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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 90296
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I have employee (started out as a 30 year friend) She has

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I have employee (started out as a 30 year friend) She has been difficult to deal with to both her immediate supervisor and Office Manager. (I own an insurance agency) To day came to an climax. I was out of the office and in my absence she came into the work dressed inappropriately. My office manger addressed the issue and gave her a written warning. She was very verbal and left work early because she was so distressed. During her process of leaving she voiced to her Immediate supervisor and one fellow employee that she was going to find an attorney and sue me for sexual harassment.

It is obvious that neither I or fellow employees want her to return. If she shows up for work tomorrow what advice would you give me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
How many employees do you have total? Do you have any written employment contract with this employee?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


6 employees. No written employment contract.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
To be a covered employee under the federal discrimination laws you have to have 15+ employees, but unfortunately, under the IL discrimination laws the state discrimination laws apply to employers with one or more employee. Thus, she could, like anyone, file a sexual harassment complaint. However, making a sexual harassment case is not as easy as making a complaint. She would have to prove that your office manager treated her this way solely because of her sex and for no other reason which you can prove.

IL uses the same analysis of a sexual harassment case as the federal courts, which comes from the US Supreme Court case of McDonnell Douglas v. Green. In bringing this type of case, she has to first show that she was treated differently and the sole reason she was treated differently was based on her sex, which of course was not why she was treated differently, it was because she was not dressed properly for the office). Once you show that it was the inappropriate dress and not her sex that was the reason for the discipline, she would have to find some evidence to present that shows your reason was basically a lie and it really was her sex.

The fact is that only about 10% of these cases are really ever won. Even though she could give you some headaches in defending the complaint.

You need to send her a letter and inform her that her insubordinate conduct was inappropriate in the office and that her leaving and failing to return to work will be considered her voluntary resignation from her employment.

You have the other incident documented, get your employees who witnessed her behavior to write out their statements and put them in the file in case she tries to file her complaint.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Both the office manager and her immediate supervisor are female. She was accusing me of the sexual harrassment. I have already got statements for all who were present. (I was not) She is troubled and I agree that if she pushes forward it will be troublesome. Our office is unfortunately very lax and I could probably have a better suit filing against my female employees. Any final suggestions? Thanks


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The fact you were a 30 year friend is going to hurt her case as well, so the chances of this type of case flying are not good for her. The fact that you were not present hurts her as well. From what you describe she would not have a viable claim and she is just spouting off steam as based on the facts you describe it does not sound like there is any attorney that would take this type of case with these facts.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 90296
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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