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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4266
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Eighteen months ago, I was hired to edit and produce a new

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Eighteen months ago, I was hired to edit and produce a new magazine for a small company. For the first four months, I developed the magazine in my home, waiting for a space to open up in the office and I could transfer there. The company president and founder, my boss, who was married at the time, took an unusual interest in me and announced to his wife that he was leaving her for me. I have never had any interest in this man and am fearful of him. When I started the job, I was just coming off disability for PTSD. My new boss told me he's a "shouter," and I told him about my disability, which is ongoing. He said, "What's PTSD? Is that like DSB -- deadly sperm backup"?

At first, he was charming and gained my trust, even saying, "Nobody thinks you fit in here, but I won't let you fail." Just before I transferred from my home to the office, my boss came to my house, unannounced, on a Saturday. I told him to go away. But he growled and said he had "something to give me." Again, I said I wasn't expecting him and asked him to leave. He shouted into the loudspeaker outside, and I was so frightened I let him in rather than risk losing my new job. A few minutes after arriving, he picked me up (I weigh 95 pounds to his 250 pounds), threw me onto my bed, and raped me. I shouted at him to stop, but he kept telling me how much I wanted "it." I didn't hear from him until two weeks later, when I started working in-office. He said he was sorry, that he couldn't call me from home and that he "forgot to tell me" he "loved me." He later told his wife (now ex-wife), who also worked for the company, that he was leaving her for me, even though we had never discussed such a thing, and I made it clear that I do not date at all, and certainly never married men.

Nearly all the women in this company of 27 employees have treated me as the "home-wrecker" because our boss has created and spread this fantasy in the company. He told me that his ex-wife calls me "the skinny one with the big tits." He has been verbally and emotionally violent toward me, but because I did not know how to handle this insane situation, I agreed to accompany him to a concert and to a couple of dinners. The boss does shout at others, but they seem able to handle it, but it is of a less personal nature, but I cannot handle the terror of his shouting, due to my PTSD and his escalating violence. I did persuade him to attend an 8-week class for men with with anger issues. He said he knew all the material and "counseled" the other attendees, speaking directly only to the instructor.

I know now that I was too desperate for a job and could not find another one, but that because of my PTSD, I was not ready to return to work. Shortly after I started, my boss circulated a questionnaire that featured severalbare-breasted women. The questions were to determine whether the breasts were natural or "fake." He did this because I am slender and have large breasts. This was utterly humiliating to me. In fact, I did have a prophylactic mastectomy in the 1980s because I had precancerous breast cells. Since then, I have lost 20 pounds, 12 of them while working at this company.

On March 20, 2010 I had surgery to a breast. On March 24, although I had stopped seeing my boss outside of the office, even for lunch, he called and asked if he could bring me some food. I accepted. When he arrived, he had no food except for himself. He also began asking me irrelevant, provoking questions that made little sense to me, particularly because I was on painkillers and muscle relaxers. After a few minutes of his antagonism, I asked him to leave. On his way out the door, he shoved me against a wall, dislocating both shoulders, giving me whiplash and a sprained ankle, and breaking open the stitches from my recent surgery, which cannot be repaired until September. He now claims to be a "victim" and that he was "scared" because I shouted at him to leave. I did not shout. In fact, I was in no condition to speak above a whisper.

This man used to send me 10 smutty emails a day at work, but I deleted them all and told him to stop it. Eventually, he did.

How can I get out of this insanity? My pay is $20,000 less than he promised before I started, and I am barely able to pay my bills. It is increasingly difficult to work, and my PTSD is in full swing. The company offers only unpaid leave -- no paid medical leave.

What can I do? I am single, need an income, and cannot afford an attorney.

Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi,

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm taking a look at your question.

Zachary D. Norris :

Are you there?

Customer:

Yes.

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm still reviewing your question. Please stand by

Customer:

Okay.

Zachary D. Norris :

All right, where to begin. That is a terrible story. I'm very sorry to hear that you experienced it.

Zachary D. Norris :

You indicated that you were raped.

Zachary D. Norris :

Did you report the rape to the police?

Customer:

It is a horror story. Where to begin?

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi?

Zachary D. Norris :

Do you still want to chat?

Customer:

No, I did not. I honestly did not understand what was happening at the time. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before, and I did not know what to do. He seemed to like me. I was confused, then felt demoralized and heartbroken.

Zachary D. Norris :

I understand. This is a very confusing thing to have happen to you.

Zachary D. Norris :

Let me just start by saying that any kind of legal action will start with you reporting the sexual assault to the policy.

Zachary D. Norris :

You have many things that you can sue this man for, but if you do not report the rape to the police, your credibility will be injured.

Zachary D. Norris :

My next question is how big is the company?

Customer:

He seemed so nice before this. Now I believe he is a sociopath or at least narcissistic.

Zachary D. Norris :

Based on what you are saying he sounds exactly like a sociopath

Customer:

The company has 27 employees. I searched online and found that the statute of limitations is 300 days, and we are well past that.

Zachary D. Norris :

It depends on what you are talking about. The statute of limitations for rape is much longer than 300 days

Customer:

Oh. How long is it?

Zachary D. Norris :

Give me a second and let me look up your state's specific statute

Zachary D. Norris :

For sexual assault in Minnesota, there is no statute of limitations. In other words, it is perpetual. However, since you did not report it, it may fall under a general assault statute of limitations which is three years.

Zachary D. Norris :

You are still working for this employer correct?

Customer:

Why will my credibility be injured if I do not report the rape? He forced himself on my three times after this, convincing me that I was his "best friend" and that he was going to marry me.He told other employees the same thing --even at the company's Christmas party -- long after I told him sex was out of the question, and he had stopped molesting me by that point. So I DO look like a loose woman, and I am anything but that! I must sound like an idiot, and I feel like one. I simply do not recognize manipulative behavior when the manipulator is very smooth. This is, of course, what he knows about me, being a slick salesman.

Zachary D. Norris :

Part of your complaint is that this man raped you. He committed a crime. You have to report this. Any claim for sexual harassment you make in a civil case will not be complete without this aspect of it, and if you report it in a civil claim, why wouldn't you file criminal charges as well?

Zachary D. Norris :

Are you still working for the employer?

Customer:

Yes, I still work for the company. I work at home two days a week if I can because I do not want to be alone with this man, and being able to work from home reduces any chance of that. His anger is out of control. People say, "You must be firm and tell him to bug off," but my life would be in danger if I were that strong. This is according to a friend from church who is a police officer. I have to be OUT of there and then file a restraining order.

Customer:

But I can't quit because he pays me so little I have used up all my savings!

Zachary D. Norris :

OK. I understand your dilemma. There are several things you are going to need to do to prepare. I want to tell you that you have a good case

Zachary D. Norris :

You can likely obtain an attorney who will work on it for a contingency fee (no pay unless the attorney wins).

Zachary D. Norris :

That attorney will help you organize your claim.

Zachary D. Norris :

You will need to file a claim with the EEOC, a civil lawsuit, and criminal charges.

Zachary D. Norris :

I would advise you to quite your job and file for unemployment as well.\

Zachary D. Norris :

This situation entitles you to quite and file your claim and state that you were forced out of your position because of the hostile work environment.

Customer:

He would fight me tooth and nail to deny unemployment. He made ex-wife number 1 head of Human Resources, and they are both very manipulative people -- and best friends.

Zachary D. Norris :

You are most likely not going to run into statute of limitation problems in connection with your employment discrimination claim because it is ongoing in nature. However, you don't need to wait on any of this. You need to do it all at the same time. The fact that he will fight you is why you need to get an attorney on this case ASAP.

Customer:

How should I define the hostile work environment without sounding like a "poor me"?

Zachary D. Norris :

Are you kidding?

Zachary D. Norris :

You are being sexually harassed at work

Zachary D. Norris :

that is per se a hostile work environment.

Zachary D. Norris :

No one will think "poor me"

Zachary D. Norris :

The will be angered by what happened to you

Zachary D. Norris :

Where in Minnesota do you live?

Zachary D. Norris :

I can help you locate some attorney's to contact.

Zachary D. Norris :

If you came to my office, I would take your case, as there seems to be a major violation of justice and you need help.

Zachary D. Norris :

But alas...I am in Texas. So let's find you an attorney there.

Zachary D. Norris :

The fact that these episodes of sexual harassment are spread out over a series of time does not block you from making a claim.

Zachary D. Norris :

I am awaiting your response to continue.

Customer:

I need you to bear with me on this one: The women in the company really despise me because of jealousy. I don't have a single person to back me up. One young Muslin woman I hired quit, but her father would never allow her to speak in Court. Everyone but me thinks the sexual emails and jokes are funny. If he calls witnesses, I'm done for! This man has everyone believing we are "lovers without sex." He's given me about 100 Hallmark "love" cards, most of which I've thrown away. And he put me on his credit card to pay for medical expenses. He gave me a venereal disease, which cannot be proven. And he has paid for MRIs and other things after the assault. I DO look like the company whore.

Customer:

Can you please help me find a Minnesota lawyer--a male -- who will take my case on contingency? I will need more money to live on than unemployment, which I might not receive, since anyone in the company would back the boss and say we had a "mutual relationship." We did not. I despise this man and always have. Any civility I showed him was to keep my job and to be a decent human being.

Zachary D. Norris :

I think you are looking at this from a victimized perspective. You need someone to fight for you. I'm tell you, as an attorney, from an outside perspective, that what you are saying is evidence of an egregious crime by this man. You need to start gathering evidence, any email, voicemail, text message, hallmark card, etc. You will need to take this with you to an attorney.

Zachary D. Norris :

I can find people you should call, but I cannot contact anyone on your behalf. You will have to do that. I just want to encourage you, you are taking the right step. It is best to find someone close to you. What town are you in?

Customer:

I will. Can you please help me find a tough attorney to help me? I ask for a male because my boss never yells at men -- only women.

Zachary D. Norris :

Just a little bit of evidence, plus your testimony, is all you need. Also, if you are being sexually harassed, I think the other employees will turn on this creep if put under oath and made to testify

Zachary D. Norris :

Again, I need to know your locality, not just your state. Where do you live and I can help you start searching.

Customer:

I live in a suburb of St. Paul called Vadnais Heights. I did have an appointment with an attorney named Marshall Tanick, but he wanted $350 just for an initial consultation. I don't have that anymore. If I were to win, what would happen to the "creep"? Years ago, he assaulted his first ex-wife during their divorce, but she bailed him out the next day. I will need money for medical bills -- operations on both shoulders, repairs to my breast, money for food and gas. What is the likelihood that I would be awarded that? I also feel I should be on disability again for PTSD. I feel like such a loser. From managing editor to this! How did I become such a victim?

Zachary D. Norris :

You have possible avenues for recovering these types of damages, especially if they are related to the assault. I'm going to look and find some attorneys for you to contact.

Zachary D. Norris :

http://www.kellyandlemmons.com/Employment-and-Labor-Law/

Zachary D. Norris :

http://www.halunenlaw.com/

Customer:

Thank you. Am I able to print this chat?

Zachary D. Norris :

http://www.gcorwin.com/

Zachary D. Norris :

I think copying and pasting is your best bet

Zachary D. Norris :

http://www.jaklaw.com/CM/Custom/Firm-Overview.asp

Customer:

Thank you. I would like to interview several before choosing one. This awful man is manipulative and never loses. I guess that's why I just lay low and hope he leaves me alone.

Zachary D. Norris :

Tell the attorney your story. Tell them you situation. You should be able to find one that will take the case on contingency.

Zachary D. Norris :

I encourage you to interview them all and see which one you like the best.

Customer:

Yes, interviewing them all is what I would like to do.

Zachary D. Norris :

I really hope you follow through with this. This sort of thing just cannot stand. Be strong and be brave.

Customer:

what should my first step be? I can't quit and live for even a week without an income.

Zachary D. Norris :

Don't quite yet. The attorney you choose will help you with a plan

Zachary D. Norris :

You will need to consult the attorney you choose, who may need you to gather evidence before you quit.

Zachary D. Norris :

They will assist you in filing your other claims (EEOC and unemployment) to help you get some sort of temporary income while your case is pending.

Customer:

I MUST follow through. This man has reduced me to the point that I no longer want to live in this state or continue working as an editor, which is a dead profession, anyway. But I'm 56 now. Justice would be having this terrible man pay my tuition and living expenses while I train for a new profession. I simply cannot do my job anymore. I have lost all interest in it and want to be done with all of it.

Customer:

You're back!

Zachary D. Norris :

Is there anything further I can do for you?

Customer:

I think you've answered as many of my questions as anyone could have. I will read and reread your answers. It will be easier to digest it all when I'm less upset. Thank you for your help. God bless you.

Zachary D. Norris :

Good luck with this, Please click "accept" so I may receive credit for my work. Best Regards, XXXXX XXXXX Norris

TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4266
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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