Employee follows HR advice, got suspended; asks help from NLRC, nothing happens
I’ve been working w this company for 4 yrs now and this acct of ours, has been (for 3yrs) doing all the wrong things, we were all just “ok” with it kasi petiks mode but when too much is too much, you wanna start talking. That’s what we tried to do, to make things right, i, in behalf of the acct (half of the agents) talked about all our problems and asked for an FGD (meeting with the bosses) so we can raise our issue. to cut it short, nothing happened. So i personally approached hr to ask about the process (of raising a complain) since hr is for employees, tama? I spoke with the HR manager (she’s new) and told her what the issue is and asked for ADVISE on how and who can we raise the concern to, not bypassing anyone. She clearly said that we can all write down the complains, compile them and have everyone complaining sign it then they(hr) will send it to the correct people so that we can all have an FGD w the managers of the acct. To cut it short, i told my colleagues about it, we got a sheet of bond paper, wrote (in bullets) all our concerns w the acct and on the second page, signed it. We were a total of 23 agents. After a couple of days, I submitted that paper to that hr manager and it took weeks (w follow up email conversations w that hr manager after that) before it was addressed. How it was addressed? HR called those agents who signed (instead of having an FGD w the account managers), the agents were called, one by one, by hr, and was asked about the “signed paper”. These agents were asked WHY they signed, if they were FORCED to sign and they were told to “not do that anymore” for they were like NAGTATAYO NG UNION, and so on. I knew this because those agents approached me and whined, they all said it felt like they were tortured by HR instead of having the problems with our account addressed by the account, they all said they were now being accused of putting up a strike. Some said they will not go to HR anymore for any other issues within the company since its traumatic for them. I told them that the reason why we signed that paper is because that is what HR itself advised for us to do. They said yes and they all said HR is crazy and all. One colleague which is my friend told me that I should have evidences that it is indeed that HR manager who told me to create the paper and luckily, i did have proof, all our conversation was on the email as well.
I was baffled (for I was the only one that was not called out by HR) and I started emailing that HR manager about it asking her why HR’s telling the agents that they were not supposed to sign. That HR manager’s reply was totally from planet Mars or whatever. Her replies were all bogus it seemed like she was deliberately making things complicated so that all the blame will be put on me, not with the HR’s mistake of giving an employee an advise to create a paper with complains and with signatures.
To pacify my colleagues and me as well, I told them to just let it all go since the issue is not with HR but with the account itself and that is what we need to fix. With all that, I thought there was no problem until my TM(Team Manager) gave me a memo, asking me to explain why I’m not to be terminated due to disrespect, connivance, at lahat pa ng masakit na salita, with HR. The nte/memo said I attempted to put up a strike by forcing my colleagues to sign the paper and that I disrespected the HR manager by accusing her etc etc. To cut it short, my colleagues knew about this and they said to not sign any of the memo and just raise it to NLRC. My TM said to just sign it and he will do his best to not let me be terminated. Weeks gone by, the memo became 10 days suspension. More shortcut, I was served the 10 days suspension, I went to NLRC, filed a complaint about that HR manager and how the big liar she was and initially, the man who interviewed me in NLRC agreed with me when I told him the story and even said ‘hindi bawal ang magtayo ng union, kahit ang nlrc ay may union’. a case was then filed to NLRC and a letter was mailed out to me and to my company’s HR. I submitted all the proof I had too plus a copy of the signed paper.
Weeks past again (all these happened last year somewhere July, then September then ended January 2014) and that meeting w the arbiter came and i went to NLRC to find out that that HR manager wasn’t there. Instead there was that gay guy (whom I’ve never seen with my 4 yr stay sa kumpanyang yon) and claimed he is the legal representative of our company and he’s the one who will replace that hr girl. So we were sent to a small room, with 3 other attorneys on their desks and this lady attorney, she said we wont be speaking to the arbiter yet and that she is the one assigned to our case. I was all confused because the letter I got from NLRC itself said that the meeting will be with the arbiter already and a small hearing will happen. To cut it short again, that woman briefly discussed what happened based on the paper she was holding, asked me what I want to happen and asked the other party what he wants too. I said I don’t want anyone to be reprimanded, I said it was not right to suspend me nor to even attempt to terminate me just because one person felt offended when her fault was displayed for everyone to see. I told them that the HR manager lied and advised me to do something then after finding out the advise was wrong they all covered it all up and made me the one to blame. This NLRC woman acknowledged everything I said, this is the summary of what she said: “I understand… it’s really not fair what happened to you.. they are managers, these companies can do anything they want from you because they are paying you… better learn from what happened and don’t trust anyone anymore… maging lesson sayo yan..”
Setting aside what I felt when I heard all those, the other party, that gay guy, he stood his ground and said there was no mistake made on their/hr’s part, and asked what I want to happen. He was all through out sarcastic, he said if I want them to bow down in front of me and to say sorry. In all my anger with all that was happening, I told the NLRC woman that I want to be transferred to another branch for I no longer want to have any connection with that hr manager anymore. she said she would love to see both party to be well off and if we can settle it right there, the legal rep kept smirking at me and said he/they are all good to go. The NLC woman asked me if I’m good to go too, I said I am done talking already and that I just want to be transferred to another branch. The other party said he will see what he can do and she made us shake hands but T refused and just sat down. The legal rep left.
I then asked the NLRC woman if I can have the 10 day suspension that was served to me be retracted since I did not deserve it, she said it all happened already and if I want to pursue the case I will have to get a lawyer then and spend a lot and that it will take years just to settle the case. She asked me if I want to spend my future with having to deal with a case like that. In all my frustration, I felt I’m about to explode to tears then, the male attorney on the other desk approached me and side-hugged me, he said he heard it all and that he agrees that what happened to me was not fair but he and the NLRC woman told me that it should all be just a lesson for me to learn and to not trust anyone anymore. They said it’s already a good thing that I was not terminated instead suspended only. To finish this up, I left NLRC, took a cab home and cried a hell lot. I felt more cheated and I hated that HR manager to the core plus I hated myself because i trusted and believed her smiling advises and lies.
Now you decide, God as my witness, I did not do anything wrong to deserve that 10 day suspension and all those stress and all the accuses. I thought labor will fight with me, if not for me, epic failure as well.
Maniniwala pa ba ko sa palabas na yan, lalo na hindi naman yung agent ang nag testify kungdi yung NLRC din mismo. Lahat nababayaran. Too bad hindi ako one of them.