Janet's Story

Discrimination in Janet's workplace

In September 2008, after working for Aliant (formerly MT&T) for 29 years and 7 months, I was let go because of time missed because of a diagnosed illness. Over those 29 years I had many wonderful Supervisors, but 2 years before I was let go, a new Supervisor came to the Department I worked in and I reported to her. I always had excellent yearly reviews over my whole career and got along with everyone, but all of a sudden I was told by this new Supervisor that I wasn't liked by anyone, that I was offending people, etc. She suspended my several times without pay for things that were ridiculous , including saying I slammed a door. This door was a sliding door that had no handle so everyone slammed it. Guess how I found out I was suspended? I found the letter laying on the coping machine. There were plenty of co workers who saw what she was doing but wouldn't say anuthing, only telling me to not let her get away with it. When I was let go I only had 5 months left to receive a full pension. When asked why she was doing this so close to my retirement date, she just laughed and shrugged her shoulders.

Janet's union's response

I immediately called my Union and they made her write an apology, which by the way was one line. Nothing happened to her. I went to my Union (Unifor) and the Directors in my Dept about the harassment but no one did anything about it. I grieved my termination, only to have nothing done for a whole year. The unions lawyer offered me a settlement of giving me the extra months I needed for my pension and paying me back to the date I was let go. Now this may seem like a good deal to some, but I could never find another position that was equal to mine in wages, vacation time and benefits. I remember the Unions lawyer saying to me "you have good skills, you'll find another job". This is not the way I wanted to end my career with this Company.

Impact

I worked in Human Resources, the one Department that is supposed to be there for the employees. During this time, even before I was terminated, I was stressed out, not knowing what would be awaiting me when I got to work. My doctor kept telling me to get out of there, it was making me sicker. I lost a lot because of this event, my home, my pride of being a good employee, the happy retirement day I was looking forward to. However, after all this I am doing fine now. Since then I have worked many term jobs, and Im appalled at whats going on out there. Employees are being bullied and made to feel worthless. I could go on and on about the things that this Supervisor did to me, but happily she was let go several months after. She signed my termination letter with a smiley face, that's how rotten she was.