Friday, October 08, 2010

Stripped of Assignments - The Sequel

Here are the rest of the tips for how to handle being stripped of your assignments because of racial targeting, in order to subject you to a hostile work environment or to retaliate against you for complaining of abuse. This follows tips 1-6 in yesterday’s post:

7) See if you can get your hands on departmental work assignment sheets or budgets/charts for your department's projects. These budgets/charts could show the total hours of work available, per contract or client. And, they can prove that there is work for you to do. Even if you can't get your hands on a budget due to access problems, see if you can get a task assignment list. This list may contain staff names and hours per project/client.

8) Keep a copy of all your current timesheets. This is especially helpful if you have to be billable and have to charge hours to specific clients/projects on your timesheets. The breakdown of hours will make it painfully clear that you have had a dramatic change in your work load.

9) If you are asked to use your personal leave or sick leave because your company doesn’t have anything for you to do and you must be billable to a client contract, document your use of leave and document that you had an employer request to use it for that purpose. Send an email to your supervisor saying that you are being instructed to use your personal/sick leave due to a lack of work and not because you are taking leave or are ill.

10) Contact HR. Get documentation of this issue outside of your department. HR should assist your efforts, provide you with guidance/policies, and should have answers to your questions. Get everything with HR in writing. Request an initial meeting in writing and include that you have a sudden lack of work in the subject line of the email or within the body of the email. Express that it is unprecedented for you not to have assignments, if you normally have a full work load. Think of what you will need to have documented so that any third party (e.g., an outside investigating agency or lawyer) will see that you expressed the seriousness of the issue with the proper authorities at your company--in writing.

11) Get a copy of any personnel policies regarding find work and/or a lack of work. My employer added a section to the personnel manual stating that only an employee was responsible for finding work and that management was not required to provide assistance. This was, of course, after they targeted a Black supervisor by taking her work away. They changed the personnel manual to cover their a**es just in case an investigator asked why she wasn’t assisted by management in finding assignments. See if there are any written policies like this at your company.

12) Start a job search, if you feel that you will definitely be let go and this is not just a ploy to superficially threaten your job security. Get written letters of reference, while people may be willing to give you one.

13) If you are going to be laid-off, etc. get the reason for the lay-off in writing. Try to get the specifics of that employment action in writing, even if that means emailing HR staff to get them to commit something to writing that you will later need as evidence. Prepare your official response outlining the fallacies of your employer’s defense of the personnel action.

14) Contact a lawyer, EEOC, etc. regarding your situation.


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