So then...

About Me

Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Share the Fair

Having been bullied at work by lawyers and finding my aim of going to the Employment Tribunal thwarted by other lawyers (see book and blog), you’ll forgive me for being somewhat cynical back then about the legal process. 

My aim, as I said in my 2010 Mad Scientist blog was: 

‘If I can’t prove I’m being bullied by Howard and employed by the biggest bunch of liars - then no one can’.

I was sadly unable to prove it, despite overwhelming evidence. Forced into settlement, my plan to write about the bullying process from start to finish (ET) to help others had to be reconsidered.  

It was extremely disappointing, but I resolved to keep anonymously writing and raising awareness. It was only when my former bullies launched a legal attack to remove me from Twitter and shut down my blog that things began to change – in a way I hadn’t expected. 

My new legal representative, a former boss, read through the files and was shocked by the extent of the bullying I’d gone through and surprised about the way the case was run. The first thing he did was to see off the bullies – hence I’m still here. The second thing he did was to begin to challenge the way my case had been handled. 

I hadn’t expected it to have such a positive effect on me.  I can’t really explain why. Perhaps it’s just that my cynicism has lifted.

There are bad lawyers out there, but there are some really good ones. I don’t have a list yet. I just have the name of one lawyer – mine - but it’s a start. If you need the name of a good lawyer, drop me a line via email or Twitter. If he or his firm says you have or have not got a claim – then believe them. They are trustworthy, which is the main thing. 

And if you’ve had your case dealt with by a good lawyer then drop me a line too. Maybe we can get a list together.  It’s the opposite of name and shame. Let’s share the fair.

Very best


Fiona Cowan said...

And about time too! It's easy to blame the lawyers for being negative, when you see your friend not getting the support they had promised her ... so for once it is wonderful to see another lawyer agree that you weren't well served by yours. I swear the whole lot (nearly) are in cahoots. Just the way HR is always (nearly) in cahoots with institutional bullies.

Heather said...

Hello BBtB,

I signed my compromise agreement in June 2010 after 3 exhausting years of being bullied by my boss and then fighting HR and senior managers for justice.

Two years after first reporting the bully, my three grievances were eventually upheld and she was sacked (via a compromise agreement in July 2009).

But I still lost my job.

I had been placed on a secondment role while waiting for my grievances to be dealt with. In the mean time, HR allowed the bully to re-fill my substantive post on a permanent basis. So after I did win my grievances, I had no job to return to.

My solicitor (an employment law specialist) advised me on my first meeting that a Compromise Agreement (CA) was the most likely outcome. I didn't want to sign the CA as I knew I'd find it difficult to gain alternative employment. However, my solicitor was determined I should sign, and had a total hussy-fit when I said I'd rather be redeployed. She also stated categorically that once I signed the CA the gagging clause would be legally enforceable.

Since Gary Walker spoke out earlier this year, it has become apparent that gagging clauses are not legally enforceable where public interest issues are concerned, and are also counter to public service guidelines about openness and transparency. I have letters from Jo Swinson MP (Dept BI&S) and Brandon Lewis MP (Dept C&LG), both confirming this. However, I now know that this isn't strictly true since no case has been tested in court.

I agree with you that it appears some (or even most) solicitors are in cahoots with employers - giving clients misleading information and only supporting the employers desired outcome.

I recently spoke to Public Concern at Work - I was told that bullying wasn't a public interest concern, but a private contractual matter!

I accept that this was one advisor's opinion - and I think she's a law student who volunteers for them. But still, a very disturbing comment from a representative of a charity that has the aim of protecting the public from poor public services.

I believe bullying is the crucial point in all the cases of abuse and neglect that have peppered our media over the past few years.

Sexual abusers, incompetent managers, wicked employees - all use bullying and fear to control others behaviour - and so children are abused, babies die, vulnerable people are knocked about and humiliated, elderly people die of thirst in degrading conditions...

We have clearly reached a critical point where our public services are being run by wolves and sheep. All the shepherds have been sacked or gagged.

KareninSac said...

I have been trying for 2 years to get justice & compensation for bullying by a female attorney. I was bullied because I would not commit fraud by 'padding' my billing for legal work to our clients, insureds with the international insurance company where I was employed as a paralegal.

I live in California so I had to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Same story as yours-tons of evidence of bullying and wrongful termination, yet my case was dismissed due to 'lack of evidence.'

I'm informed that this Dept. only pursues 1 out of 500 claims. So now I have the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission reviewing the case and am also about to file a complaint in State Court.

However, since this week is Freedom from Workplace bullying in the states, I've gone to Twitter to out my former employer and surprise surprise, now they are talking to me.

Still I won't stop. Working to get Workplace Bullying made illegal in the States and in California.

Bottom Swirl