IS THIS workplace bullying? Should staff be ale to use the bathrooms?

by admin on July 4, 2010

Awkward Question -My husband was involved in a motorcycle accident two years ago, he suffered a spinal injury but now has a weak bladder. His workmates are understanding, and he can have 2-3 accidents a month. His company has hired a new boss, Greg, for his sector (who knows about his problem) but only lets staff go to the bathroom during breaks, which means he has several accidents a day and his pull ups leak so they are no use (yes, too much info I know). Two weeks ago, Greg interviewed each employee and when it was my husbands turn the guy wouldn’t let him leave, waited until he wet himself then made a joke out of it and sent him out to work at checkouts without letting him change. My husband tolerates Greg because he needs the job, but I think the way he is treated in unfair. Anyway, does this constitute as workplace bullying, shouldn’t this boss bend the ‘rules’ for him? He only works in a department store and they’re not exactly over run with customers!

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{ 7 comments }

gildersleeve July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

This boss needs to be threatened (at least!) with legal action, and/or the loss of his own job. You need to look at what laws apply in the region you live/he works in, and find out what your husband’s rights are, and what legal remedies there are, too.

Think of it this way: if you did this to your child, or a teacher did it to a student, they could be hit with charges of child abuse. It’s no different just because the individuals involved are adults (well, supposedly they’re all adults …)

While you’re researching your local laws & regs, you might also check out Occupational Health & Safety requirements, and also laws protecting workers who have disabilities and related medical conditions. I’ll eat my feet if your DH isn’t covered by *several* regs or statutes in these two areas.

As for your specific question at the top: yes, this is absolutely workplace bullying. ANY situation where one person *forces* (economic intimidation is force in this case) another to be incontinent is bullying. Any situation where one person forces another to be incontinent IN PUBLIC is bullying. Any situation where one person forces another to be incontinent, and then won’t let the victim clean up afterward, is bullying. This is extreme humiliation, and does not ever belong in a workplace.

Your husband needs to document these incidents for a week or two, while consulting workmates who may be willing to corroborate your DH’s facts. Then he should go over his boss’s head to complain. Even if this manager/executive doesn’t even *want* to be sympathetic to your husband’s situation, they won’t want the company involved in lawsuits, Federal investigations, and/or criminal charges. Your husband should make sure that this executive understands that your husband regards outside help as a last resort, that your DH would infinitely prefer to handle the matter in-house if at all possible.

These protective laws are in place for very good reasons. Your husbands case is a pretty extreme example of why.

….

Hannah July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

I cannot believe an employer would act this way that is completely inappropriate. Your husband needs to talk to the highest person in power and explain his problem. Greg is completely out of line and should be understanding because your husband has been employed there longer than him. That is completely disgusting and unacceptable of Greg to make fun of his problem. Greg should be written up and fired for that.

jenifajen July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

The Boss makes me sick. Ur husband needs to be taking that further. U can’t set a time for people to go to the toilet let alone someone in ur husbands condition. And as for not letting him leave until he wet himself …. I would of socked the boss square in the face (I know ur husband can’t do that but u know what I mean)

Manuel C July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

GET A LAWYER!

Bojan July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

Absolutely. It is ridiculous that your husband is treated this way. Toilet breaks need to be taken and I am sure he doesn’t spend hours in there.

Great website you should check out is http://www.reachout.com.au.

J B July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

You contact the American Disabilities Association and they will stop this. Greg will be gone before he can park his car. The company can be fined and you all should sue or get a settlement. This B.S now go get them if you don’t do it for yourselves then do it for the next person

Lela A July 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

Your husband is cover under the federal law for disabilities..and his boss can get into trouble..he can file a complaint against his boss..

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