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Need Help: possible constructive dismissal?

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1 Need Help: possible constructive dismissal? on Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:15 am


Arresto Menor

I am desperately in need of assistance and I sincerely hope some aid can be offered in this matter. Caveat, this is a very long and detailed explanation, but please bear in mind and rest assured that every point detailed within is factual. I am willing to disclose names, should I be contacted, but in this post will refrain from doing so as I fear reprisal from my employer if they catch wind of this.

I began my employment with my current company in December of 2010. Within 7 months, I was offered a position as a Sales Coach due to my good performance in both sales and CSAT (customer satisfaction, gauged by survey responses from customers I dealt with directly. This is sent via email, and is responded to similarly. The surveys are sent automatically and at random to customers who call and have spoken with me, no matter how briefly). I accepted the offer, and in line with our company procedure for moving up, began my "Apprenticeship" immediately after. The setup is such that we are given teams to handle and are tasked with improving and sustaining their performance. From September of 2011 til May of 2013, I was working for the company in this capacity, happily doing so as I was performing fairly well in my new role as well. In 2012, I ended ranked Number 2, and until May 2013, sustained my performance, on some months achieving the Number 1 spot.

In December 2012, my wife (who works at the same company) was already 7 months pregnant with our first child and was suffering from gestational diabetes. Our baby was also in a breech position. On one shift-date, she began to bleed from her vagina, which caused me to rush her to the hospital in an attempt to catch her OB-GYN in Las PiƱas, where we live. Since my UM and OM were both on leave on that day, I was unable to seek permission to leave, and thought only of my wife's well-being. One of the UMs filed an Incident Report against us both for leaving within shift hours. We were subject to an admin hearing, but no disciplinary action was meted out...yet.

Mid-May 2013, I fell ill and advised my Unit Manager (our center's term for what others more popularly call Team Leaders) and Operations Manager (moving forward, simpy "UM" and "OM", respectively) that I would need to be out. I adhered to our call-in procedure, which is to advise at least 2 hours before shift, and commit to securing proper medical documents immediately. My OM responded, stating that my absence would be unauthorized. I questioned this, stating that my absenteeism Year-to-Date was extremely low and that I still had all of my Sick Leave credits. He responded via SMS, "again, absence is unauthorized".

The following shift-day, I reported for work, and there was clearly animosity on my OM's end. He was publicly humiliating me by calling my attention over simple things such as finishing a discussion early, and conversations with my wife (who works at the same company--we met there and got married within the time of our employment) that transpired outside the office and after-hours. Myself and my wife were returned to the phones (meaning, in effect, demoted back to agent level). I was not given an explanation as to why, nor was any paperwork issued legitimizing our sanction. Upon our return to agent level, we were both suspended--myself for 8 days and my wife for 5, with the reason cited being the aforementioned Incident Report for leaving the office prior to shift-end regardless of reason. Seeing it as an obvious "power trip" move, and seeing myself powerless to react, we took the suspension.

Upon being demoted back to agent level, I was assigned to the team of the UM who filed the Incident Report against us that ostensibly resulted in our demotion. Seeing it as a conflict of interest, and yet another "power trip move" by our previous OM, I immediately raised it as a concern and requested that I be transferred to another team. This request was not even given attention, and I was left to work under a UM who clearly had it in for me right from the start. I endured the situation for 5 months (Mid-May 2013 to mid-September 2013).

In August of 2013, I was included in a group of agents whose Net Promoter Score (moving forward, simply "NPS"--the score based on surveys explained above that denotes a customers "likelihood to recommend our services to a family member or friend") was below goal. My surveys, incidentally, although below-goal, all include positive comments from the customers, when referring to me. Some examples are "the representative was very courteous and professional, but your company did not waive my fees", and "my dissatisfaction is not of any of his doing, but rather because of your policies surrounding interest rates". I had raised this concern when I was included in the group scoring below goal, and it was again left unheeded and unattended. I also requested that all my calls be analyzed by our Quality team as well as an OM, in order to help me assess what needed improvement, as obviously I was doing it right, but could not change their perception on the company due to policies.

On September 15, 2013, I was issued an "ultimatum", stating that if I received another non-promoter survey, I would be removed from my post and the Program (in short, fired). I protested heavily, stating that a customer's opinion on credit is not something I can dictate, as evidenced by my surveys. I was told that I could not leave without signing it, and that even without my signature, it would be implemented. I signed under protest and left.

On September 17, 2013, my transfer request was finally granted and I began reporting under another UM. All was well and I was no longer subjected to unreasonable demands and unnecessary nitpicking. Although I still had survey problems, they were validated as undeserved, as my customer comments were all positive.

On October 6, 2013, I was all of a sudden placed on Preventive Suspension for 30 days without proper procedure. The document I was issued again had no signatures from our HR Department. I told the OMs upfront that I was not signing it as it contained false information and allegations against me. The document stated the following, and I quote verbatim:

"Type of Offense: Offense against Productivity
Specific Offense: gross negligence or deliberate neglect of duty; any act prejudicial to the interest of the company ... Failure to comply with ID verification ... Which resulted in loss and/or fraudulent activities (Level 3 - up to termination)
Poor performance ... (Level 2 - 3-5 days suspension w/o pay)
Acts constituting a blatant violation ... of the company's business practices (Level 3 - up to termination) [ellipses mine]

I protested, stating that, of the three "specific offenses", the only one I was guilty of was "poor performance" in NPS, which according to the document that was presented to me, carries a penalty of 3-5 days suspension--and this is AFTER the due process of progression is followed, which was not. I was told that I had no choice. I signed the document as "Received under protest", but did not acknowledge it. I was then escorted from the premises of the building.

As of this writing, I am still unable to make heads or tails of what to do. I inquired about my salary (we are paid every 5th and 20th of the month) for the 20th of October, and was told bluntly that I would get it "when I get my clearance. I objected, stating that the pay for October 20 was for the dates of Sept.16-30, which I had already served and worked for. Again, I was shut out and told that it was already so. The reason they cited is that I am being investigated for a possible sanction of termination.

My questions are as follows:

1. Is this legal? I was not subjected to any form of due process for progression. Also, NPS is beyond my control as it pertains to a customer's own personal opinion. Furthermore, my other metrics, particularly sales, are extremely high and I am one of the highest sellers in the company at this time.
2. Do I stand a chance if I file a complaint? They have virtually killed my career, and as far as I understand, Preventive Suspension is reserved for people who are an "immediate risk to life and property". The stigma associated with this has made it impossible for me to apply elsewhere during the interim of my suspension.
3. I am by no means rich. I cannot afford legal fees unless a lawyer takes this on under a contingent setup. Is there anyone that anyone here can recommend?
4. By suspending me and withholding my pay, I am unable to perform my duties as the head of my family. This is not only very emasculating, but also extremely inconvenient. My daughter is only 7 months old, and by suspending me unfairly, I am in deep trouble. Furthermore, this has also aggrieved everyone in our household, including my 78-year old grandmother whom we share residence with. Is this something I can include in a claim for moral damages?

Lastly, I just want to clarify that I am not in this for vindictive or vengeful reasons, nor for the money. I am in it for my right to work, provide for my family, and do so without this form of unfair treatment. I am one of many who have been subjected to unfair labor practices. Our company is a very prominent international bank, and until this happened, I would never have believed them capable of such kinds of acts.

Again, I am willing to disclose ALL names involved and to pursue a case against the company. Please guide me as to what to do. I can assure anyone who reads this that the story detailed above is 100% factual and no embellishments, exaggerations, or omissions have been made that would skew the veracity and factual nature of my situation. I cannot publicly disclose my name unless contacted directly. My mobile phone number is 09273277517 and my email address is listed in my profile.

I am appealing to anyone capable of providing me with advice or assistance, to please contact me.

Thanks for your attention. I have most of the documents necessary to support my stand in the matter.

Sincerest Gratitude,

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