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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I work for a large employer for the past five years. On Mar

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I work for a large employer for the past five years. On Mar 2011 I transferred to a new manager. This person has become increasingly hostile over the past four months. His behavior is odd considering that we were mutually referred to each other by the wife of his best friend of 20 plus years. Examples of his behavior include explosive outbursts, nasty emails, withholding info I need to do my job and blaming by email and sending it to others. I tried talking to him about the emails and our relationship but he said a few words and then shut down-began staring off into space. What i did established during this meeting was despite the emails he was not displeased with my performance A few days later he scheduled a meeting and said I was a performance problem, when I pressed for examples he could not give any. When I asked him why it was okay for him to shout he yelled at the top of his lungs at me. I feel threatened since our area was isolated. I felt he was deliberately intimidating me and I felt unsafe. I sent a note to HR regarding this. I was given a temp option to work for someone who reported to him. After I moved myself to the area I was told to go home. Reason:because I said I didn't feel safe. Thirty days later -despite sending my examples of his making a hostile workplace for me- the investigator took a couple of incidents and the finding is that he violated no policies. My options are to return to work for him, take an internal temp position after which I will be layed off and I can apply for internal openings. I have applied but have received denials (have an HR background and recruiter response to my app was they decided to go in a different direction) or no response. This manager is responsible for the strategy for the entire company and communicates with the CEO. My performance ratings are high. if our relationship wasn't working we could have agreed to part ways. The intent seems to be to drive me out. I know I need another job but I was foolish enough to think the investigation process would be real and I feel like I am running out of time. There is no written investigative policy.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

What question do you have regarding your situation?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How can I prevent my current employer from pushing me out of a job? Do I have to choose between feeling unsafe by resuming a relationship with this manager or taking a short term position?
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, there's nothing legal you can do, unless the harassment is due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, national origin, or ethnicity).

You may be able to claim constructive discharge to obtain unemployment benefits if you are forced to leave your position due to feeling unsafe.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I took the position it was advertised as a grade 12 and I was a grade 11 so I asked if the position would be a grade 12 and I was told yes. In my previous position, the job was posted as a grade 12 and I was still a grade 11 but I was only permitted to take the job but not the grade change. No one could explain why.
With the current manager I had asked for a change to my work hours because I wanted to make time to exercise due to a medical condition. I was told that everyone else comes in later than they should and I need to set an example.
A couple of days after being on adminstrative leave, I visited the lobby officer, who had invited me to her upcoming wedding. She was vey distant with me and said I am sorry that things did not work out. I asked the investigator what she was told and I was told she was only told that there was a change in assistants. Seems like she was told a lot more.
Even though the investigator has spoken of the need for confidentiality and the importance of non-retaliation, I believe both have been breached. I haven't told anyone on the job about this and I face an increasingly hostile work environment if I return.
I am an African American female over 40 years of age. Is there anything I can do to buy myself time to find another job without putting myself in a situation that will be infinitely more stressful than it was before I was advised to go home over 30 days ago??
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
I'm not sure what you could do to buy yourself time.

However, as an African American female over the age of 40, I would reccomend that you file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for possible discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and age.

Additionally, I would reccomend that you file a complaint based on disability as well if you needed to exercise for your medical condition and were denied that accomodation.

You can file a complaint online at:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate your complaint and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your complaint against your employer through a private attorney.

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