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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36936
Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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I am a 49 year old female and subjected to workplace

Customer Question

I am a 49 year old female and subjected to workplace bullying. Instances have included yelling and cursing in front of others, continuous change of my job responsibilities, telling co-workers and clients I'm collecting evidence to get my boss fired, and other instances undermining my work. Further, upper management has condoned the behavior and I'm afraid of going to HR.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you tonight.

You may consider an EEOC complaint.There may be age discrimination involved.Often this is a smokescreen for the real reason they are trying to force you out here and replace you with a younger and cheaper person.

An EEOC complaint about these issues would protect you from being an at will employee.If they continue to harass you here you would then file again claiming retaliation.Once you receive a right to sue letter you would be able to sue for damages for all the harm here.

File here

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her age.

Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person's age. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent orsevere that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

I appreciate the chance to help you and am sorry you have had to deal with all of this.You have remedies here through EEOC and a civil suit as well.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

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Thanks again and the best here.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

This may also be sexual harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex. Harassment can include "sexual harassment" or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does nothave to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it resultsin an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My original question is can workplace bullying considered a hostile work environment? I cannot prove age or gender discrimination. All I can prove is yelling and cursing, remarks made about me to others, reduction in job responsibilities, and a mediocre performance appraisal. I can prove I was a highly rated employee in my last job at the same level as compared to this one.
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

You have to tie it to a protected category, age, sex, race.And it can be subliminal, they may be trying to force you out because of your age through regular day to day never ending harassment.Filing with EEOC and having this investigated offers you the most protection and hopefully the hostility ends.EEOC may well find in your favor.I would claim the remarks are directed to you based on your sex and age here, it is selective to you.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, an agent of the employer, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim.
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

A hostile work environment exists when an employee experiences workplace harassment and fears going to work because of the offensive, intimidating, or oppressive atmosphere generated by the harasser.

Sounds like your situation fits here and EEOC complaint would be your remedy.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

o determine whether a work environment is hostile, EEOC investigators look at the following factors. It is not, however, just one of these factors that sways a workplace harassment case. An assessment is made based upon the totality of the circumstances. The objective severity of harassment is judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position, considering all of the circumstances.

  1. Whether the conduct was verbal or physical or both;
  2. How frequently it was repeated;
  3. Whether the conduct was hostile or patently offensive;
  4. Whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor;
  5. Whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment;
  6. Whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual; and
  7. What happened when senior management became aware of the situation—such as whether the offensive conduct was dealt with and immediately ended or condoned.