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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11029
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I filed a complaint against one of my bosses at work through

Customer Question

I filed a complaint against one of my bosses at work through my HR department. At first my HR director was sympathetic but that seems pretty quickly. I was forced work from home and even though I was promised to be kept abreast of the situation and their investigation that did not happen. After seven weeks I stated that I was not comfortable going back to the office and provided a different solution. I was finally told the investigations complete and there was cause to discipline him and the plan was to reintroduce me to the office after additional training was done. When I voiced again that I was not comfortable going back to the office I was told that I had to go back and there was no additional training done. Now it's gotten to the point where I am being told that additional pay I was promised several months ago is not going to be paid to me and that I will probably lose my job in the next 30 days because work has been slow. The complaint was based more on discrimination and harassment although it wasn't sexual harassment. I was also told yesterday that I had to attend the meeting because it was mandatory after I stated that I wasn't going to attend only to find out later that it wasn't mandatory . Do I have any options?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. Can you be more specific when you say you complained of "discrimination and "harassment." Did this relate to your race, religion, disability, or something along those lines? What exactly? Also, what more would you ideally like to see your employer do before you would feel comfortable returning to work? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They've actually already forced me to go back to work when I stated that they were putting me in a position that I was not comfortable with and would file a complaint with the EEOC. I was told that they had considered me a remote employee when they forced me to work from home and I could either continue doing that or go back to the office. I had offered to transfer to another area and the two managers there were happy to have me but was told that was not possible as the boss who I had filed the complaint against oversaw that region. She asked me if I wanted her to find me a job elsewhere and that I should go for another region and told her I did not want to move there. I told her I would try to come up with something the next day. Before I could call her she called me and said that corporate had decided I needed to go back to the office the following Monday even though I was not comfortable doing so. He had made comments about foreign nationals and asked me if I was an American citizen in a previous conversation knowing that I was. I am half Asian and half Hispanic. He told me I was what was wrong with this country. When I brought this up to him he was screaming in my office, and everyone could hear him, calling me a liar. Several other people in my office had made derogatory comments over the past couple of years as well. I was told that the only complaint they had was for one of my bosses and I told her that I had already told her everything that had been said and done but she said if I complained they'd have to open more investigations.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. I am very sorry to hear about all this. Harassment and discrimination based on nationality and race are illegal, and once reported to the employer the employer has an obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent such harassment from continuing. The thing is this, what is "reasonable" for an employer to do is a question of fact. A "reasonable" response does not necessarily mean firing the accused or permanently separating the accused and accuser. In most cases, the steps your employer has taken will be deemed sufficiently "reasonable" so that they are in compliance with the law. If you were fired for refusing to return to work, you would have to argue the contrary position. That your employer could have and should have REASONABLY done more to make you feel comfortable coming back to work. I think that is a tough argument to make. Perhaps you would succeed, but perhaps you would not. You need to decide whether it is worth potentially staking your job on that. It's a very tough decision to make, but I would be doing you a disservice by not being up front and realistic with you about it. Another option you may wish to explore is retaining an attorney to negotiate a severance package. Your employer may very well be willing to pay you in exchange for a release of any right you may have to sue. This gives you a clean slate, an immediate solution, and you don't have to take the risks associated with litigation. Many attorneys will negotiate severance in these circumstances on a contingency fee basis (meaning for a percentage of what you recover) rather than on an hourly basis, so don't let cost stand in the way of pursuing this option. 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.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They are now telling me though that additional pay I was promised several months ago will now not be paid. Also, I was told yesterday that I will probably lose
my job in 30 days and I should be grateful they were giving me a heads up. I was told that I had to attend a meeting that was mandatory but in fact it was not. Isn't this retaliation?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Yes, you could certainly argue that this is retaliation for having made your complaint. This would give you additional leverage to negotiate a severance package, or an additional cause of action should you choose to pursue a civil claim.