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Cowgirl Lawyer
Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Attorney for 22 years. Labor and Employment. Former Administrative Law Judge.
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I previousy asked about a mistake I made a work by bending

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I previousy asked about a mistake I made a work by "bending the rules". I work at an animal shelter and do my best to get the animals homes. I was docked some pay for that mistake, and so be it. We have since moved to a brand new shelter home called Foothills Animal Shelter (former Table Mountain Animal Shelter)...old shelter 7000 sq. feet....new is 33,000 sq. feet! Same amount of employees, so much more work of course. But I love my job. Same staff I work with, most are wonderful folks. So comes my question: one man has continually been harassing me, spreading rumors, basically making my work enviorment hostile and very uncomfortable. If you have my previous question (do you?), he is a big part of the last issue, as he was a BIG part of my "mistake" ...but where I told the truth, he lied, and they believed his version. So I was docked $1 an hour! Anyway, unfortunatly he is still an employee, and still causing me misery. I have asked him in a friendly manner what the problem is, and he continually says "it is not you Ginny, I am just stressed"...which of course is untrue because I am the only person he harasses...and FINALLY others have noticed. (where before I heard "Oh Ginny you are just being paranoid, Robert is a nice guy".) Anyway, to get to my question, I have gone to my boss before about this, was told to "work it out between us"....then if nothing changes come back. Well, it has gotten worse as I said, where it is being noticed. What is my next step? I am so frustrated I am ready to file something legally, such as a restraining order, but I know that is too drastic a step right now...but I do want to inform Robert that I intend to move forward with something, I just do not want him to get weirder, but I am sick of being stressed and sick to my stomach when I must work along side him. What do I do now?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

Depending upon the exact nature of your co-worker's statements about and to you, and depending upon the way in which you have reported these incidents to your employer, it might be possible for you to have a sexual harassment claim, a sex discrimination claim, or an age discrimination claim against your employer for failing to protect you from your co-worker. Or, you might have a claim against your co-worker for intentional infliction of emotional distress. It is possible you could have a claim against your co-worker for defamation (if he spreads falsehoods about you which people believe and which damage your reputation).

It is really impossible based upon what you have stated here to tell you precisely what claims you may have. Ideally, you would take the time to have a one hour in-office consultation with an employment and civil rights attorney to review all of the specifics of your situation. Then you would have a much better idea of what legal remedies you might have.

If you have discrimination and/or harassment claims, you need to act on them soon. The statute of limitations on these claims is extremely short, sometimes only 180 days from the last action of discrimination or harassment.

I will be happy to clarify my answer if you need me to do so.

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Good luck and best wishes!

Cowgirl Lawyer

IMPORTANT: I am not your attorney, and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights. My function here is to provide education to the public so that people can understand the law. If you accept my answer, you are accepting educational information. Please remember that this is a public forum. Anything you discuss here is not protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not take any action or fail to take action based upon our discussion here. I am an experienced attorney licensed in Illinois, but I do not hold myself out as an "expert" in any area of law (Illinois does not recognize such attorney specializations). Any representation to the contrary by JustAnswer is in error. You should consult with an attorney in your area for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the timely response....final question: Is it legal to tape record someone when talking to them? In this situation it is very difficul to verify anything due to "he said/she said". This coworker will talk to me, and apologise for his words and actions, which is a confession of sorts that he has done these things. But of course with anyone else, espiecally management, he is Mr Nice Guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. And, sorry to say, top management is similiar, praising and helpful when their bosses around, but in general, staff is on their own when needing help.

Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

First, your co-workers have apparently witnessed some of it, as you noted that even they have finally started to notice the harassment. So, you do have witnesses that can corroborate what you have to say. That takes this out of the he said/she said dichotomy. The witnesses do not need to have seen all of it in order to be helpful to you. That they can corroborate some of your story is helpful.

When you get into tape recording situations, the law will vary depending upon whether you are recording in person or over the telephone. For telephone recordings, you will want to refer to this website on covertly recording telephone conversations. As you can see, Colorado only requires one party to consent to taping a telephone conversation, and that means that you can tape the conversation because you can consent and he does not need to do so. Therefore, if you can get him to talk about it on the telephone, you are on safe ground to tape him.

Taping a conversation at work in person, however, you are on shaky ground in Colorado. You may want to review this site for more specifics on the problem. But essentially, you could run afoul of the requirement to give notice if taping on business premises without notice.

I will be happy to clarify my answer if you need me to do so.

If not, please click ACCEPT. I do not get paid for my work unless you click ACCEPT. Like you, I cannot work for free.

Your positive feedback wins me points and costs you but a moment of time. A "bonus" awards me for an especially good job.

Next time you visit Just Answer, please ask for me by name by starting your question with "For Cowgirl Lawyer."

Good luck and best wishes!

Cowgirl Lawyer

IMPORTANT: I am not your attorney, and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights. My function here is to provide education to the public so that people can understand the law. If you accept my answer, you are accepting educational information. Please remember that this is a public forum. Anything you discuss here is not protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not take any action or fail to take action based upon our discussion here. I am an experienced attorney licensed in Illinois, but I do not hold myself out as an "expert" in any area of law (Illinois does not recognize such attorney specializations). Any representation to the contrary by JustAnswer is in error. You should consult with an attorney in your area for specific advice relevant to your situation.


Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1422
Experience: Attorney for 22 years. Labor and Employment. Former Administrative Law Judge.
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