Complaining about your Employer
In Nigeria, there are a lot of reports of despicable practices by employers including discrimination at the office, harassment, victimisation, and even physical abuse.
When this happens to employees, the default mode is for the employee to try to live with it, or try to see if they can appeal to the good nature of the employer to get them to behave in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, this almost always fails and we at LawPàdí say that if your employer habitually mistreats you or any other worker, you are the victim and you should not be the one trying to make things right. It should be the oppressor – your employer.
The first step is always to speak to the person about the issue, or at least attempt to speak to the person. In some instances, they might not know what they are doing is wrong. Inform the person about the issues you have with their conduct, and that if it continues you will have no choice but to report it. In some cases, this will stop it, however if this doesn’t then you have at least put the person on notice. You should only confront the person if you feel it is safe to do so.
If the person refuses to stop after you confront them, then you need to begin to build a case by gathering evidence. You need to be able to back up any allegations you make when you report the person. Collect as much detailed evidence as possible, if anyone else is aware of the issues, note that as well. Apart from documenting the actions, you need to document the effect it had on you, on your psyche, your job performance, your health etc.
It is also important that you begin to make copies of any work performance evaluations or letters of commendation you receive from your supervisors. In some unfortunate cases once the issue is reported, the employee begin to be victimized by the supervisors/employers and a common allegation they use to cover this victimization is ‘incompetence’. You need to be able to prove that you are a competent worker, and any victimization which you are faced with e.g. transfer, demotion or even dismissal on the flimsy excuse of poor performance is actually as a result of your complaint.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is the Government department charged with the protection of the rights of workers in the workplace, and once there are unfair labour practices, they welcome reports and complain. You can complain/report by following the process laid out here: REPORT ABUSE
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.