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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37816
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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if coworkers swear (sexually offensive) words at another coworkersuch

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if coworkers swear (sexually offensive) words at another coworkersuch as:
1. person a sez ," good Morning" and person two sez, who the "f**k" are you that I have to say good morning to you.
2.person one complains to the management, One manager agrees this is a form of sexual harrassment;
3.person 2 (along with other co-workers) continue to alienate and taunt person one with comments, such as ,"Don't make me say the "f" word."
4. person one is depressed, suicidal & seeks help through "disability"; comes back to work & harrasment of swearing, use of the "f" word continues; Person one is told not to speak to co-workers unless business related; Person one gets good evaluations, and normally has good attendance, Has been under the care of a therapist and psychiatrist for over a year, and this continued taunting & swearing goes on at times in front of management. One manager asked person one , How's it going?" persone one sez, ok-except having to listen to co-workers swear alot, but I have learned I cannot control other peoples actions; manager states, "that's right- we dont care."
5. person one was also denied a workers comp after seeing a qulified QME, however disability and FMLA for condition of "mental health" and working in a harrasment environment continues.
6.person one was unfortunately involved in 2nd unrelated physical disabilty. (Hurt from fall and had complications) spent 2 weeks in icu, & 2.5 months under home/ doctor care.
person one returned to work after this time, but the original taunting & swearing continued.
7. Person one met with supervisor and union, and was told not to speak with co-workers
even about business.
8. person one answered a company survey if people are consistant in that work group of treating each other with respect and answered " no since 15 to 16th months the swearing and alienation continue.Also management did not take complaint seriously till person saw a QME 4 months after original complaint.
9. person one is then contacted via a letter from company independent integrated disability center that they must go see a QME, as first complaint was not valid as it went thru Human Resources and that the QME's decision ( now approx 1 year old) was made without a complete review of medical records provided.
10. person one was told about 9 months ago workers comp claim was denied & is still denied & person one must attend QME meeting.
Is this a valid legal case? The QME, Psychiatrist, and various friends believe it is. However person one had consulted a lawyer within a month, and the lawyer told person one,"Get tough, and buck-up that is how people talk" person one has put up with this kind of treatment since 1998, and 2 of the offenders were high in the union, and intimidated person one to the point person one (although stronger mentally, is still under care and medication) fears going into work, but has changed being a "tatle-tale" of each incident, and has had minimum 2 meetings in the past 2.5 months at work & at least 2 conversations with the current union vice -president. I am person one and need an answer.

Good evening Wendy,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I've been a licensed CA attorney for nearly 3 decades, and for two of those, I have handled employment discrimination law and litigated cases against employers. Your description of the situation seems to indicate that there may well be discrimination going on based on your race/national origin.

CA law prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace and if this is happening to you, you do have a legal remedy.

Workplace harassment/discrimination is any unwelcome or unwanted conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or an aversion toward another person on the basis of any characteristic protected by law, which includes an individual's race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law. A conduct is considered unwelcome if the employee did not solicit, instigate or provoke it, and the employee regards XXXXX XXXXX as undesirable or offensive.

In CA you have two possible avenues of approach to dealing with discrimination. If your goal is to ultimately sue in Federal Court, then you will file a complaint with the EEOC, and if you want to be in the CA Superior Court---local to your county---then you will file with the DFEH and, if you want to, with the EEOC as well. You must file a formal complaint of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act, and within one year for the CA DFEH.

You may file a formal complaint with the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging discrimination based on sexual harassment/sex discrimination.

To do this you must first make an appointment with the Department to be interviewed, either over the phone or at a local DFEH office. You may call the DFEH at(NNN) NNN-NNNN or apply on line by using the Department’s "Online Appointment System." The system will guide you through questions to determine whether an appointment is right for you.

Alternatively, you may file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). If your company has 15 or more employees (the DFEH only requires that there be 5 or more employees), they are prohibited from discriminating against you. To file a complaint with the EEOC, contact the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. To be automatically connected with the nearest office, call(NNN) NNN-NNNN EEOC website:

Federal law specifically prohibits discrimination, based upon the Ethnicity, Color, Religion, National Origin, Age, Sex and Disability of an individual, with regard to hiring, promotion and firing.

After you file the complaint, your employer will be prohibited from any retaliatory action against you. The EEOC will investigate your claim, and 180 days after the filing of the complaint you may ask for a "right to sue letter". The EEOC will issue you the letter which gives you the right to institute a private civil action against your employer and seek monetary damages.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank-you! Since my first complaint and my workmans comp was filed in January 2012, and I was told my claim was denied last August. Is this longer than the One year period? Or because the taunting & use of the "f" word continues in the workplace although not as directly "at me" as the first one and several have been. Coworkers & supervisors are aware I find the language extremely offensive and continue to use it, say "ooooo.
dont say that, (in a taunting manner) as she may complain.

Good evening Wendy,

It is not important when the first incident took place, but that you may file a complaint over anything that has occurred in the last year.

A denial of a claim from workers' compensation does not impact your rights under the EEOC or the DFEH. Workers' compensation is entirely a different matter than a discrimination complaint under the regulations of the EEWOC and the DFEH.

The use of sexually derogative words and phrases does not have to be directed at you---it merely need to occur in your presence. Additionally, if the sexual harassment id a continuing issue, you can bring in situations that occurred more then a year ago, so long as the harassment continued to within the past year.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

LawTalk and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Wendy. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

Thanks again.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank-you again. Your advice & resources are excellent. If I do want Lawyer representation, do you have any suggestions? I'm in Sacramento area, but willing to go to bay area. I like the job, but not the "harrasment" and need to continue to work there. I do not have a personal lawyer, in this area- have used a local lawyer for estate planning.

Hi Wendy,

What city do you work in---Sacramento? I practices law in Sacramento county for quite a while. I can get you a list of attorneys that might be able to assist you from a list i have access to if you want.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes I work in Sacramento

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank-you. I am reviewing your answer now.

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