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About DaringD

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  1. Accountability in HR meetings

    @White Rose of Yorkshire   With all due respect the advice I got was from a paid lawyer who is a specialist in employment law. Of course terminating an employee without due reason would be illegal, but it's down to the employee to fight it, and a lot of employers know that a lot of people won't fight it due to cost.    The work references here are another point of contention for me. I'm aware that there is some kind of "hidden" code in reference letters that HR departments will be able to decode. Unfortunately if you have a disagreement with an employer, specifically with the HR dept. as in my case, it seems like they wield an inordinate amount of power and in such an arbitrary manner, over your future.    Germany has such a split personality I sometimes find it hard to grasp. On one hand the data protection and anti surveillance laws are set up to protect people from any kind of over bearing authority, seemingly designed with the private citizen in mind. Yet when it comes to employment the system seems set up to cast a shadow of fear over employees with emphasis on not rocking the boat, just keeping your head down, evidenced by all the Germans I know here speaking to me in hushed tones about if the fight is worth it, you know "because this can follow you..." with little thought for what is actually right or wrong.    It seems unlikely that I'll be the person who beats the system, or comes out on top against the odds, since this isn't an 80s feel good film, so I'll probably end up having to go with the flow and be a good little worker.    The reality of this situation is a bitter pill to swallow. 
  2. Accountability in HR meetings

    Thank you all for your various opinions and views.    @catjones@catjones - I think its the HR dept. That are the ones acting like mobsters, I actually like the company I work for.   So to anyone wondering what it going on now. In September they told me that there would need to be consequences for further time off, everything was implicit, they stopped short of explicit threats.    I have bipolar, and I suffer with pretty bad bouts of insomnia, normally if it gets bad I might take off a week to get myself right and that's me sorted, this might happen once or twice a year. After the last meeting, the anger upset of it caused me a lot of sleepless nights, literally, which I then felt I had to deal with, without being able to take time off, which was really difficult, and then caused me other problems, like being generally run down, I hit a depression which in turn caused more insomnia which I in turn had to try and deal with, without being able to take time to reset. The end result is for the last 8 weeks I've been fighting insomnia and a depression, I might get one or two nights a week where I get more than 4 hours sleep, my body is run down and in the last two weeks I've had a break out of shingles, which my doctor says is absolutely related to sleep deprivation and stress (in people who have previously had chicken pox). I've also caught almost every cold or bug going round in the last weeks, my immune system is not having a great time.    The result is that I have been signed off and, I'm going to stay off until my body has recovered properly, at this point I think my health has to come before anything, and I'll just have to see what happens with this when I get back.    Fortunately I've kept meticulous records and timeliness, I reported the increase in stress to my doctor within days of the last meeting, the de facto Betriebsrat were informed of the last meeting, and I sought legal advice at the time, so there is a pretty decent trail of evidence to show my state of mind since that meeting which may help if they do decide to get nasty, and although it's not open and shut, it does show a link between their less than above board actions and how it has affected me since.    The good news is that I've been covered since the beginning of November for employment issues, the 6 month period in which I can't claim ended, so I'm layered up, and on top of that I have a possible new job in the pipeline, so maybe it all gets figured out.     
  3. Accountability in HR meetings

    We don't have a betreibsrat, we have a group of "Trusted people" which serve the same purpodeand yes I do have a doctor's note. I have a doctor's note and copies of those doctor's notes for every absence I've ever had, thanks to my German wife and her "just in case" attitude. I was hoping for something more concrete than having to rely on someone being able to accurately recall what was said. I'd also like to know where the line between taking a transcript and taking notes is, for instance can I make a note of specific things that were said and by whom as they happen?    The problem is that the last legal advice I got was that any employer can terminate any employee for any reason, they don't have to give a reason and often, if they are on shakey ground, they won't.  It's then down to that employee to fight it and for a court to determine the reason for the termination from the available evidence.    I'm just trying to find a way I can capture as much infotlrmation/evidence as possible to make proving what they are doing (and therefore strengthening any kind of unfair dismissal challange) that much easier.    I was hoping there would be some way to legitimately refuse to attend a meeting unless they are willing to allow it to be recorded in one way or another. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have these kinds of concerns. 
  4. I'm after some advice here before an event.    I've got an upcoming HR meeting where I have good reason to believe they are going to try and threaten me with termination.    For context, the last time I was in a meeting with them they made implicit threats that if I took any more sick time that there would be "consequences". Since then I have resisted taking any time off through two severe bouts of insomnia and as a result I'm run down and sick, finally I have had to take time off (5 days) and, shocker, I have been called for a meeting.    Do I have any right to be able to protect myself in terms of what is said in that meeting? I know I can't record without everyone consenting, recording includes taking a transcript, which seems to mean that they can say pretty much anything and I can't prove it. Is there a right to be able to recored these meetings as an employee in some way? I can take a witness, but that still leaves it as my (our) word against theirs. It also puts that witness in a very awkward position if I need them to confirm that something was done incorrectly.    As with everything, it seems that the odds are stacked against the employee. I'm really exhausted trying to find ways to make them accountable for acting like mobsters. But I have no tools, the laws designed to stop those in power from abusing it are exactly the laws enabling my employer to do shady shit.    So before I go into this thing without a clue and make a total bollocks of it, what are my best options?