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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 have been working in a hostile work environment. The Union

Resolved Question:

I have been working in a hostile work environment. The Union Rep. has told me that the people in charge of personnel have stated that I must either return to work or declare when my doctor will allow me to return in order to discuss the situation for it to be reconciled. The main reason I'm not at work is because it is a hostile environment. What do I do?
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.

When you say 'hostile work environment' do you feel that your work environment is hostile due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, national origin, sex, or ethnicity)?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hostile work environment meaning that in the school district that I work for we are given an allotment of sick days and differential days. I utilized all of my sick days due to my daughter having pneumonia. Then I had to use defferential days because I became sick. The teacher mentioned many times over and over that if I was not going to be able to make it through a day or have troubles being consistent over the course of a week to just not return until I was fully better. Also, it might be better to just not return in the Fall unless I could do a lot more standing because I would not have the time to sit. So if I needed some kind of limitations perhaps I should look into a different position somewhere else. Again, she cannot say such things and she pointed out she wasn't with a desk and yet she had a definite sprawling desk in the front of the room. She pointed out that I had missed 31% of the school year due to absences, but again I was out due to family sick days and the district provides for that time off. These are the things that I consider as a hostile environment. She also spent an hour after work hours telling me that my posture is too straight, the way I walk in the room, the way I speak,the way I .....and the list goes on for about an hour correcting every little thing I do. She commented that if I were not not accept corrections she would consider it as a commentary that I was not open to change and see to it that I would not be welcomed back in the Fall for my position.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I would define hostile work environment to include the American with disabilities Act when it is being ignored by the ACT and telling me that I needed to be able to stand and put in full days regardless to whether my medical condition warrants it or not. I was told that if I can't handle the standing and the long days then perhaps working at the site was not a good place and to put in a transfer or there are other jobs. This I know is against the Americans with Disablities Act.
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

Yes, the discrimination that you're experiencing would be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act using the instructions available online here:

The EEOC will investigate the charge on your behalf and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim against your employer through a private attorney.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
However, If I file a claim and they file a suit couldn't I essentially lose my job over this? What about this meeting that I am supposed to have with my principal that the district won't allow me to have unless I am healthy and back to work. How can I go back to work when they are still in violation of the Disabilities Act etc...? So where do I go from here?
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
No, you'd be protected against discrimination for filing your claim. If you were terminated as a result for filing a claim for discrimination in violation of the ADA, you would have a cause of action against your employer for wrongful termination in violation of public policy in addition to your discrimination claim.

It would be your decision whether or not you want to attend the meeting with the principal. You could go to the meeting and inform the principal of your rights under the ADA and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act and request a 'reasonable accomodation' for your disability.
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