A severely bullied injured worker, pushed to the verge of suicide, shares a most disturbing bullying and corruption story.
A story of extreme bullying and shocking RTW mismanagement
An injured worker, who suffered a very serious psychological injury including very real suicidal ideation, following relentless bullying and harassment in the workplace [The Nepean Hospital in NSW], eventually recovered enough for pre-injury duties. With a medico-legal certificate of capacity, clearly stating the injured worker fit for pre-injury duties, the Nepean Hospital’s [then] Human Resource Manager literally forbid him to return to work, based on the completely outrageous, unfounded and sickening statement that “the Area Health Service continues to have serious concerns about the injured worker’s [mental] wellbeing…” and that they would need to obtain “medical evidence”. [WTF!].
Here is a copy of the letter sent to the injured worker by the then HR Manager (dated November 2010).
This letter was sent to the injured worker via email.
The injured worker makes the following comments to the above “correspondence”:
What was never mentioned was that this manager organised this meeting via mobile phone and left work to go to this person’s head office and bought back by herself, in her own car, without anyone from human resources in the car with her, all my personal files . As this manager was present at this ” meeting “with another person present as well why weren’t they mentioned?
With reference to the medical advice I was seeing a medico/legal doctor to assist me with my return to work issues that the hospital wasn’t prepared to do. I was harassed on the phone at that time too.
A note also that nothing was mentioned about the emergency treatment I received that day which was 3 months before I was cleared to work.
They all received a scathing report from my psychologist and psychiatrist about how they all treated me ie their letters etc plus WorkCover were coming into the workplace constantly to intervene on my behalf.
What also hasn’t been mentioned is that the insurance company itself through the fault of the risk management units total lack of participation ( too busy ) had to employ a firm to do that job. That was because the manager who bullied me in collusion with this Human Resources Manager interfered with everything .
It is of note that this Human Resources Manager who had been in this job for quite a few years doesn’t have the proper qualifications to be a manager. A Cert 4 was mentioned and she only got the job being there for a long time.
Workcover NSW response to the bullying
This is the letter WorkCover produced and sent to the then Chief Executive, writes the injured worker.
Whilst we have censored the exact days of the dates, the injured worker- rightly- suggest we have a good look at all the dates and how long it took this Area Health Service to act on his complaints.
Thank you so so much for sharing this story. It is exactly stories like these with hard evidence like this that we desperately need to show the public and our politicians what is really, really going on behind the scenes of too many injured workers’ employers; who simply refuse to comply with the return to work legislation and who breach their own [bullying] policies. Meantime injured workers are accused of lazy malingerers who are after a “paid holiday” and who’ll do anything “not to return to work”. Yeah, right,…
But just how sick is this story? How on earth can a Hospital, Area Health Service, Human Resource Manager, or whoever take it up on their pathetic selves to forbid a medical (legal) certified fit injured worker to return to work? What’s even worse, how can a severely bullied injured worker be forced to meet with the very same people who were responsible for his psychological injury, on his first day back to work (and without prior notice, nor the ability for the injured worker to bring along a support person!), whilst an investigation into the matter had been promised to him?
For example I was, myself, forbidden to return to work, by a pathetic “return to work Coordinator”(who obviously has no medical qualifications) – after an elective 6th shoulder reconstruction. I had a perfectly legal medical certificate of capacity issued by my upper limb surgeon (a specialist specialist!) with the very same restrictions as prior to surgery, and in fact as for the past several YEARS.
The “rationale” of the Hosptal’s (the Royal Melbourne Hospital) “RTW Coordinator” was that “this time” it was important that my workplace would be set up with the REPEATED medically requested ergonomic support. Those ergonomics were repeatedly requested since 2006! In fact I had medical letters and legal certificates of capacity clearly stating that I was NOT allowed to work without the ergonomic support in the workplace, in the months leading up to the 6th shoulder surgery, yet I was forced to continue work full time AND was requested to postpone my reconstruction by a whopping three months as to “complete a project I was working on”.
My return to work after the surgery was refused. The reasonable, simple and straight forward ergonomic tools prescribed were still NOT IN PLACE a whole four months after I had been certified fit for work and I was forced to remain off work. Those ergonomic appliances were available in any Office Works shop and I even offered to purchase them and/or to bring my own stuff in from home. This was forbidden and they told me on numerous occasions that “they did not want my furniture here”.
To save you a long, sickening story, the saga involving serious bullying and harassment, resulted in me lodging a formal complaint with HR and workcover which promised me an investigation. This “investigation” simply became a “hush money” bribe and, after refusing it, I ended up sacked.
The reason for my sacking (5 years after the accident) was basically that I had not ever been certified fit for unrestricted duties since the accident….
Shame on the Nepean Hospital for allowing such a misconduct, such a relentless bullying and for adding insult to injury .
[post entered by T on behalf of WCV]