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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11289
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I need to know if I should seek legal counsel

Customer Question

I need to know if I should seek legal counsel for something that happened at my work place. I worked for him for a year cleaning his house and acting as a personal assistant and we became friends this went on for a year. He then acquired his own dealership and asked me to come work for him as a marketing and events coordinator. After some thinking I agreed. He was verbally abusive the first two months and I told him after the second time that if it happened again I would leave. So he got it under control. In the meantime he started listening to me and I became his personal assistant, executive administrative asst and the Customer Advocacy Manager. He promoted me once during the first 6 months and then our corporate office advanced me once more before the first six months. I really excelled in my job and had started making very close friendships with out staff (which was part of my job). After a couple of months he started telling me he had strong feelings for me. At the very beginning he had asked me to go on a date with him and I told him no. I told him I'm a single mom and I wanted to raise my kids without more confusion because I'd been through an abusive marriage and didn't want to complicate my life with that for now. I told him this repeatedly as he began to get more aggressive with his pleas to telling me how much he loved me and I would always reiterate that I still only wanted his friendship. We were still friends, we spent a lot of time together because it was our job to do that. Within the past two weeks Corporate came down and asked him what the deal was with us and he said, I've told her I have feelings for her and she told me she only wanted friendship and that's all. So Corp told him we will have to get you both to sign a waiver so that you can continue to work together. He said we both have no issue with this. He answered for me. After that he became very aggressive verbally with me and asked me to have a meeting with me and asked for me to run an errand with him to discuss (it was not an abnormal thing for us to ride to places together so I felt okay about it initially). On the drive which was 45 mins approx. He got super aggressive with me verbally and would not let me talk or even get a word in edgewise. Finally I was so frustrated and started to cry, I wanted to jump out of the truck while it was moving. The end of the day comes and I get home and I reached out to my other boss who works in Utah whom I have respect for and wanted to discuss it with her. She called me that same evening and I told her what happened, she asked if we had ever had sexual contact and I told her no. She advised me to speak with our Corp HR person so I agreed. The next day HR and I discussed the same thing in detail to which she told me that we would create a waiver that we could both sign but I was going to have to write it. After going over this several times I couldn't think of what to write because I know he has ways around everything and I knew once he found out he would be angry. The next day he was off so I felt safe to work, he came in that afternoon into my office and shut the door and had another violent episode, which scared me badly. In the meantime corp HR called him in the middle of him cussing me out. He walked out and she told him what was going on, I was texting her telling her not to do that because she was putting me in a dangerous situation, she said her phone wasn't with her. He came back in and was thrown off but still very off balance, I thought he was going to do something crazy. He finally ended up leaving. Within two weeks this has happened and now she has given me a couple of options which would only really benefit them and protect them as a corp. After going back and forth over the phone, her trying to stall me I got exasperated. I'm wondering if I should get legal help and someone that I can trust. I don't want to ruin anyone's life but after him violently verbally assaulting me twice that week I realized they were only in it to protect him and themselves. I have two small girls that I raise alone and cannot afford to look for a job and I didn't do anything wrong. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
It is illegal to create a hostile work environment because an employee has rejected sexual advances. Furthermore, an employer has an affirmative duty to take measures to prevent a hostile work environment from continuing once it becomes aware of what is going on.
Here, you are clearly being harassed because you rejected the sexual advances of your boss. Furthermore, it seems your employer is only concerned with protecting itself. Signing a "waiver" cannot possibly benefit you and can only serve to hurt your position. I understand that you do not want to create trouble, but you are describing seriously disturbing behavior and you do not need to be subjected to it.
Therefore, it would be incredibly wise to immediately consult with an attorney. It would also be wise to document your concerns about the harassment you are experiencing with HR in writing--that way there is record of it and your employer cannot deny that you have complained. See here to locate a lawyer in your area who can help: https://www.mytela.org/TE/index.cfm?event=showapppage&pg=members&configid=157&showfullpage=1
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.