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My wife has been working at co. for just over 2 years and works

Customer Question
in a hostile work environment...
My wife has been working at co. for just over 2 years and works in a hostile work environment. She works in marketing and her supervisor boss co worker and human resource person have consistently trying to get her to quit. Her co worker and her supervisor will not communicate and hide info from her, and today both of them along with HR call in other employees to ask them is she awful person to work with and what idea they have to solve the tension in work place. One note all employees were told that profit sharing from last year is not going to happen. There is more but, what are her options.
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: California Employment Law
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3/2/2012
California Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 years ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,087
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

LegalPro54 :

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

LegalPro54 :

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's situation.

LegalPro54 :

When you say that she works in a hostile environment, can you be more specific?

LegalPro54 :

Is she experiencing harassment on the basis of her race, gender, religion, or something else?

Customer:

something else

LegalPro54 :

Can you be a little bit more specific, as her rights and remedies will depend specifically on the nature of the harassment.

Customer:

She can not do her work because of her co worker keeps things from her and the immediate supervisor spends time with her co woker outside the work force which leads him to give all and most info to her

Customer:

HR has documentation from my wife on how she try to sabotage most of her work

Customer:

example hiding things in her office my wife cant get to but she can

LegalPro54 :

I see. Do the supervisor and this coworker have a romantic relationship?

Customer:

I thinks so they talk and communicate which seem like more than hr a day

LegalPro54 :

Okay, thank you for this information....

Customer:

Supervisor always most of time relays info to her almost all the time and try to avoid my wife

Customer:

which would benefit her being more successful and the company

LegalPro54 :

I see.

LegalPro54 :

Unfortunately, there there is no law requiring civility between employer and employer or among co-workers and no general requirement that an employer act "fairly."

LegalPro54 :

However, an employer and co-workers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation

LegalPro54 :

physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, and age (over 40).

Customer:

So the company has the right to make things difficult otherwise

LegalPro54 :

Unless the unfair treatment is occurring for one of these reasons, it is generally not ilelgal, despite being quite unfair.

Customer:

so she out of luck and as of now trying to find other job

LegalPro54 :

Legally speaking, there is no law the prohibits the conduct you describe unless it is being motivated by your wife's race, age, gender, etc.

Customer:

one last question can they fire her for no reason

LegalPro54 :

However, if your wife can prove that she is receiving unfavorable treatment due to a romantic relationship between a co-worker and her boss, that could be actionable.

Customer:

by the way she has brought in over 500,000.00 in new business the last 12 months

LegalPro54 :

California courts have held that a worker has a right not to suffer adverse employment action or miss out on job opportunities as a result of favortisim toward an employee who is carrying on a sexual relationship with management.

LegalPro54 :

I completely understand your wife's frustration and I wish that I could tell you that the law is different.

Customer:

have to have proof

LegalPro54 :

Despite these things being very unfair, they are typically not illegal.

LegalPro54 :

That would be the problem, unless you have proof of the relationship, you would not prevail on a claim of favoritism, and as the plaintiff your wife would bear the burden of proof for such a claim.

LegalPro54 :

I truly wish that I had better news to tell you, but I hope you can understand that I don't control the law, I can just tell you what it provides for in this instance.

Customer:

So if she had proof that he is favoring her because of relationship over wife what recourse

LegalPro54 :

Does this adequately address your concerns?

Customer:

so she needs to keep her mouth shut and look for another job

LegalPro54 :

That would constitute unlawful discrimination and she may be entitled to emotional distress damages.

LegalPro54 :

She would need to file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Either the EEOC or the DFEH will issue an authorization to sue after they investigate her claim.

For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm For information on how to brig a claim through the EEOC, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

Customer:

not quite sure on last anwer

Customer:

u saying if there is proof

Customer:

and is that pretty sticky in court

LegalPro54 :

If she was interested in bringing a claim on the ground that she is losing out at work due to favortism toward an employee who is having a sexual relationship with management, she would need to follow the steps outlined above.

LegalPro54 :

To be honest, it would be an extremely hard claim to win, especially without definitive proof that a sexual relationship was even occurring.

Customer:

Thanks

LegalPro54 :

You're welcome. Would you be so kind as to accept my answer so that I can receive credit for assisting you?

LegalPro54 :

This will not result in any additional charge to your account. Thanks so much.

LegalPro54 :

Do you require any further assistance?

Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,087
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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Category: California Employment Law
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