Taking Stock Of Harassment Claims

, , , , , , , | Working | October 25, 2017

(I work as a supervisor at a stationary store while at university. I’m doing stock checking with a recently-hired employee. I haven’t worked with him prior to today, but the store manager says he is good.)

Employee: “Finished!”

Me: *while counting* “That was quick. One second…”

Employee: “Why are you counting?”

Me: *glancing at his report* “Because we need to know how many– What is this?”

(The employee has written a very small list of items that are available in store, and put a number next to each.)

Employee: *proudly* “My stock check.”

Me: “There are forms that we need to use, and this is far too small of a list to be even a tenth of our inventory. What do these numbers mean?”

Employee: “How many we need?”

Me: “You’ve never done this before have you?”

Employee: *sounding hurt* “What makes you say that?”

Me: “We don’t have enough room for 20 executive desks. The one we have is just for display. And 17 boxes of staples? We’ve sold more than that this morning alone. I’ll take you through the procedure once I’ve finished with this aisle, and we can do the rest of the check together.”

Employee: “Okay.”

(The guy wanders off, and once I’m finished I can’t find him. I end up doing overtime to finish the stock check myself and make a note to mention it to the manager on my next shift. However, when I come in, I’m called into the manager’s office before I can do anything.)

Manager: “We have to let you go.”

Me: “What? On what grounds?”

Manager: “Bullying and sexual harassment.”

Me:What?!

Manager: “Yes. It has come as a shock to me that you would take advantage of [Employee] like that.”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Manager: “He says you belittled him so you could force yourself on him for the rest of your shift. He felt so threatened he fled the building.”

Me: “None of that is true. In fact…” *pulling out [Employee]’s “report”* “This is what [Employee] did with the stock check. He didn’t know what to do, so I said I would work on it with him.”

Manager: “So, this is an admission.”

Me: “What? No. Just look at the paper, please.”

Manager: “This isn’t his handwriting.”

Me: “Well, it certainly isn’t mine.”

Manager: “This doesn’t make any sense, but my decision is final. We’ll pay you for the week. I don’t want to see you anywhere near this store or [Employee] again. We might also report this to the police if [Employee] agrees. You should be ashamed. Now, get out!

(I was escorted from the building by a security guard with my hands secured behind my back, while my coworkers and the employee stared at me. The employee seemed to be loving every second. For the next week, I was a complete wreck with worry about potential police charges. By the end of the week, I could barely stand from stress. I then got a phone call from a senior manager in the company, the manager to my store manager, asking me to come to the store. I didn’t go, and got another call from someone in the HR department. They told me the senior manager called an audit on the store after the claims of sexual assault, and after an investigation, which included the CCTV I forgot about, asked the manager and his SON to leave the company. I was asked back, but I couldn’t even reach the car park without going into a panic. I post this because I am now a legal adviser for a restaurant chain, and have been called in due to claims of assault. I walk into the restaurant, and the guy recognises me instantly, and flees. Something tells me history was trying to repeat itself.)

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