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Question regarding workers rights.


Browntown01

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Hey CDC I was hoping you could help me with a problem I am having at work. I just found out through my coworker that my manager is planning to squeeze me out by reducing my shifts and trying to get me to quit. This isn't the first time she has done this either. Earlier this year she told me she didn't like another employee and wanted him to quit so she did the same thing, forcing him to quit. I was wondering what, if anything, I could do about this?

I have considered talking to HR but I'm not sure what can be done about the situation. I know I can quit but I don't want to let my manager bully me and others like this in the future.

Thanks for the help.

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I believe it's a tough one because you have to prove she said those things/squeezed you out vs based her decision on other factors.

Just Cause is a tough one - but why don't you be direct with her and tell her what you've heard/learned? She may appreciate the honesty and fact that you've been direct. Also, it may make her think twice if she isn't quite as sneaky as she thinks she is.

It IS inappropriate for her to be discussing your employment with others, which sounds like the case here. So use that in your conversation, with the unlying theme that you will follow up if you are let go. Document your conversation and details that unfold, but it is pretty difficult to have any type of "case" in these matters.

What is your intention? If it is simply to stay, tell her that and let her know you'll be following up if this is the case, as she's discussing this with others (rather than you). If you want to follow up if she does let you go, it won't be that easy and there isn't a whole lot you can do via fighting it unless you get a lawyer:

Wrongful dismissal

Some employees who are terminated sue for wrongful dismissal through the courts. That is different than a complaint made to the Employment Standards Branch under the Act. Those who wish to consider an action for wrongful dismissal should seek legal advice. The Employment Standards Branch cannot provide this advice.

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Getting rid of someone by cutting their hours is the chicken's way out. If she has just cause, or has too many people and needs to reduce the workforce, there are proper ways to do this. I've had to fire a few people over the years and it is never a pleasant experience, even if they deserve it.

Reducing your hours to force you out could be viewed as constructive dismissal. It is wrong to simply change someone's terms of employment without just cause. Now the trick here is, if you are an employee with variable hours, it may be hard to prove that this is the case. And even if you do, you may only be entitled to a few hours pay as compensation.

http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/hr-resources/legal-ease/human-resource-advice/terms-of-employment--giving-notice-to-changes-to-employment-terms

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1. Frame her for sexual harassment. Then blackmail her.

or

2. Improve your work ethic, habits, etc. as well as your relationship with your manager. ie. Bust yourass to make her look like an idiot if she loses you.

The only time i had reduced hours and was close to leaving years ago i did option 2 and that worked wonders. My hours went up and the relationship with the boss was great. If you want to work there, then work there.

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Definitely sounds like a case of constructive dismissal here. HR should be the first step you take here; it's their job to ensure management doesn't illegally fire anyone. If you can get your coworker to provide a written statement, that would help your case immensely.

A lot of managers will try to do things to young workers, knowing fully well they are illegal because most young people don't know their rights. Proving that you aren't a pushover may be all you need to do.

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Put everything in writing, and keep a copy. Write HR or if it is a smaller company the owner, and make them apprised of the situation. Legally she cannot retaliate against you for whistleblowing. She cannot reduce your shifts further because it becomes a matter of disparate treatment, and there has been no written record of being disciplined necesitating the reduction in hours. That way if she proceeds, you have evidence to support your case, the company has none.

"However, as explained by Douglas Gilbert and Tim Lawson, attorneys for Heenan Blaikie, a Canadian law firm which specializes in business, labor and employment law, at-will employment is "foreign to any employment contract in Canada." In Canada, there is an implied employment agreement in every hiring. In contrast to the concept of employment at will, these employment agreements are based in part on the concept of "reasonable notice." This means that an employer cannot terminate a contract without cause without providing reasonable notice or providing pay in lieu of such notice.

Termination of employment for cause can be due to the employee's poor performance or for culpable behavior. However, Watson explains that the concept of "just cause" for termination is "being eroded over time" and that there is now a "very high threshold" for proving its existence.

It's difficult for an employer to terminate for performance, for example, in the absence of evidence that it gave the employee multiple warnings, including at least once clearly communicated to the employee that his or her job was on the line if they didn't meet certain standards. And the "list is shrinking" regarding the types of actions or offenses that constitute culpable behavior--a list that includes transgressions such as theft, fraud, sexual harassment, and conflicts of interest--Watson notes. As a result, the majority of terminations in Canada are those "without cause" and thus require reasonable notice or pay in lieu of such notice under the implied terms of the employment agreement."

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Thanks to everybody for their input. I'm going to talk to my coworker you heard the information first hand and ask her is she is comfortable going on the record and if so contact HR. Meanwhile I'm gona bust my butt to make sure she has not reason to cut my shifts further.

Edit: Just to be clear, the problem she has with me isn't due to a poor work ethic. I believe it is due to the fact she was adjusting employees hours to not pay us overtime, which I confronted her about.

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Go to HR regardless; ask to see any write-ups you may have had (sounds like there shouldn`t be any, but your boss may be shady enough to fabricate some). This would be the appropriate time to dispute bogus reports against you. Also bring up the issue about the overtime (you should have brought this to HR initially, but now will work). This will provide documentation if she attempts to dismiss you without notice or cause, which HR will resist if they're doing their job; lawsuits cost the company a lot of money.

If you don`t trust your HR department to work in your interests, bring your cell phone and put it in a shirt pocket to record the conversation; recording a conversation in Canada is entirely legal as long as at least one party is aware of it.

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