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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I'm a doctor. I was recruited to fill a position at a state

Customer Question

I'm a doctor. I was recruited to fill a position at a state penitentiary staffed by a health firm that staffs all state institutions in our state and others across the nation.
I love my job even now, as a Psychiatrist treating the inmates and find that I can make a big difference with good psychopharmacological treatment. I've been there six months.
Enter the Mean Girls. I am targeted by a pack of less educated women, one a Certified Health Technician, a Licensed Practical Nurse and at one time an RN who has actually softened towards me, and one female Correctional Officer.
These young women are rude and rough, often using foul language. It actually started out with the ring leader being very intrusive and overly friendly and helpful, later to openly reprimand me when she found unsigned Progress Notes in a chart, escalating to being snubbed and making openly nasty and condescending remarks in front of other staff, and even stooping to start the others in proclaiming my prepackaged lunch as "stinking and you can't use our microwave..."
The LPN set up a situation where I was loudly confronted by a Correctional Officer accusing me of providing drugs to inmates known to abuse them; a charge I feel is most inflammatory. The snubbing and underlying vitriol always come to the forefront in their presence, and even people who normally act friendly to me start to heckle and belittle in front of the other.
At this point I am seeking another job in our home town with intention of packing up and going home. I know this does not qualify as a bonafide hostile environment, but this heckling and abuse caused the previous Psychiatrist (also a woman) to leave, and she as I let Human Resources know what was going on but she also did not receiving backing from a supervisor or actually any one. We both suffered character assignation from this environment and never received help.
Now, my question: It is possible the company will request their $5,000 in travel expenses pay. Do I have the bases to refuse to repay this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

The travel expenses is "reimbursement" for your actual expenses - you are not required to return that money.

I would strongly encourage you to contact a local employment law attorney (even if you are not planning on filing a claim, it is well worth at least making a phone call - before you take any action, such as giving notice - to discuss your situation with a local attorney in more detail and consider whether or not it is worth pursuing action).

Being in a hostile work environment makes it very difficult to process these matters clearly, and it is worth speaking with a lawyer early on in the process (before you separate) to discuss the matter. You may not feel like suing the company now, but preserving any potential cause of action will be invaluable later (if you change your mind).

(Again, speaking to a local attorney now does not obligate you to any course of action, and it is covered by the attorney/client relationship - so anything you speak to this attorney about will not be subject to anyone else finding out).

You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).