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IT Contractor Employment - Reputation Damage & Loss of Potential Income

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by lifeforce770, 22 June 2014.

  1. lifeforce770

    lifeforce770 Active Member

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    Hi , I am an IT professional with more than 25 years experience. I have worked as independent contractor for the past 15 years. 3 months ago, I was offered a contract to join a consultancy as a permanent employee with a 3 months probation period. The Consultancy placed me on a client site where I was working developing a software for a project.

    As the client liked my work they offered initial 1 month extension to my contract. The extension was going beyond my probation period. But due to some communication problems between client and Consultancy , the Consultancy was not notified about the extension. I did not suspect that this was possible and was busy working long hours delivering the project. Meanwhile, the manager who hired me left the consultancy. The new manager assumed that client is not extending my contract, and as my probation was nearing the end, he terminated my employment. The termination letter stated that decision was based on performance review! In reality, the manager knew very little about my work and did not even make an effort to contact the client. The client was told that I am being replaced with another developer. The client doesn't know the real reason behind this and as result my reputation with the client has been destroyed. I am aware that claiming an unfair dismissal is not possible while on probation.

    Is there any chance to sue the Consultancy for damaging my reputation as a professional?

    Thanks
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi lifeforce770,
    1. Did you attempt to discuss your termination with your Manager or HR Manager? If yes, how did they explain the results of your performance review?
    2. Have you considered an informal coffee/meeting with the person that you were reporting to when working for the contracted client to privately discuss the circumstances of your departure and subject to any restraint of trade clause in your employment agreement, your availability for any future work?
    Being terminated during probation is an unfortunate reality for many in the modern employment environment.
    Unless the client that you were contracted to is the only client that you can reasonably work for, you may want to consider chalking it up to experience and moving on ASAP. This is because a protracted dispute with a former employer is unlikely to leave a positive impression on the client that you were previously contracted to.

    I understand that my response doesn't directly answer your question but I hope this helps and all the best for future employment.
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    You are either an independent contractor,
    or you are an employee.
    Which is correct?
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    I read lifeforce770's question as that they have been an independent contract for the past 15 years before joining his now terminated employer as a permanent employee.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Yeah.
    But I want to rule out sham contracting first.
     
  6. lifeforce770

    lifeforce770 Active Member

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    Thanks, John.
    1. My manager's advise for the future was to 'create better visibility". When I heard this, I thought that were just some empty words to cover some hidden agenda. But now I finally understood what he meant : he did not have a clue about my achievements and about the fact that client wants to extend my contract! I was working long hours investing all my energy in the project trusting that Consultancy is taking care of all the 'politics'. I didn't think for a moment they did not know about the extension.
    My colleagues passed on to me that they were advised that I was terminated because I lack consultancy skills. As a matter of fact I never had a claim about consultancy skills and don't have a mention of it in my CV.
    My colleagues were shocked about what happened and told me that they will make sure that this will not happen again in a future to somebody else (great help to me!)

    2. My clients thanked me for the good work and effort and wished me well in the future, They also told me that it is all between me and the Consultancy. And they were avoiding any future discussions. When I asked directly if they could make aware senior management about their satisfaction with my job they said - no. Looks like they are scared - don't know why.
    I think that clients might be afraid that they made some error in judgment of my performance and that my Consultancy knows better. It is completely surreal situation!

    The Client is just became one of they key sources of work in my area and I could see myself working for them for a number of years if not for this intervention .
     
  7. lifeforce770

    lifeforce770 Active Member

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    Tim,
    I was an employee for 3 month till my termination last Tuesday.
     

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