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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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A year ago my Supervisor gave me a lateral demotion with a

Customer Question

A year ago my Supervisor gave me a lateral demotion with a promise that I will be moved back in to original job after the person I was helping was caught up. I believed this was a retaliatory action for being involved with the State closing down a job I was on.

The person I was sent to work with has a history of being abusive. Several incidents of verbal abuse occurred and were reported to supervisor. Not until a tool was thrown at me I made a formal complaint at risk to my personal safety and was told by supervisor my positions was no longer available. The complaint was never formally handled and never made it into my file.

Due to complaints from others workers my supervisor was transferred out of state. It came to my attention 15 days later my supervisor left me a negative baseless performance review. This was the first time I had heard any complaints about my work ethic after 8 years.

Because my review was given by an incoming supervisor there was little or nothing he could do and it was acknowledged that it was probably best to rise above it and move on. I had still not been removed from working with abusive coworker.
A few months later company used the review to demote me to assistant mechanic job with a 20% cut in pay and the work truck had been taken away. One supervisor gave review a reason and other said cost cutting.

A complaint was made to the department of fair housing and employment regarding treatment. I was considering lawsuit however what I wanted was original job back.
Working conditions began to improve.

Working conditions improved with new supervisor and new partner. I was promised my old job back in less than month. Due to an untimely full rotator cuff tear had to go on disability for repair.

Two weeks ago the new supervisor had told me I was going back to original job I had been working to get back as soon as I get off disability.

Shortly afterwards had heard through other employees the supervisor I had filed a complaint against was back and was calling fellow employees and asking about me.

I just got back to work a few days ago. The company had changed my supervisor to the one I filed the complaint against and no one had advised me of this. He called me in and gave me an intimidating verbal warning and I’m not getting my original position back all of this was done informally and not documented. It’s my word against him. The behavior has started again and I am unsure what to do.

The rumor was he was no longer supposed to have contact with employees and was originally given a branch manager position with no direct contact with employees. After a weeks’ time this changed and is back in a similar position he had before.

I would appreciate any advice I can get regarding this mater.
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.
What constitutes harassment? It has been one year and a review later and still have not done anything that would jeopardize or put me at risk of loosing my job. For him to call me in and warn about my attitude with no contact in a year. He didn't even advise me that he is my new boss is a little unnerving. I have been through allot and have put up with the remnants of his tenure. Him calling employees and digging up dirt is also questionable in my eye.Is it harassment in the eyes of the law?

Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
The actions taken by your suprevisor constitute retaliation due to you filing a compalint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

This gives you an additional cause of action against your employer for retaliation in addition to the discrimination that you were facing previously.

Unfortunately, there is no cause of action for 'harassment' in the workplace, other than sexual harassment, but the actions do constitute discrimination and retaliation, so you would have a cause of action against your employer for those violations.

I would suggest that you file a new complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding the retaliation that you're facing in the workplace as a result of the complaint that you previously filed.

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