insistence, HR was not present. We did cc the list of complaints to HR.
During the meeting, VP acknowledged that our boss had not followed procedure. Still, all he said was that he would speak to her. When I complained that I thought she had violated our rights, he told me I could file a "formal" complaint with HR. This confused all 3 of us, since we thought that's what we had done.
VP spoke to the boss over a week ago. The immediate result is that the boss canceled our staff holiday party and started asking other staff members if they knew who the "ringleader" was. Certainly nothing got better. Then, on Thursday, VP asked us to a meeting with him and our boss. Again, HR was not invited. The meeting is scheduled for this Friday.
The 3 of us can't see how this meeting can possibly resolve our issues. VP insists that no one is in danger of losing their job and that we just need to sit down together and talk it out. The problem is, without HR involvement, none of this is documented and official.
One of the problems is that we have no staff organization or union, and we don't have an official grievance procedure, so we have no idea how this should go. I guess my question is, can we insist that HR be involved in this meeting? If we resend our list of complaints to HR before the meeting and specifically say "this is a formal complaint" will that be enough to get them involved? Can VP simply say "no, I don't want this to be an HR issue?" which is what he basically said the first time we met with him? Do we have a right to have HR there? We're in MA, if that helps.