California Employment Law
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Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.
Are you the alleged perpetrator or victim of sexual harassment?
I am the victim
The employer was aware of my mutltiple complaints re the harassment. Most of the office workers were/are aware of the unwanted/unwelcome verbal &physical advances . I have multiple witnesses as I had to find "hiding" places in order to avoid his confrontations.The perp was the former spouse of one of my Hospice patients. I ws his wife's RN case manager for several weeks. After her death, he began bringing "cookies" into the office for our staff - including me. He would wait until I was available to "hug" touch" & deery my cookies personally. This man was a CREEP from the onset.
Thank you so much for this additional information. I am now back at my desk.
The analysis is a bit unique in this type of situation because the perpetrator of the harassment is not an employee or manager.
That said, an employer may be responsible for the harassing acts of NON-employees if they know or should have known of the conduct and fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In such circumstances, courts will consider the extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of such non-employees.
California law requires an employer to "take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring." (Cal. Gov. Code, § 12940(k); Weeks v. Baker & McKenzie, 63 Cal. App. 4th 1128, 1146, 1174 (1998).)
It would generally be wise in this type of situation to submit a written complaint to your manager notifying them that you are experiencing harassment.
He or she will typically then be obligation, pursuant to the law I cited above, to take all steps necessary to prevent the harassment from occurring.
If management fails to take such preventative measures, they may become liable for the harassment.
If you believe that you have been the subject of unlawful harassment and wish to file a lawsuit, you must first file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Either the EEOC or the DFEH will issue you an authorization to sue after they investigate your claim. You don't need to file with both agencies. Finally, if you decide to sue, don't miss your deadline. Under federal law in California, you have 300 days from an act of discrimination to file a complaint.
For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm For information on how to brig a claim through the EEOC, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm
I sincerely hope that this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.
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deliver my cookies. Athis continues even after I told him I was not interested in is cookies or receiving is "hugs". This continued to the point he was alwasys asking my whereabouts in the building; walking around freely until he either found me or my desk. I was alerted by staff and they would help me hide or I would go sit in a supervisotrs office pretending to have a converstation unti he left or ...if he was still waiting...told him I was busy. He wrote letters how he loved me, was trying to "get' me for 4 years....I went to administration and was told" He's a volunteer".....or "He does too much for our patients".....I reported his unwanted harassment to the administrator twice, the assistant administrator, both of the HR directors and my manager. the last encounter was 7/28/11 with 3 witnesses. He entered the building (which is always locked)The first thing he asked was my whereabouts, he indicated he had been trying to get e for 4 years. My colleaues quickly found me and I hid behid close doors. He still came to my desk and left his calling card -cookies. The men in our office teased me unmercifully about being the "cookie man's" girlfriend. I reported his un2wanted behavior to our director of nurses as well as the clinica supervisors and our education nurses - all office staff who new him well. the common reply was "He's a creep." He wrote a lengthy letter to tht New Volunteer coordinator...who gave me a copy - expressing his love for me..I showed it to all of the above management; place a copy in my personnel file - and still nothing happened. Except I was suddendly terminated 8/9/11 as my "position" was eliminated. Prior to my treminiation, the Cookie man made volunteer visits to our pts at Bayside SNF. One of my nurse friends was caring for the pts he was visiting. He went on a tirade about how much he loved me and was after me for 4 years...going on and on.....All of the office staff and nurses who are aware of how much his visits totally disrupted our office will gladly document their interactions and observations with this man. It seemed that managagement never planned to resolve this issue because "He was a volunteer". Other Hosppice Volunteers do not have the freedom to move around the office,only in their area of work. also...this man had his personal home set up like a "prison" with closed circuit cameras both inside and out. He had worked as a prison guard as well as in th military. He was very computer literate. After I left, I have feared constantly for my safety as we reside in the same small own. I have no doubt he knows where I live; he knows the make & model of my vehicles as I parked in his gaited, locked & videoed driveway as when I was briefly his wife' s nurse. I have now seen him on several occasions walking his big dog in our llocal park 2 blocks from my home. since siting him, I am fearful of walking my dogs there anymore. He is a creepy man and I, living alone, am fearful of him. I am angry that my former employer, Hospice Partners of the Central Coast did nothing to protect me from his unwanted advances...not to mention how he upset the office whenever he arrived trying to locate me.....and how my friends rushed to hide me. Thank you for you attention to this matter. Bythe way...FYI - I am a legal nurse consultant as well as haing been an RN for 40+ years.
I am no longer an employee..they terminated me a week after my last complaint. I made verbal & place a written complaint in my personel file several months prior to my terminating And...per EEOC Federal law, any one coming in to one's place of employment can considered as an offender. I have done my homework. Just wanted to know if I should touch bases an atty.
Yes, it is always a good idea to consult with legal counsel when your rights have been violated.
For attorney referrals, visit this link: http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/main.cfm?id=CA or visit http://www.martindale.com On MartinDale, you can search attorneys by their practice area.
When you contact the attorneys, ask if they offer free consultations. Most should, and this way you can get at least some opinon on your case before you commit. Also, you will probably want an attorney who is willing to take your case on a contingency fee basis--this means that you won't have to pay for their services until you win, and if you don't win, you won't have to pay them any attorney fee.
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