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Old 21.01.2019, 19:32
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How far can a company go in harrasing employees in Switzerland

Some time ago I got into a conflict with a new manager who felt threatened by me being more competent and experienced. After some time of passive-aggressive micro management nonsense I went to HR (employee relations)to ask if we could sort this out on good terms, i.e. me getting leaving with the 3 months pay I was entitled to.


Here is were the weird part starts. I start mentioning all the bullying and to list only a few things; not being allowed to leave my desk neither for lunch, going to the restroom or taking a coffee etc. Not being allowed to go to doctors appointments. Not answering any of my written emails about taking time of to attend a family members funeral or taking time of for vacation. Instead he would answer verbally and then deny that he approved my vacation days. Being excluded from important meetings and information, going behind my back to ask others to complain about me etc etc.. the list goes on and on.


When I start mentioning this to the HR lady she basically raises her eyebrows like I'm an idiot and says "you are not being bullied, your manager thinks you are a poor performer and wants you to leave asap". Then I say "what about the code of conduct, are you allowed to treat employers like this?" she basically kicks me out of the room and says that the meeting is over.


I will not reveal the exact name of the employer but it is one of the major players in Switzerland that all of you have heard about. The question is, how far can you go as an employer? The HR lady basically encouraged my managers to break the law(e.g. you are entitled to take lunch). If I had recorded the conversation and gone to the press or a lawyer would they have raised a case in Switzerland? Its an international company so in retrospect I think this could actually have turned out to be at least a minor scandal if I would have leaked a recording in another country where they operate.
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Old 21.01.2019, 19:56
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland
In my experience and in the experience of former colleagues where I worked, all the way, until the employees are so ill that the company ends up paying out all overtime, unused holiday, several months notice, a long period of sick leave until an insurance and finally full disability benefit takes over.
I worked in a place where it was so bad that several colleagues attempted suicide, one of which actually in the office.
Sad but true. Hardly ever spoken about in Switzerland unlike major cases which have unfolded and come to light in other countries. This was also a major player, in one of their regional offices.
Workplace bullying, referred to as mobbing here. Illegal, but barely ever reported as the employees simply don't have the energy to do so.
Companies that do this lose out in the end as it costs them a lot of money with such a large turnover of staff, recruiting, retraining etc. But they don't seem to care much about this side of it.
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Old 21.01.2019, 20:18
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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..... I start mentioning all the bullying and to list only a few things; not being allowed to leave my desk neither for lunch, going to the restroom or taking a coffee etc. Not being allowed to go to doctors appointments. Not answering any of my written emails about taking time of to attend a family members funeral....
The things you mention here are covered by basic laws and/or common sense. (For the funeral it depends how close the family member was).

Of course I don't know how bad your superior really is but I got the impression, you are a strange employee too.
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Old 21.01.2019, 20:22
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

We are getting only one side of the story, aren't we?
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Old 21.01.2019, 20:52
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

Take your lunch break and see if you get fired for it?


The non-written stuff drives me mad too but you can always write emails like Dear Fascist Bully Boy, so nice to talk to you today and thank you for approving my vacation for between x and y.
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Old 21.01.2019, 20:53
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

If one or two of these things happened, sure it would be nasty, if three or four happened it would be harassment, but if all of them happened, this sounds more like either fantasy or indeed you are less valued than your own estimation of "more competent and experienced"


As for asking to leave with 3 months pay, well i guess that says it all.
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:08
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

I don't believe a single iota of this story. But good try.
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:19
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

That would be a lot of issues for a place where you worked only a few months....
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:35
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

Well I don't believe the story either, but let's break it down.

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felt threatened by me being more competent and experienced. .
Red flag alert right here... And not in the way you think.

So here's the thing: Switzerland doesn't "encourage employers to break the law", however, the country is very big on personal responsibility and accountability. If you have a problem, you resolve it by having a conversation with whoever has relevancy or some form of decision-making power. If that fails miserably, the tendency is to move past it and on to other things. To go the legal route is veeeeery rare and you'll be hard-pressed to find a lawyer giving two Rappen about you not being able to take a lunch break. Not that it's impossible, but the initial reaction will probably be "eh".

Lastly, upon reading this:
Quote:
"you are not being bullied, your manager thinks you are a poor performer and wants you to leave asap"
while the delivery of this statement by HR was undoubtedly questionable, that's probably the real issue. Also, some of the things you asked for aren't by default - funeral depends on the relationship with the deceased, when to take a vacation is ultimately the manager's decision and so on.

All this doesn't appear like it's a fundamental issue in this company unless you can somehow prove that there's systematic mobbing of hundreds of people in that same way and even then...

So just move on. Why do you want to create a minor scandal? No one will care that much about one disgruntled former employee, I'm afraid.
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:51
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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As for asking to leave with 3 months pay, well i guess that says it all.
I know. That was my huge mistake in the meeting with HR and obviously something I should not have mentioned.
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:53
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

You also should take some English lessons.

Tom
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Old 21.01.2019, 21:56
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

I am sad we get people to diminish the existence of harassment. Maybe the responders are harassers themselves.

Even of the OP is a poor performer, does it justify being a dick?
If the OP is a poor performer, does it not reflect badly on the manager? In my experience, bad performance is rarely due 100% to the employee, it is the role of the manager and the firm to get the employee in the right conditions.

As for the comments about the right to take vacations, etc. The OP says he works for a large company. No one is vital in a large company (unless the OP is a surgeon in A&E?) to be denied holidays repeatedly or a lunch break or a toilet break.

I too had a harassing boss in my first job in CH. I was young and naive and did not go to HR. Thankfully, work colleagues defended me and exfiltred me from his team to another team.
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:18
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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The things you mention here are covered by basic laws and/or common sense. (For the funeral it depends how close the family member was).

Of course I don't know how bad your superior really is but I got the impression, you are a strange employee too.
How do you mean that the things I mention are covered by basic laws and or common sense? (you seem a bit naive)

Regarding the funeral thing at my workplace...this is how it works. If it's a close family member (as it was for me),i.e your children ,parents or wife/husband the manager has the right to grant a paid leave from the time of the death up until the funeral. Otherwise, you basically have to pay for it yourself. That is, by the law you can obviously deny someone to go on a funeral even if someones whole family passed away in a car accident.

Of course there are two sides of the coin and I'm fully aware how I will come across posting this. My problem at the time it happened is that I was very naive and seriously thought employee relations would help me out with advice. A strange person (a person with charactar) would try to not back down. A non strange person who ends up in a conflict with his/her manager would leave within a few weeks ( like myself the next time this would happen). The problem is that its difficult to leave unless you have some financial stability. I didn't even know about RAV at the time it happened.

By the way, Ive had 10 managers in my career , only with 2 of them have I had any personal issues. The interesting part is that those were the only 2 less competent and experienced than me...Now you go figure....
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:23
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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it is the role of the manager and the firm to get the employee in the right conditions.
No. It is not. It is the role of the manager to achieve objectives and meet goals. Good managers will develop his/her team to improve their success rate, but it is not required.
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:27
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

Hey sorry for your mission
But advice: read the details of your contract & you should find Reference to the personalgesetz (stafflaw) which is kantonal (province) but based on Federal Law & it clearly states what you get, how many days holidays etc. Google. Personalgesetz for your profession. ie. personalgesetz fuer ingenieure
Also please understand that switzerland was built on work, & when we go to work we leave our private lives at home & work. when you do your basic education or intern/lehre you are taught that 8 hours to work, 8 hours to learn,relax, achieve, 8 hours to sleep. & like it or not it only works properly like that. there is no reason to leave your desk, or to make private calls email. etc.
Having lived & worked in many other counties, where everyone kind of did their work, but spent more time socialising than working, it just doesnt work if you strive to be successfull & thats what u should be doing in switerland. once u learned swiss style you will make it anywhere.
u know do the parrot thing when u with the parrots & play like a canary when with the canaries.
Also if you want to be happy in CH do it in your private time a swiss workplace is not going to do that for you & isnt designed to. 'you have good & fair basic rights but you also have obligations ie. to do as the swiss do.
ps when living abroad I was always so pleased when I called an office or bank or anyone in CH the phone was always answered promptly & everyone knew who was in charge of what & put me through to the proper person, please dont mess that up, be at your desk
xxx
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:27
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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...you seem a bit naive...

...I was very naive...
Word of the day:Naive

Seriously though, you have been here 15 months, and going by your past posts you have wanted to sue a doctor, felt harassed by RAV advisor and now a big Swiss firm is out to get you (which you conveniently want to leave with 3 months pay). I figure there is a pattern here. Wondering what it is.
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:51
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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Well I don't believe the story either, but let's break it down.

Red flag alert right here... And not in the way you think.
Lastly, upon reading this:
while the delivery of this statement by HR was undoubtedly questionable, that's probably the real issue. Why do you want to create a minor scandal? No one will care that much about one disgruntled former employee, I'm afraid.
Again, a very naive response from someone who has obviously not been around the block. Why is there a red flag? It's very well documented how managers treat subordinates who are more competent.

Regarding the performance issue I forgot to mention that my manager threatened to give me a poor rating with the motivation that "no one likes you within my department". If I was such a poor performer why has no other manager told this to me during my career?( managers more experienced). I had 3-4 colleagues who came to me and mentioned how my manager tried to pursue them to give me negative feedback,so he obviously tried to build a case around me not being liked but failed.

Well , I didn't create a minor scandal because I didn't have the experience required or recording from the session with HR. If I would have done it , it would be for financial reasons.
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Old 21.01.2019, 22:59
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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That would be a lot of issues for a place where you worked only a few months....
Who said I worked there only a few months?
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Old 21.01.2019, 23:12
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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Again, a very naive response from someone who has obviously not been around the block. Why is there a red flag? It's very well documented how managers treat subordinates who are more competent.
Nice try but nope, I have indeed been around the block , and in my experience, people who assume others don't like or criticize them because they feel threatened by their superior competence are just full of themselves. There are exceptions where it's a justified thought, but these are rare.

Quote:
If I was such a poor performer why has no other manager told this to me during my career?( managers more experienced). I had 3-4 colleagues who came to me and mentioned how my manager tried to pursue them to give me negative feedback,so he obviously tried to build a case around me not being liked but failed.
Because context is everything and just because you (assume you) performed well in other jobs doesn't mean you perform well in every job. Sometimes it's also simply not a fit, be it the company at large, colleagues or managers.

Even if everything you write is true, then your former manager was probably indeed not a good manager. But that doesn't mean you were a good employee either. One has nothing to do with the other, not directly and immediately anyway.

And if what Dutch says is right (I haven't read all your past threads), then you are making a fool of yourself more than anything else. Grow a pair and be an adult and solve problems the way adults do. Not by trying to sue everyone or take whatever legal actions. If you assume it's always others' fault, more often than not, it's actually yours.
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Old 21.01.2019, 23:14
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Re: How far can a company go in harrasing employers in Switzerland

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Who said I worked there only a few months?
you, as you were on RAV on 22nd August.
https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...ml#post2982915

Edit: I misunderstood. The thread is apparently about a former job.

Last edited by k_and_e; 22.01.2019 at 00:01.
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