Being Downgraded

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being  downgraded after leave for pregnancy.

I am sales person. My company was bought  new company. I’m the only sales admin person but new company decided to change and hire another Sales admin assistant to do the extra work in our shop what not in my job. He less hours than me and pay less too.

I got pregnant, manager tell me to train my assistant as my cover, I did and left for 9 months. When I come back new manager told me I no longer was his boss and the man and I will be sharing my job so no hand over.

I put grievance to company HR. They say our contracts are the same but that’s not true! I signed his contract before I left to have baby but I think the man changed it while I on maternity to sales admin like me. I appealed and I have his offer letter which old manager forward me when he hired him as my assistant which says he Sales admin assistant. I no longer have good sales, only half the clients now and finish work by half day. I am worried because the big boss wants to make cuts and I think they want to get rid of me for him who get less money. Help how he can change his contract and fake my signature? The Big boss did not let me see contract I signed with my assistant which I think has been forged.

Signed, Worried They Want To Get Rid Of Me

Dear Worried They Want To Get Rid Of Me:

You have ample reason to be upset.Re-establishing your status and keep your job most likely hinges on the goodwill of your Human Resources Department and on the culture of your company. Possibly it also depends on the laws of your country regarding taking leave for pregnancy. If I can unravel the story you tell, you acknowledge that since returning you have fewer sales and you worry that you might be fired in order that another sales person, who was added as an assistant at a lower wage, might replace you. Also you think your boss or someone forged your signature of a contract that put you at a level with that new employee. You think this because you have a letter of your former manager describing your position and that doesn’t conform with the status HR says is the same for you and the sales person hired before you got pregnant,

As perhaps you can see, my effort to interpret your situation reveals its complexity. Apparently you have begun a grievance process, and although it should not have, by doing that you may have soured your working relationship with management. It seems from here that HR might conclude that they have settled the matter; however, if your company has a policy that was meant to assure continued employment after a pregnancy leave, you might request that they work with your current boss so that you will be able to reassert your position. Or you can ask that they investigate the situation more fully.

I doubt that will guarantee your job if this new company determines it must cut employees. If you are fired, perhaps you can get legal help or at least you can take your story to a labor attorney to learn if you have a case. However for now, isn’t the best you can do is to meet with your boss and frankly discuss your role? Ask your boss’ evaluation of your status. Learn her/his thinking about your role. Affirm your desire to get more sales. See such a meeting as a collaborative effort to find ways to market your company’s products and services. So often our worries grow when we fail to talk about what is happening or not happening.In sum, I have suggested three avenues that you might consider:

1. Explore your situation more with HR.

2. Develop an openness of your role with your boss.

3. Possibly seek outside counsel. Do any of these make sense to you? I hope you will weigh which, if any of the three, might best address the causes of your question and worry. Most of all you need to find where you stand and to learn how you might be of value to your company.

Meanwhile, take care not to gossip with coworkers suggesting that the boss or someone higher changed your contract by forging your name. You don’t have proof of that. Think rather about finding a good solution to this unhappy and troubling situation. Approach it with the good of the organization in mind as well as in your self-interest. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Hopefully you can come to some resolution. Otherwise, you may need to job hunt within the company or elsewhere.

William Gorden