Last week the Supreme Court dismissed an application to appeal a rejected grievance filed by a former government executive, Zabia Chamberlain. Ms. Chamberlain’s grievance was that she was sexually harassed and physically intimidated at work by her boss. The facts of the case were not in question – the man did these things repeatedly and boldly. The point of dispute was that he wasn’t appropriately disciplined for it (he only had to go a training session) and he wasn’t removed from her work space.
To make matters worse, it was Ms. Chamberlain who was in fact punished, being stripped of her position and labelled as a troublemaker.
Ms. Chamberlain found the grievance process to be useless. This is not a surprise: senior management controls the process and, in effect, used it as another way to punish her – by frustrating her at every step.
The fact is that the government’s grievance process is completely broken. I myself sat in a grievance hearing where a Director General adjudicated a grievance in which she was a respondent. With abuses of power like that, it’s no surprise that the average worker has no faith in the process any more.
Indeed, the boldness with which managers manipulate the process suggests that they know what they are doing, feel entitled to do so and expect no consequences.… Read the rest