A county in Virginia, and a Manager Randy mann,, sent numerous emails to a deputy assistant human resources manager Susan Woeman over a 3 year period. Woeman is not Manns direct subordinate, but does work for the HR Manager who is Manns direct subordinate. Among the 150 emails (total) in question, Mann always indicates that he is just sending " a friendly hello" to Woeman. Emails also reveal Mann telling Woeman that he "thinks you are beautiful" and that he considers Woeman to be his "best friend". Mann also repeatedly tells Woeman in his emails that he "adores her" and that Woeman is "the only woman around who understand him" or that "understands his needs." Some of the emails have little rhymes such as "Sue Sue, don't be blue" (ie if Mann thinks she is in a bad mood or upset about some work related issues.) While these emails don't appear to be overtly sexual in nature, the fact is if they are unwanted. Woeman never actually tells Mann to "stop sending me these emails" nor expressly asks or demands that Mann quit being "excessively personal." However, She does ultimately meet confidentially with her boss, the HR Manager, and with the Deputy Mayor. The purpose of the meeting is to complain about Manns emails. Unfortunately for Woeman, shortly after her meeting with her boss and the Mayor, she is advised she is being "laid off due to budget restraints."PART 1- What issues or problems do you see here? Please be specific and be sure to address legal aspects (if any) in this scenario.Part 2- What (if anything) do you recommend to "Fix" this situation?Please be detailed on this one and I will leave a tip!!!!!!
State/Country relating to question: Virginia
see original question. Please be detailed and specific.
Hi and welcome
I am analyzing these facts
When you say "fix" can I presume you mean on behalf of Woeman (hereinafter W)?
Here is the chain of command
1. Manns (M)
2. HR Manager (HR)
3. Woeman (W)
M sends emails to W with what he calls "friendly" notes but but many of which contain and/or can clearly be viewed as sexual advances
Although they are unwanted, W receives these emails for 3 years without reporting them.
W then ultimately has a confidential meeting with her superior, HR, and the deputy Mayor about the emails.
1. M is guilty of sexual harassment defined as engaging in unwelcome behavior, whether or not directed at a particular individual that creates a threatening, intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment. M's actions violate City, State and Federal Laws....EEO.
2. M's intentions in sending the emails is legally irrelevant.
3. W cannot be blamed for not reporting the emails sooner. One of the reasons that sexual harassment is illegal is precisely that it puts the one harassed in a position that he/she's job will be in danger if the harassment is reported.
4. M and the deputy mayor are guilty of an EEO violation by retaliating against W by firing her.
5. W should report the harassment to the EEO.
6. W should report the retaliatory behavior to the EEO since she may also have a right to file a separate complaint for the retaliation.
7. W has the right to file a civil lawsuit for money damages against M, HR and the deputy mayor for their actions detailed above.
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