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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15471
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am Jewish, and I have experienced some Antisemitism at work.

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I am Jewish, and I have experienced some Antisemitism at work. I have notified my supervisor multiple times about this harassment, and nothing has been done. Finally I sent an email to HR, and cc'd my supervisor's email on the email. HR asked if what was done true, and he answered yes and cc'd me back with the answer. It has been 2 days now and no disciplinary action has been done to the offender. Is there anything else I should do? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX X look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.

It's only been two days since you reported this to HR. While you technically could file an EEOC complaint on Monday, it would probably be better to wait at least a wee or two (a fair opportunity for the employer to conduct their own investigation, review the evidence and make a choice of what to do). Nothing in the law requires the employer to make an immediate disciplinary action decision after you report, so you would be moving a bit too quickly in filing that complaint.

Yes, you don't want to move slowly if you decide to file that report, so I would only wait a matter of 10 business days, but doing anything at this point is premature.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

What should I do if they do nothing and it still continues?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Then you would contact the EEOC in your state to file a complaint of work place discrimination based on religion. You would have the benefit of having complained in the workplace already, with no action taken by both your immediate manager and HR. They would have no argument that you failed to give them the chance to cure.

At that point, it'd be a pretty open and shut case against them. You'd also have that email, essentially admitting the activity took place.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I may be afraid that if I did contact the EEOC the company would find out and may fire me, I have a good paying job, but cannot afford to go without a job for a long period of time.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
I understand that, but you've asked what you can do. That's really all you can do. For you to preserve a right to sue, you have to file an EEOC complaint. Otherwise, you must choose to simply put up with it.

When you file an EEOC complaint, that is a legally protected activity. Certainly, an employer could find a reason to fire you, but that will be in close proximity to your having filed an EEOC complaint. That alone is enough to justify an additional claim of retaliation, which is also illegal under Title VII laws. It's illegal even if your original complaint had little merit.

Justice is slow though and the employer could be stupid and fire you based on your contacting the EEOC. It could take months before that is resolved, but that's just the way this system is set up. You have to go into that complaint understanding that while you are legally protected, that protection typically results is money to you much later to make up for the fact that you were retaliated against.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I think it is best to start looking for a new job, so if it does continue, I will get a new job and then, I will not have to suffer economic consequences. Would I be able to say I was forced to find a new job because I was being harassed?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Yes, you can say that but only if you have evidence that they ignored your complaints.

That's why you'd need to wait it out and at least have evidence that they considered your complaint and did nothing with it.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

What is the best way to get evidence? Through email? If it is just through conversations, it is my word against theirs.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
It is typically the victim's word against the employer's. That being said, you've made a complaint to HR. If you've done that through email, the EEOC will be able to retrieve that through electronic discovery.

If it is deleted, that leaves a trace too. The spoiling of evidence is a really bad route for employers to go, as the court allows the jury to assume that the deleted emails were damaging to them.

If you have the email though, print it off.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I forwarded the email to my personal email address.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Then you have the email and it's chain, showing where it went.

That's good evidence, but the EEOC will collect more. They are not a court. They are a government agency tasked with investigating these issues, like a justice department. You really don't have to prove your case to them at all. You just have to make your complaint. They try to prove your case, and then issue a decision, provide you the evidence and give you the right to sue regardless of what they conclude.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

What can the EEOC do if they find a company in violation fine them? Order them to compensate the victim? Or just give them a warning.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
They are not a court. They can't do anything. They are just an investigating body.

Now, sometimes they will choose to sue on your behalf, at which point the court can require monetary compensation to you.

The EEOC can also try to set up mediation between yourself and the employer, to try and reach an amicable solution.

If the employer agrees, the employer could be bound by an agreement negotiated by the EEOC, but that is rarely.

Mostly, the EEOC is just a step to preserve your right to sue (you have to go through them) and collect evidence that you would not otherwise be able to collect so that you can give that to a local attorney to file a complaint in Federal court.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Ok, thank you!

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.
No problem. Take care.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15471
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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