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 Zachary Your Own Question

Zachary
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3921
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
17219180
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Zachary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A senior manager at my company said to me "Cant you hire a

Customer Question

A senior manager at my company said to me "Can't you hire a man? There's too much estrogen on that team." (Among other sexist statements). (I actually recorded him saying this on my mobile, I'm afraid to say, without his knowledge -- I started recording our conversations as he makes such scary statements that I wanted evidence of what I had said in return, in case I needed it--legal in NY.) As a mid-level manager in this company, what action do I need to take to protect myself in case his behavior leads to a lawsuit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

Let's first start with thinking about what exactly you are protecting yourself from. If a senior manager is making sexist statements about hiring based on gender, then the company itself is looking at exposure to liability for violation of the federal and state employment anti-discrimination laws. There is no individual liability exposure here. The company (i.e., the employer) is the only party exposed.

So, in truth, your exposure lies with being dragged into a claim because you were ordered to act in a discriminatory way. As in many things in business, the boss will try to place the blame on a scapegoat, usually in a person under him/her. This means that the real exposure to you is being blamed for executing a discriminatory act and then being fired or otherwise disciplined, which would put a blackmark on your resume.

So, does the company have an HR department?

Does the company have any established policies regarding discrimination?

Does the senior manager have a boss whom you could complain to?

Other than recording the conversations, have you made any written objections?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

HR Dept: We do and I went to the Chief Talent officer and mentioned that I thought we needed a refresh of diversity training as I had an incident -- but I did not reveal names as I am afraid for my job. There was a previous series of incidents with a different executive in which a series of women came to me to complain (I am a department director who is seen as a problem-solver). The end result of that previous series is I have been de facto demoted as the executive left the company.


 


Policies -- yes they have and have an online course in diversity training we are all required to take.


 


I am worried about complaining up the ladder as I fear reprisal.
Me going up against a president in the company? Will be looked on askance. I can't win. I have already found myself shoved aside because of this previous series of incidences. The company is being taken over by management who prefer men in higher positions.


 


I did not put my complaint in writing. Should I? Can I do so without naming names and landing myself in a time-consuming legal sticky wicket? Or is this already too far down the path?


 


PS: I'm desperately trying to find another job so I can escape this environment.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
These company politics are very tricky. As you have pointed out, complaining will only result in retaliation against you. There is no legal protection for retaliation in these circumstances. The only way to trigger retaliation protection is to make a claim to the EEOC.

I would not advise that at this point, since you are only seeking protection for yourself. What I would do is on every occassion where there is a discriminatory comment made or action requested, you should (1) keep a record of it by emailing yourself a written transcript of what took place or what was said; (2) tell the supervisor that you think the requested action might be in violation of anti-discrimination laws and just want to make sure that what he is asking is what he really wants you to do.

The record you make by emailing yourself a diary of sorts of the discrimination will establish an authenticated record by which you can show that you protested and warned and also to show where the discrimination was coming from should this become an issue later on.
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3921
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Zachary and 6 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Actually, I have in fact been making a record of the most egregious discriminatory behavior by emailing to my Gmail for the past year and a half, or maybe longer, ever since the first complaints came to me regarding the executive. I have been told that next week I will be told "how we are structuring the department" at which point I believe that I will be given a dead-end job, in essence a demotion with the goal being to get me to quit, and a male will be promoted to the position I now hold (one in the circle of friends of the people now coming into power.) I am thinking I actually should make a complaint with the EEOC, but I'm nervous that will lead to a lot of my energy having to be directed into that activity. On the other hand, it looks like other women will be affected at the company by this group. Another woman has complained to me about sexist treatment at their hands (long story). If I do eventually make a complaint to the EEOC, do I need to name names and complain to the HR chief first? Once I go down that path of filing with the EEOC, is there any return?

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:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • 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
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
 
 
 

Related Employment Law Questions