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Need Assistance and Advice: Charged By XPAT Boss of Gross Negligence

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Arresto Menor
I would like to seek some help and sound opinions on a case which was filed against me last Friday, September 20th, 2013, with allegations of Gross and Habitual Misconduct, Failure on the Job; as well as that of instances being AWOL. I am a Director Level  employee with one of the top 500 companies in the country. These administrative accusations were filed by my immediate superior and he is seeking that I be penalized to the fullest extent and terminate my affiliation to the organization.  

Forgive me, but for your appreciation, and since this is a matter of legal concern, allow me to share with you a detailed outline of the charges. For each item, I will state the contention along with a notation of whatever documented proof I was able to provide to make this as objective and as concise as possible.

I. Charges of Habitual Gross Negligence Was Qualified Based On:
a) Two counts of missing early morning meetings due to color coding
 Part of my daily routine is driving my eldest to and from school in Makati
 Departure from the house allows for leeway to be able to get in and out of Makati CBD but even on best effort, unpredictability of  traffic conditions have high probability of causing delay
 For both parental and humanitarian reasons,  I do not feel comfortable  about  bringing  at  my daughter to school at 5:30 specially knowing that  I am only able to pick her up between 7:30 to 8pm due to the road restriction of my plate number

b) Advised delayed arrival for 12:30pm meeting to address urgent out of office situation
 Received a call from my 5 year old son’s school that he has not yet been fetched 1 hour and a half  past their dismissal
 Called my house to find out that my wife was not feeling well and was not physically able to do the task at that point
 I gave notice to my boss about  of the emergency and to advised of possible deferred arrival for the meeting

c) Advise of delayed arrival for Offsite Meeting due to attendance at school event
 Self-explanatory?  

d) Advised of delayed arrival due to a vehicular accident
 Photos, Report and Quit Claim documents provided  

e) Advised of possible delayed arrival to meeting due to urgent errand
 Needed to rush to bank branch away from office to pick up money and deposit in Eastwood for settlement of delayed house payment (due or default)
 Informed superior to advise of possible late return to meeting
 Was not granted permission  - turned to drive back    

f) Missed 830am meeting – Mobile calendar showed 9am on my phone and laptop
 Was called by boss and asked why I was not in office for 830 am meeting.
 Contested that my phone showed 9am – not 830
 Attached calendar from Blackberry and Outlook

g) Missed scheduled morning meeting due to vehicular accident in village
 DPWH sewerage pipe / Flood prevention project ongoing in our village – deep excavation along main road
 10 wheeler truck rear-ended a car and side swiped an SUV while entering the main gate blocking all entering and exiting traffic for almost two hours.

II. AWOL Charges

a) Missed morning meeting. No advise of absence until after Immediate Superior inquired on whereabouts
Nursing high fever –  was sleeping and was unable to advise absence earlier due to condition

b) Scheduled to attend out of office session – was unable to attend
 Experienced dizziness and symptoms of high blood pressure en route to venue
 Called my wife to inform her of whereabouts and condition during which she insisted I turn around and go directly home
 Instructions from Physician Aunt was to relax  / monitor BP / no stress
 Advised after having rested and physical demeanor improved

c) Missed morning meeting/Declined 11 am meeting to attend PTA/Family Day / Implication that no advise was given regarding incapability to come back to office
 August 29 - Janet Napoles was formally taken into custody by the government.  The route from my daughter’s school to GTP passed through the very place where she was taken.
 Declined 11am reschedule due to need to attend PTA at daughter’s school, as my wife would not be able to manage it on her own.
 On the way back, I again started to feel nauseated and dizzy and was brought directly to doctor to be checked
 While being examined and before being made to rest, I asked my wife to contact my boss and inform him of what happened
 Medical Cert provided

d) Non-advisory of leave extension (August 30)
 I had thought that considering I needed to be rushed for medical attention, it would have been expected that I would be out for at least 2 days
 Was called the following day by my boss, presumably to inquire if I was already coming back to work, but I was unable to take or return the call

e) Charge of not providing further info on a Personal Leave
 Accusation is that I did not provide prior information or notice in relation to my non-attendance or absence.
 Note that I advised regarding the need for me to take a personal day amply before the scheduled meeting itself.
 When asked why I was taking a personal day – I responded that I needed to attend to a legal matter. Clearly my boss wanted details, but I did not feel secure in fully confiding the full details to him given how my candidness was handled and treated the way it should have been.

f)  Absence – Sept. 18
 Missed 9am meeting because was physically feeling fatigued
 Phone battery drained out through the evening
 Upon waking up immediately SMS’ed explaining that I was not feeling too well and that I would TRY to make it in after lunch.

III. Failure On The Job
a) Accusation states that Partners are not satisfied with my performance due to non-compliance on providing required deliverables
 There were two items called out on this matter = and I have direct SMS’s from both parties that as far as they are aware, I do not have any critical pending items that I owe their groups.
 The second item under this category being charged on me – is not even mine to begin with
 All my KPI’s are all above target and has been for several months in a row

The main underlying reason for this is because at present, my wife suffers from a condition which causes frequent severe painful abdominal cramps due to her endometriosis which is exacerbated by a myoma that is almost the size of a small baby. Whenever she has an attack, she is virtually unable to move and thus I am left to handle everything virtually on my own. Furthermore as a result of a complicated third pregnancy, I have become the sole earner for the whole family. This is not unknown to my boss, who by the way is Australian.

Above everything else, it is because of this situation that I am often forced to have to manage my time inside and outside of the office. And with these charges suddenly placed upon me, it feels very much as if I am being castigated because I need to attend to responsibilities of being a father and a husband while on company time.

I am scheduled to attend the administrative hearing this Monday, September 30th, and my suspicion that this is a personal issue of my foreigner boss against me notwithstanding, I am inclined to dispute these charges, on the basis that these are unsubstantiated and that they happened under glaringly clear extenuating circumstances. These instances were clearly stated in the formal NTE Document which I submitted, and each rebuttal was attached with supporting documents of proof. However, as I am preparing to address the complainant on the merits and instances which he documented, I have been contacted by our HR representative who has extended me with the option to file my resignation rather than pursue the process to its outcome.  According to the Rep, this is something I should seriously consider since I already have tenure in the company and part of the entitlement is an additional percentage of payout for each year of service aside from the other basic remunerations contractually obligated to me upon severance from the organization.  On the flipside, the Rep also advised me as well that should I opt not to avail of this route, and if the verdict that results from the hearing is the approval to uphold the complaint and penalty, then I will no longer be entitled to any privileges other than my final pay, and the result will be permanently labeled to my professional record.

I just want to know, sirs –

First - do these charges hold any merit? If so, what do you think are my chances given what was presented?  

Second – What are my options? Should I just take the money and run?

Third - Do I have a counter-case?

Thank you very much for your attention on this. I will be very grateful for any advice you could give.

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HR Adviser

Reclusion Perpetua
1. I believe the charges have merit.
The following reasons are not valid/acceptable reasons for tardiness and absences
1. Traffic
2. Attending PTA meeting/ School Event
3. Traffic due to Napoles
4. Urgent Errand
5. Vehicular accident on your village

As per your gross negligence, let the company come up with a substantial evidence

As a Director Level, much is expected from you

2. If I were you, better consult a lawyer if you have a strong case if ever you will fight for your tenure. If not, better follow the HR's advise.

Good Luck

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Reclusion Perpetua
all the points raised are your fault. I suggest you get the money and move on.

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I recommend you also apologize and outline how you intend to rectify these moving forward.

sorry, but company time is not family time. and given your high level in the company, the standards are actually stricter not more lax.

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