How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joseph Your Own Question

Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4890
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I am asking this question on behalf of my mother who

Resolved Question:

Hello, I am asking this question on behalf of my mother who speaks limited english and is a custodian at a community college. She is being (and has been over several years) harassed and bullied at work by a coworker. She told her manager who did nothing to stop the harassment and she filed a formal complaint with the community college who dismissed her complaint saying that her complaints do not fall under discrimination issues. Meanwhile, she continues to have her work heavily scrutinized by this coworker (who is the custodial lead) and was retaliated against for reporting this coworker. This coworker assigns my mom extra tasks that other coworkers are not subjected to and is constantly looking over my mom's shoulder for any sign of wrong-doing so she can write my mom up. My mother has been suffering from anxiety and is under great stress because of this issue. She has also complained to her union office and they, too have done nothing to stop the bullying and harassment.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Can you tell me if your mother has reason to believe that she is being treated in this unfair and unethical manner due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, etc.)?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

It's hard to prove that she's being discriminated based on those protected characteristics as her coworker who's harassing has not openly made comments to that effect.

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Even if she couldn't prove that she is being treated unfairly due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic, if she has reason to believe that that is what is happening, she should file a complaint against her employer with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which can do online here:

http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints_ComplaintProcess.htm

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate her case on her behalf and either file suit on her behalf or issue her a right to sue letter so she can pursue her claims against her employer through a private attorney.

(The investigation may turn up evidence of discrimination).

Otherwise, she should file a complaint with HR or her employer rather than the union. Since her co-worker is also a union member (with more seniority than she has) the union will not really be a good place to pursue this complaint.

She'd have a much better shot taking this to her employer's HR to deal with the situation, and they are more likely to take action to prevent any potential liability if they wouldn't.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work. (It is necessary for you to rate my answer even though you’ve made a deposit or are a subscriber. I only receive compensation for my work if you rate me positively). Otherwise, I receive nothing for assisting you.

Thanks and best of luck!


Customer: replied 10 months ago.

She has already taken the complaint to her employer (both her direct manager and the HR department), both of which have not done anything. She even had reported a specific violation of union rules committed by her coworker against my mom and again, HR did nothing to reprimand the coworker.

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Then she really should go to an outside agency (like the DFEH) to report the situation.

She also may be eligible for workers' compensation due to the anxiety and stress that she is under.

And she may have a claim against the person directly for negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4890
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

What are steps she can take to start building a case for any harassment and/or bullying incidents (in addition to just documenting these incidents)?

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    933
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    933
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    845
    JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PI/PIExpert/2012-7-1_152453_Attorney.64x64.jpg Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    329
    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/phoenixrising119/2012-7-26_11214_043.64x64.jpg melissamesq's Avatar

    melissamesq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    47
    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IG/Iggy1001/2013-11-20_23344_JApic.64x64.jpg Joseph's Avatar

    Joseph

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3365
    Extensive experience representing employees and management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JK/jkiani22/2013-11-18_15348_JacobKiani1copy2.64x64.jpg jkiani22's Avatar

    jkiani22

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    24
    Attorney
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    32
    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.