Firstly, thank you for your time and patience to go through this email.
I have work in this local company for slightly more than a year.
Although there was no formal appraisal established so far but I have received good salary increments and overseas job assignments.
Recently, I was given some tasks which were out of my scope and experience which I faithfully tried my best to find ways to manage and deliver.
In the midst of the attempting the tasks, I faced much difficulties which was constantly updated to the management. No help and guidances were given so I continued to try my best to overcome my obstacles.
To my surprise, my HR & admin manager claimed to represent my CEO, my immediate supervisor, brought me to a meeting room and started her interrogation accusing me that I have outstanding tasks which was pending for months without any update to the management.
She also brought up some of her observation targeting at my personality, saying I am too sensitive and persistent in my approach.
I rejected her observation but she forced me to admit and agree to her observation.
I am just speechless.
As a manager, I feel that being sensitive to the environment and persistent in pursing objectives and goals to satisfy the requirements of customers are good attributes instead of being laid-back and let things happen.
I took the opportunity to share with her of the unpleasant treatments I had from my male colleagues since she is the HR manager.
There is a male co-worker who constantly teased me of my bosom, figures and insinuated that I could have exchanged sexual favours with sales orders. I labelled such behaviours as sexual harrassment. do you agree?
I shared my woes with this HR manager that such unpleasant treatments have made me feel uncomfortable to stay in the office.
She appears indifferent.
Numerous emails were followed up after this interrogation to chase for tasks to be completed.
Since the chaser became a daily one, I wrote in to suggest and appeal they changed the chasers to a less frequent basis as customers and other business partners will not revert with a reply within 12-24 hours and they have to observe and respect public holidays and vacations of our customers who are mainly overseas.
My CEO finally surfaced in response to my appeal email that I took months to complete my tasks, failed to update regularly and commented that if I failed to convince people, I cannot do this job.
It is impossible that I did not provide any update as there are monthly meetings and emails correspondences which I have updated status and the difficulties I faced.
If there was no update for months, my CEO and his assistant would have prompted and should never let this happened.
After a while, I thought everything is back to harmonious mood but I was shocked to see that they placed a job adv on The Straits Times to recruit for my position.
I have a feeling they may threaten me with a termination soon or give me an option to resign.
Is it really wise to take the option to resign if there is no ground that I have done anything wrong and it will put into unfair circumstances that I have to serve contractual notice of 3 months.
Can they terminate me without any notice in this case?
There is no inquiry nor valid ground of misconduct or insubordination.
What do you suggest I should do to fight for my rights?
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks & Warm Regards
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament at work.
Work commitment and fulfillment of responsibilities are probably the greatest stressors for executives and sometimes how our bosses measure us can also be conflicting.
Moreover, our employment act does not cover the rights of senior executives here and employers have the upper hand when it comes to hiring and firing – sometimes unreasonably.
I was fired twice in my career and of course took them badly.
However, I survived and tried to learn lessons out of the two terminations and be wiser in future.
You can of course bring up the case to MOM for arbitration but from my experience handling such cases, it will be a tall order if you can get any satisfactory result.
If the company terminates you giving three months’ notice within the contract, MOM can’t really do much as its legally binding despite the conflicting situation.
MOM will probably also advise you to seek your own legal recourse if you want to pursue the case further – which is absurb.
There is a serious lack of an independent ombudsman here and I am sure that there are many executives out there crying for one to be set up.
When a company wishes to terminate a executive there may be other reasons as well.
Someone on par with you or higher in ranking may be jealous of your achievement and wants to remove you from your position for fear that you will over take them in future.
Our competitiveness has drove us to be very malicious so that we can survive at the work place – by driving out other more capable executives.
My personal take is that if the company wants to terminate you – it is time to look around.
The way you describe your company’s environment also makes me wonder why you want to work on longer in such a toxic work place.
Sexual remarks like those you mentioned are certainly shocking and you can bring it up to your boss or his superior as it constitutues sexual harassment.
If not, you can bring it up to the MOM.
Look through your employment letter and ensures that they provide you the fair compensation for termination.
They can either terminate you giving three months’ paid notice i.e they will ask you to work for three months or ask you to leave immediately and provide you with three months’ pay.
However, termination is often reflected badly on the executive and if prospective employers are to call the company for employment verification, it may not go down well for you.
If the company provides you an option to resign voluntarily, it may be wise to take it.
Lastly, have the perspective that its the company’s loss if they let you go and you have a better place to contribute your skills and knowledge elsewhere.
I also urge you to find a job first before resigning as its not that easy to land one nowadays.
Moreover, employers tend to view jobseekers who are currently working favourably.
Take care and let me know if we can assist you further.
We are here for you.