It happens to a lot of us: everything is going fine and dandy at work, but then your boss’ attitude takes a turn for the worse. They start to call you up on everything, and they start drawing up written warnings for the most minor of infractions. You start to worry about the paper trail they clearly want to leave, and then suddenly, your job security vanishes in the blink of an eye.
But there’s a lot of ways you can combat a boss that’s treating you unfairly. If you’ve got plenty of occasions on your mind, where an angry word or an unnecessary disciplinary action was taken, and you can provide a bit of evidence here and there, you’ve got a case to make!
So let’s make sure you know what to do next. If you’re curious about what you could do next, to stop an angry boss in their tracks, here’s a few points to keep in mind.
And remember, there’s a lot of help out there for employees, even when you’re not in a union, and have no collective power to back you up.
There’s still basic rules and regulations you can rely on, and there’s always an HR department to go to.
Take the Issue to Them (or HR!)
If you’re upset about something your boss has said to you, or an offhand comment has rubbed you up the wrong way, try to approach them about it first.
It might have just been a bad day for your boss, and they never meant to cause offence; if you have the opportunity to ask what they meant by a certain phrase they used in the office earlier, grab the chance by the horns.
Seeing as this can very easily put any thoughts about your work performance out of your mind, everyone can get back to their tasks in good moods and move on.
But if there’s a repeating instance of bad behaviour on your boss’ part, such as derogatory comments or unfair marks on every performance review over the last year, it’s time to be a little more firm with your boss.
Tell them you don’t appreciate the way they’re acting, or what they keep on writing about you, and ask for an explanation.
Keep calm as you do so, and make sure your body reflects the confidence you might not be feeling inside. If they have a reason to give, ask them to take a different approach, such as giving you some constructive feedback you can put to good use.
Remember, you should never feel like you can’t knock on your employer’s door and present them with a problem they’ve caused, but if you do, go straight to HR.
Some bad bosses are famously unapproachable, and some of us have stories about colleagues ‘randomly’ losing their jobs after putting in a complaint.
If this kind of experience is similar to the atmosphere in your workplace, there’s always a higher power you can head on up to.
Determine if the Behaviour is Illegal
If you’ve done all of the above, but not gotten any results out of it, it’s time to do a little researching.
If there’s a behaviour that’s been particularly grating, get to know the law’s view on it. Things like a late payroll payment, or demanding you come in on a shift you aren’t contracted to, are all infractions you could pull up in front of a judge one day.
Of course, it might not come to that, but if your boss won’t listen to the facts you’re presenting, that’s often where to head next.
But employment law can be a little thin in some areas, and outright non-existent in others.
Having a good read through of the law in your area should be a regular practice before starting a new job! It’ll make sure bad days at work are kept to a minimum.
Not all bad behaviors are illegal – some of us are a lot more sensitive to the negativity swirling in our workplace atmospheres, and it’s important to know if the rights to complain are on your side – but that doesn’t mean they’re fair!
After all, sometimes what we think is unfair isn’t seen the same way in the eyes of the law, but it’s definitely clear from a moral standpoint.
Knowing your rights before presenting your case to your boss, or handing in your resignation, or heading to a tribunal, is key to winning a good outcome.
And it helps to temper your expectations, and get you thinking for the future.
Then Contact Some Experts
So, if you do have a case against your boss, and you know it’s something even the law won’t stand for, it’s time to get in touch with some experts.
Looking for a firm that only practices employment law might be your best bet here; they’ll have plenty of time and focus for your case, and it’s often quite nice to feel valued by a higher power when your boss seems to hate you!
A lot of us don’t like to get lawyers involved when we have trouble at work.
But if you’re well within your rights to make ‘some noise’, you’re allowed to do so. If you complain, openly and outwardly, some of your fellow employees might just speak up as well.
You can never be sure how many people in your workplace see things the way you do, and this is a good way to gather some support.
Does Your Boss Have Some Bad Habits?
They just might, and if they’re making the workplace a very unpleasant place to be, it’s time to exercise your rights as one of their responsibilities.
You have value, and you deserve to have a good atmosphere around you to get you job done.
Now it’s up to you. You have the information and the tools, and you’ve got a livelihood to keep on making. The boss isn’t always right, and they are never as untouchable as they seem!