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TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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Hello. Im writing tonight regarding an employment law question.

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Hello. I'm writing tonight regarding an employment law question. On November 23, I spoke with my supervisor to report to him a female co-worker who had been harassing me in the workplace and discriminating against me based on my religion. He stated to me that he would discuss this issue with the human resources manager when the office opened on Monday, November 26. On November 24, I also sent a certified letter to my human resources manager, advising him that I was filing a formal complaint of harassment and discrimination against this particular female co-worker. On Sunday, November 25, I also spoke with my scheduling manager regarding a different matter, and discussed with her the issues I was having with my female co-worker and notified her of the fact that I was being harassed and discriminated against based on my religious beliefs by this particular co-worker. To this day, after notifying three supervisors (my site supervisor, my scheduling manager, and the HR manager) no has gotten in touch with me regarding this matter. On November 23, when I spoke with my site supervisor regarding this issue, I also told him that I did not want to continue working with this particular co-worker, and as a result, my entire schedule has been changed from all overnight shifts to a combination of day shifts, evening shifts, and night shifts in order to achieve my 40 hours. This morning, I was running a little late for work due to a big accident causing a lot of traffic on my way into work. I called prior to my work time starting to advise them that I would be running late due to the traffic accident. My shift is scheduled to start at 8:00am, and when I got there at 8:20, I was forced by another co-worker, who is just an employee, to write that I arrived at 8:30am instead of 8:20am on the timesheets. My supervisor was there the entire time, witnessed this, and told me in front of the other employee that he was correct and that I needed to put on my timesheet the additional 10 minutes to make it 8:30 instead of 8:20. They both stated to me that the time goes in increments, and that it is in the handbook regarding this procedure. I checked my handbook this evening when I got home, and it states this regarding timekeeping: "You are required to complete a daily timesheet. You must record the actual time you begin work and the actual time you end work." I believe that my supervisor is attempting to intimidate me and is doing so because of the complaint I filed against my female co-worker. I have several questions regarding the information provided: 1)Isn't my company obligated to investigate my claims of harassment against my female co-worker? Shouldn't they have contacted me by now regarding this, considering the fact that I first notified my employer about this on November 23? Is there any time limit for my employer beginning an investigation into this matter? 2)Is it legal for my supervisor to force me to write on my timesheet that I came in at 8:30am when I was there at 8:20am when the handbook states nothing about time increments with regards XXXXX XXXXX? Does it seem as though my supervisor is attempting to intimidate me because of the complaint I filed against my female co-worker?
Hi,

Thank you for your question. I'll address them one at a time below.

1. Isn't my company obligated to investigate my claims of harassment against my female co-worker?

Yes, if they do not investigate your claims, you can sue them for allowing the sexual harassment.

2. Is it legal for my supervisor to force me to write on my timesheet that I came in at 8:30am when I was there at 8:20am when the handbook states nothing about time increments with regards XXXXX XXXXX?

No, New York law requires that your employer pay you for all the time you work. By forcing you to write on your time sheet differently, they are breaking that rule.

3. Does it seem as though my supervisor is attempting to intimidate me because of the complaint I filed against my female co-worker?

Only you are in the position to answer this question. Based on what you have said, it's hard for me to say that them insisting on you writing 8:30 instead of 8:20 on your timesheet constitutes an act of intimidation. However, if you feel that they are not taking you seriously on your harassment claim, you need to file a claim with the state: http://www.dhr.ny.gov/how_to_file_a_complaint.html

Please let me know if you have further questions.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your responses. Just to clarify - she isn't sexually harassing me. It is plain harassment and religious discrimination. Does that make a difference in their obligation to investigate my complaint? Does my employer have a specific time frame in which to begin their investigation into my complaint?


In addition, my supervisor and several of my co-workers have been participating in a football gambling pool while at work. The bets range from $60-$100 and people have won multiple bets ranging up to $80. It does state in the handbook no illegal conduct will be tolerated. Is this legal in the workplace?

Thank you for the clarification. It does not change the conclusion that you can sue them. Your employer is breaking the law by allowing discrimination against at you because of your religious beliefs.

There is not a specific time frame under the law in which they are required to investigate. However, if they do not act reasonably, you should proceed with filing the claim.

In regard to the gambling pool, this is not technically illegal.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response. Just to clarify - it is a security company. When I spoke to my supervisor, he told me what he was doing was illegal with regards XXXXX XXXXX gambling pool.


In your opinion, what is a reasonable timeframe for them to begin the investigation? How long should I give them before filing a formal complaint?


 


Also, I have one more question regarding my supervisor forcing me to write 830 when I was at work at 820. My female co-worker gained 10 minutes onto her time, even though she left at 820 when I arrived, while I'm losing 10 minutes, even though I was there and working for those ten minutes. My supervisor, the co-worker who made me write 830, and the female co-worker who got the extra ten minutes are all caucasian, and I am African American. Could this situation also be seen as a form of racial discrimination?

The laws in New York do not make an office gambling pool illegal. However, perhaps there is something that your supervisor is doing which is illegal which is not apparent.

My opinion is that an investigation should be launched within ten days of the filing of the complaint. If after that time period they have not done anything, file the formal complaint.

In regard to your question regarding racial discrimination, the fact that white employees are being treated differently than African American employees is definitely indicative of racial discrimination. However, unless there is repetitive differential treatment or there is outright racist comments, then it would not be a very strong claim.
TexLaw and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response. I appreciate all of your time and help.