Joan, the newly appointed Office Manager took a personal dislike to one of her Team Leaders, Martin. Martin enjoyed his work and was a well-liked employee with an excellent track record managing his team and its targets. Joan wanted Martin to leave his job, she threatened to demote him from his current position and placed him under enormous pressure by giving him and his team unrealistic and unachievable deadlines. His productivity began to suffer, and when he failed to meet his team’s minimum productivity levels, she openly made derogatory comments about him, and criticised him to his team members and others in the organisation.
Attempts by Martin to discuss his concerns with Joan were continuously ignored, as were his attempts to bring the matter to the attention of Senior Management. After several months of constant bullying and unfair work allocation, Joan terminates Martin’s employment contract due to his alleged poor work performance.
What has happened here? Does Martin have any possible recourse in this situation? What potential consequences can this type of conduct have upon other staff and the organisation?