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Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 29024
Experience:  More than 30 years in legal practice.
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A coworker touched me inappropriately at work. Management

Customer Question

A coworker touched me inappropriately at work. Management has it on videotape. I reported it immediately. He wanted to apologize to me that day and I told my manager not to let him. He showed up at my desk anyway trying to apologize and upset me more. He was suspended for several days. We were both told not to tell our coworkers, but he has told a number of them his version of the story. Even though it's been since 7/19, they are still gossiping about it in ways that belittle me. I asked my boss last week to put a stop to it, but I doubt it will work. What can I legally do about the situation? Would a law suit be counter-productive?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Colorado
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: NO.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What more do you need to know?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 month ago.

It seems that, if you have reported the ongoing problem and your employer is not taking any remedial action, you may have a viable claim for sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment based upon the sexual harassment.

To establish a prima facie case for hostile work environment/ sexual harassment, you must prove the following five elements:
You suffered intentional, unwanted discrimination because of his or her sex.
The harassment was severe or pervasive.
The harassment negatively affected the terms, conditions or privileges of your work environment.
The harassment would detrimentally effect a reasonable person of the same sex.
Management knew about the harassment, or should have known, and did nothing to stop it.

As you see, you meet the requirements of the prima facie showing. Since your employer refuses to take any action, should begin by filing a grievance with the EEOC. See www.eeoc.gov. They will investigate and take the appropriate action. You are protected from any retaliatory action by your employer for filing a claim.

You may want to consult an employment attorney, as well. If you need help finding local counsel, try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:
http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
How would I be protected from retaliation? I can't imagine the company continuing to be cordial after I file a grievance.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 month ago.
The law prohibits any retaliatory action for filing a complaint. If they do retaliate against you then the liability of the company would go up exponentially. So, while you may not get a lot of lunch invitations, if they decrease your hours or put you on less desirable duties, you would alert the EEOC to add retaliation to the behavior complained of.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 month ago.

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Thank you!

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