Supervisor Retaliated When I Complained About Him

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about supervisor:¬† Low evaluation. I’ve lost confidence in him because he undervalues my work, doesn’t accept work suggestion nor advice to make our department more productive.

I’ve been working for this agency for 16 months and my supervisor’s inefficiency is clear. He fails to take care of his responsibilities, then when they become urgent he assigns me to do them, but without the pay. He’s a weird person who is known all over the campus for being inept. Management is always pressuring him to do stuff that he’ll do when he feels the pressure becomes unbearable.

Five months ago he was arrested for possession of marijuana, but only six month before that, three of our former work students told me that he had offered them marijuana after work at a get-together at one of the under-age male’s home. That had upset me a lot.

I’ve lost confidence in him because he undervalues my work, doesn’t accept work suggestion nor advice to make our department more productive. He just believes in his way or no ways.Five months after his arrest, he wasn’t prosecuted, charges were dropped and he wasn’t fired from the State Agency.

When I communicated to upper management that I was frustrated with his inefficient way to get things done, management talked to him he was poorly evaluated, he got mad at me and poorly evaluated me.In the evaluation summary he says I’ve done an excellent job in most of my job responsibilities, but on a four point scoring scale he put me in the second least favorable.My work results are 100% objective and visible in files and archives compiled at the office. I put my response in my evaluation that I totally disagree with his evaluation, that it was unjustified and unfair, that I lost confidence in him since the drugs issue and I mentioned the drug offer incident as well. He responded that everything was a lie.

I’m asking management for him to go through my evaluation explaining the reason for his ratings. Should I pursue the drug related issue? I really lost confidence and trust in him. I’m very frustrated. Our Vice President got mad at me for bringing the drug incidents as a possible reason for my supervisor’s poor judgment, though I see it as a very strong aspect in this mess.

Signed, Protesting

Dear Protesting:

Although I can understand your frustrations, you should stick to your primary concern and what you can prove. You can prove that you made a complaint and you can prove your ratings are lower than in the past and don’t reflect your good work. That should be enough to focus on, without bringing up things you can’t prove.

The marijuana charges that were filed were dropped, so apparently they wasn’t provable or not sufficiently serious to go to trial. The statements made by students also weren’t provable, so they can’t be held against him. Upper management is correct to not want you to push those things, since they could potentially cause a liability problem for the school.Consider the thoughts of your supervisor about it: He wasn’t found guilty of a crime, so how fair would it be for him to lose his job or get in trouble over an unfounded accusation?

He probably has an attorney standing by just in case he is disciplined over something already proven false. So, if upper management is going to support you, it must be for the provable things: You complained about your supervisor and you received an unusually low evaluation right after that. You can prove the low evaluations didn’t reflect your real work and it seems likely your low evaluations were retaliation. Those are the basics. If you push something else you might lose your support from them, so best to leave that alone unless you’re asked by a judge. I’m hoping upper management will help you get a better rating and a better supervisor! So, best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.