I am in a really uncomfortable situation at work in which I have proof that there is gender bias going on. I work at a small company and am in sales I am also the only woman in the company. I'm fairly certain my boss doesn't like me based on the fact he ignores me yet will walk past my cube several times a day to go shoot the breeze with the two other sales guys.
I have evidence that he is funneling good leads to the guys and not passing any of them on to me. We do have assigned U.S. territories but Europe is open and any leads that come in go to the VP of Sales (my boss) and he assigns them. The European leads are usually really good because they tend to close more quickly than the U.S. leads which means more sales and better commissions. I recently discovered that my boss took an account away from me and gave it to the one sales guy who also happens to get most of the good European leads.
I am now getting grief from my boss about not having a strong enough pipeline. I have all kinds of evidence from our sales database showing I'm not being given the same opportunity to succeed as the guys.
A couple of months ago, my boss mentioned that our CEO really wanted him to hire a woman, which is how I got the job. I found out I was the only woman interviewed.
My company has no internal HR, it is outsourced. I had a short conversation with the HR person and told her I wanted to gather my thoughts and then have a conversation with the CEO about my situation. The HR woman assured me our conversation was confidential until I was ready to move forward. Needless to say, she went straight to the CEO who called me into his office and asked why I thought I was being discriminated against. I never used that word when speaking with the HR woman, specifically because I wanted to approach this carefully.
I didn't have a conversation with the CEO, I was talked "at". He wouldn't listen to a word I had to say and it was horrible. I have never been treated so disrespectfully in the workplace. Our VP of Finance was there as a witness. Long story short, I was offered 3 months of pay with 3 months of benefits to leave.
I had a consultation with a lawyer, but he could not advise me, only give me some feedback and some ideas. He did tell me that the HR woman going to the CEO without telling me was in "invasion of privacy".
I can no longer work for a VP of Sales who lies and gets away with it and a CEO who won't even listen to me, I know I have to get out. My dilemma is do I just take their offer and get the heck out or do I negotiate a better deal based on what I know?
Just looking for outside input into a serious situation. My therapist and personal physician both know how difficult this is on me.
sounds like you have a good case for wrongful dismissal and gender discrimination in the workplace. If you threaten real good they may just offer you lots of money to drop the case; if you win, they will give you lots of money, either way you don't have to work for the guy, you'll have a nest egg, and hopefully the guy won't dare treat any other women that way again.
Seriously take the offer and go. You aren't goign to win this, and if you did it would be because of wrongful termination and you would have to wait to be terminated wrongfully and then you WONT have the three months to gather your ducks in a row. If you ever do take this to suit, it will be years and years and years before they ever offer you a settlement (it won't ever go to court), your atty will take 1/3 and you so do not need this.
Move on. Best advice. Do it while they are offering the buyout.
Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.
I would look into wrongful termination...and before you sign anything with them, have it looked at by a lawyer- a better one than the one you have...like is there a non-compete clause, does it negate you filinga lawsuit etc. etc. I have been in a similar situation at work before, and it stinks so sorry for you.
Find another lawyer- seriously. If you have all sorts of paperwork evidence then you have a case against them. I'm not one for suing for sometimes you need to legally slap them around a bit because after all- what they are doing *is* against the law.
In college, I had an oppurtunity to work as a dog handler (lead out position) for the dog track. They were hiring to fill several positions. Two people I knew (friends) already worked there and guided me to the track HR and I applied. I was interviewed and made an offer. Unbeknownst to me at the time, they were under state pressure to hire to increase their women/minority percentages. I was given a start date. Since I knew this was a union job and I happen to know the union local business agent (BA), I immediately contacted the union to get paperwork going. The BA was very surprised when I told him I was being hired for that particular position.
Just before starting work, I was told that the track changed things around and they were no longer hiring me. A quick call revealed that they had filled in the position anyway but with another applicant. A call to the Teamsters next, and the business agent was flipping out. Within minutes I had a lawyer calling me!
From what I understand- the track was under pressure to hire woman/minority. Dog handler positions are historically dominated by white men. They had previously filled the position with woman/minority applicants but there were some harrassment cases brought against the track when things didn't work out in the boys club. The HR director does this bait and switch- pretend to hire woman and minorities, then bail the last second. Overall for the track it was going swimmingly because the applicants would just shrug shoulders and move on. Because I knew the BA at the Teamster's local, there by I jumped the gun. The BA knew that I was offered a job at the track and thus he was clued in on the track's less than kosher procedures. Makes the Union Local look bad as well.
So long story short- the state got involved and the track got slapped around a bit. I didn't sue anyone although I could have. I ultimately didn't take the job even though it was mine to have. I was kind of leary to work in that type of atmosphere. I was just happy knowing that some egotistical jerks got a thrashing by the state that controls their licensing- LOL.
BTW my next job- civil rights compliance officer for a construction company.
I've been self employed for many years, so I may be talking out of my hat here. But before you take their offer and resign, you might consider how it will affect unemployment payments. If you are in the US and unemployment is available to you, you could lose a lot of money by resigning, especially in this economy where you might not find another job in the near future.
Though it would be hell to stay and work, you might be better off letting them fire you.
Call the EEOC and file a complaint. I believe they help with the lawyer stuff.
i work in HR and from the other side, my company has had these EEOC suits against us in the past. Some we win, some we lose some we settle. So it is a crap shoot, but if you feel that you were wronged you have the right to issue a complaint and an investigation.
Before you go, make sure you have all of your sales reports. It will be hard to get that information once you leave ans your access to the info is severed. they can also go into some of the systems and change thisngs, etc.
Look at the papers they want you to sign, if it doesnt state that you cant sue them, then I would take the settlement (could they re-word this to be severance pay?) and then still contact the EEOC.
Look at what they are offering you and negotiate a better deal.
Then start looking for another job and in the meantime file for your unemployment maney as you have been paying into it with taxes all of your working life, so now you get to use it.
hugs. hope things get better.
\"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"
What Keep1Belle said. File with the EEOC first.
Also, tell them about the outsourced hr company and what they did. They may file a complaint against them too.
Then they should help you in the right direction.
Sign nothing, don't take anything either. Lay low, keep your head down and work while going through this filing.
It'll be a huge learning 'experience' for you but I think in this case, you can get some money from these jokers. They need to learn the hard way.
And backup your email, correspondence, files, everything onto a cd and store it in a safety deposit box.