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Making a nuisance of oneself

Making a nuisance of oneself

I posted last year about E and J, lnk here

We investigated the situation and explained to J that his behaviour was becoming harrassment and that if he did not stop behaving in this manner we would be looking at disciplinary measures. We also told the line manager that it was not her remit to play matchmaker and that if someone expressed discomfort with the behaviour of another team member, she should pass it up to HR if she felt she could not deal with it or was not sure what to do.

J seemed to accept, finally, that E was not 'playing hard to get' but was genuinely not interested.

However, E arrived in our office this morning with a Valentine card, addressed to her at home, containing a declaration of love and a plaintive note about 'giving (me) another chance'. It is signed by J.

E is quite understandably furious and informed us that she is going to her lawyers. She has raised the question of just how J got her address - she lives with flatmates and the phone listing is not in her name - and has also stated that she does not think she can continue working with him.



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23rd Feb 2009 07:12

You really need to start managing this properly
get her in and find out what she wants
if at all possible give it to her
your risk of a harassment claim is much greater (and more deserved) than of unfair dismissal
recognise your mistakes and move on decisively
if you want me to defend a tribunal i know which one I would prefer
try to stop it now

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19th Feb 2009 18:54

Well, when we investigated J was adamant that his intentions were benign - that he'd misunderstood a signal, that he hoped 'try, try again' would enable him to succeed with her, and that he had no idea she was so upset.

E's case was also not helped by the fact that her line manager thought it to just be 'cute' and so was indirectly encouraging J.

We found out last time that J had got E's mobile number from when she left it on her desk. For the moment, we assume that J got her address in some similar way - we have interviewed everyone in HR/payroll and they say that no, they did not hand over anyone's address to another colleague.

At the moment E is on special leave while she consults her lawyers and decides what to do.

J is suspended following a written warning and has been advised that he should keep well away from E.

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By kluxon
18th Feb 2009 08:54

Looking back at the previous thread it appears you were advised to make this formal and to go down the disciplinary route. It appears from above that you choose a quiet word instead. I think the actions of J show that this perhaps wasn't the right course of action and you should have gone formal then. If you had your action now would be easier.

Now you have two issues:

1) Does the fact of sending a valentines card 4 months after the last incident amount to harassment
2) Did the address come from a work source.

You need to investigate both and take appropriate action. I would suggest that a written warning would be appropriate for the first part. For the second the action might be against J or might be against someone in your HR or payroll department.

Not sure on the issue of them working together as this would depend on the facts.

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