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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 118635
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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Im under investigation for creating a hostile work environment

Customer Question

I'm under investigation for creating a hostile work environment at my business, I work as a supervisor for Fresno County, California. The business investigated me for 14 months. Do I have a statutes of limitations defense and what codes should I cite for here in California?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
There are time limits in the Police Bill of Rights, but if you are not covered by that Bill, then the courts hold that a "reasonable time" is one that depends on the circumstances and complexity of the investigation, but typically unless they show some extenuating circumstances 7 months is usually the outside of what a court will consider as reasonable. If you are not protected by a union, in which case your contract can specify the time for investigation and even if it does not the union could file a grievance for unreasonable time for the investigation to be conducted. However, absent a union contract provision or civil service provision and outside of the bill of rights, I am afraid there is no law preventing them from taking so long on an investigation and what happens is that if they try to take action against you on something from that investigation, then your argument would be in court over the reasonableness of the time of the investigation and the court would be your remedy to determine that the time from the alleged violation to any discipline was unreasonable.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Paul, I was investigated by my Department because an Office Assistant here was being investigated for poor performance allegations. She and I had a consentual relationship from 01-06 to 12-06. During her interview she claimed emotional duress that although I did not sexually harass her, I created a hostile work environment for her. I attempted to submit a witness list that I was in fact the victim as she runs from the room when i'am present or leaves her work space due to hearing my voice etc. she has also told other personnel that I took advantage of her while she was at a vulnerable place in her life. Our relationship was 4 years ago and she is using me as a scape goat to her dilema. My department refused to call any of my witnesses for the IA investigation and found me guilty of "Hostile Work Environment." Their investigation started 09-02-09 and concluded 10-05-10 and I was demoted. I know that there has to be some statute of limitation under some code suach as the California Government Code. Maybe it is a Fair Labor Standards Act, California Labor Code law, California Public EmployeeRelations law. I have an officer who was demoted earlier this year but it was thrown out due to "statutes of limitations" that is why I'm posing the question. The department will not allow me to look at his record and he has requested it for me with no response.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
The statute of limitations on a sexual harassment case is one year from the date of the last incident (see: Cal. Gov. Code § 12960 (d)). Government Code 3304 also provides a 1 year statute of limitations to provide you with a Notice of Adverse Action in an internal investigation (see also: In Re: Paul Sulier, CA SPB Case 01-2626).
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Paul I already researched California Government Code 3304(d). Again as I stated earlier, Penal Code 830 does not include me in this protection.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
That is the only code that has a specific time frame and outside of that the courts look at "reasonableness" of the length of the investigation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: Material was already known to me , and as presented does not help me. I have looked into the "Meyers-Milias-Brown Act." I will continue to look at labor codes and others for my region. But thank you..
Material was already known to me , and as presented does not help me. I have looked into the "Meyers-Milias-Brown Act." I will continue to look at labor codes and others for my region. But thank you.