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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1824
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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What/ how can we stop the harrassment and threats from employer

Customer Question

What/ how can we stop the harrassment and threats from employer to wipe us out financially as retribution for the following complaints- I have even just left the company since I could no longer handle the stress of it all and it has gotten worse! After complaining of harassment in workplace- the offender was later promoted to position as my immediate supervisor and the threats, intentional sabotage of my work and slanderous statements even escalated in intensity. Despite numerous complaints the employer did nothing and actually has retaliated with their own intimidations destined to get me to leave the company. For example- despite being off to attend my Mothers funeral- the owner intentionally threatened to fire me for complaining of an incident the week prior- threats both verbal and then in expresssed form while I was at the funeral! Ownership had repeatedly stated I should leave company if I didn't like the intimidating treatment, ridicule and slanderous statements being spread throughout our industry & primarily promoted by owners wife in conjunction with an employee. I complained to personall director and it then got significantly worse, threats of being taught a lesson, never working again, being run out of the industry etc. founder stated if I left company all problems would go away- instead- although I did just move on- the attacks have even escalted and have now intensified with additional threats on my well being, my family (owners wife recently stating she has family in a criminal mafia group - whether true or not it is very intimidating) and they have started stressing out my wife at home as well! The 2 millionaries in command of this $120 million dollar private company have now stated even in writing that they will financially destroy me with "the best attorneys in California" etc if I don't disapper from working! the intimidation has intenisiifed and now its also efforts to trying to restrain my trade of 25 years...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question today. Before I can give you an answer, I need a little more information. Can you tell me a little about the harassment that you originally complained about? Was it as a result of a protected class such as your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, national origin, creed, or disability? Any information you can give me about the original complaint will be helpful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


fellow employee was shown to have been lying to one of my clients and continuosly arguing over any subject and in intimidating manner


 


, followed by routine comversations making him hysterical, on later occasion resulted in him then threatening to "knock me out in the parking lot" (the 3rd or 4th time he said this it was recorded and I presented copy of that to employer who did nothing about it.


 


same employee ever since has been bad mouthing me among industry clients, sabatoging sales efforts, accompained with escalting verbal abuse from ownership, of which I have multiple recordings in hand.

Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer decides to act in a manner that is so incredibly wrong. However, that does not necessarily make that behavior illegal.

Generally, the laws that protect employees from workplace harassment only apply to situations in which the harassment is based on a protected category such as your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability. Laws do not protect employees from bullying, no matter how severe, and courts have specifically mentioned that they do not plan on getting involved in these types of cases absent new legislation. The only time other types of behavior become actionable are when they involve actual physical violence, (not just threats) or they are so frequent and offensive that they create "severe" emotional distress. (A claim known as IIED)

Absent this, unfortunately, the laws do not protect employees from people who engage in conduct such as your boss. While his conduct is undoubtedly inappropriate it is currently not unlawful. This does not mean, however, that you are without hope.


If you were to make a complaint stating that you believe you were being descriminated against because of your "race" or that you believe you are in a hostile work environment due to discrimination based on your "race" where race is any of the protected categories, then any retaliation based on this complaint would be illegal regardless of whether or not you had legitimate grounds to make the first complaint. Then, the same behavior that was legal before this complaint, would become illegal after the complaint as you could make the argument that the new negative behavior was as a result of you making the legally protected claim.

 

If the harassment then continued, you could file a complaint with the DFEH or get an employment attorney involved. If you decide to hire an attorney, a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

 

Have a wonderful rest of your evening.

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