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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34100
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I may be accused of creating a hostile work enviroment. I

Resolved Question:

I may be accused of creating a hostile work enviroment. I have been bullied at work for three years now at the job. I have complained multiple times to my supervisors and director and nothing was done and behavior has changed. I overheard them making sexual comments about me and someone from other department. As well, as making fun of my appearance. I called them out on the comments and now I am in trouble for it. My director is saying I didnt handle it properly.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

It seems rather ironic that this is happening on Labor Day.

What question can I "justanswer" for you concerning your circumstances?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I maybe formally written up. What rights do I have? My evaluation I just had on Friday was excellent as far as my work and ethics. It's because I am a good employee I receive numerous complaints from jealous female coworkers who like to ridicule me to male supervisors. How do I handle this in a situation without being accused of a hostile work environment??

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Under Cal. Labor Code 1102.5, if you make a complaint to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and you allege that you are being subjected to sex harassment and discrimination, then even if the Department does not find evidence of illegal discrmination, your employer cannot retaliate against you.

But, if you do not file a formal complaint, then you have no protection at all.

So, you have to decide whether or not to assert your rights. If you do, you're protected -- otherwise not.

This can be quite a scary prospect. Employees don't like challenging employers, and employers always try to find a way to make the employee's life miserable. Regardless, if you want protection, then you must complain -- there is no other option.

If you would like the link to the DFEH website, please let me know and I will be happy to provide.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My question now is: If I am fired and no longer an employee can I still report to the Fair Employment and Housing? It's disappointing when you have a great evaluation and your only problem at work is jealously and ridicule from others. It is to the point where one coworker I have been struggling with for years is constantly watching me at work. She knows where I am at all the time like a boss. I work in a hospital in a pharmacy with alot of males.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
You can report whenever you want -- but if you report before you're fired, then your employer can be held liable for retaliatory firing. Which means that instead of unemployment benefits, you would be claiming lost wages until you fiind new employment.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In your legal opinion do you think that is what they are doing? Writing me up to avoid a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit? Because I overheard sexual comments and called them out talking to a male supervisor.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning,

You stated that employees make sexual comments about you. If you are being made uncomfortable due to this conduct, then that is sex discrimination, because the employer has an affirmative duty under EEOC regulations (29 C.F.R. 1604.11) to investigate and take prompt action to remedy the circumstances -- or, the employer can be held liable for its failure to do so.

As a practical matter, your employer will deny your claims, unless you have some corroborating witness(s) who also overheard the sexual comments. But, if you complain to DFEH then it doesn't matter, because you are protected from any retaliation by the employer. And, as you have apparently complained about this issue repeatedly in the past, the fact that apparently nothing has been done, is proof of the violation of Section 1604.11.

In sum, even if you cannot prove the underlying sex harassment, you can prove that your employer is failing to investigate and take prompt action -- and, that's all you need to prove.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34100
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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