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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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On June 8 2013 my boss verbally attack me so bad that I had

Customer Question

On June 8 2013 my boss verbally attack me so bad that I had to go out one stress leave I reported to my union rep she then forward to HR. I told the union rep that I felt that I was being attack and I was very scared of him and that I wanted a transfer from that store she told me to put my transfer in so I did I don’t know what HR did to him but as of 8-7-2013 they still haven’t transferred me. Since the incident I have been out on stress leave my doctor even wrote them a note telling them that do to my emotional state that I be transfer to another store. In my statement to HR I told them that I was afraid of him and I felt he was attacking me. So my question what should I do to get HR to transfer me? What is my next step?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Good morning and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about this incident with your boss.

Can you please tell me whether he physically threatened or attacked you in any way? Also, can you please tell me whether you have been diagnonsed with a specific mental condition (i.e. PTSD) as a result of this incident or other incidents?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No he did not threatened or attack me he was yelling at me that it scared me in my 26 years working for this company never have i had a boss treat me this was. Yes the doctor put me on xanax.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for your reply.

There is good news and bad news concerning your situation, and I hope that you don't mind if I start with the bad.

The bad news is that workplace "harassment" is generally not illegal unless physical threats are made or the harassment relates to a legally protected trait, such as race, gender, or religion. So, while it is against the law to shout racial slurs at someone or to threaten to bring a gun to work, it is not illegal to be generally rude, mean or hostile.

If physical threats had been made, you could have also applied for a restraining order, with which your employer would have a legal duty to comply, and which then would likely trigger your transfer to another department. However, as no physical violence was threatened and such threats are a prerequisite to a restraining order, this unfortunately cannot serve as a basis for a transfer demand.

The above is the bad news. The good news is that you may have one argument that you can leverage into a transfer. That argument would be derived from California's Fair Employment & Housing Act, which requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" employees suffering from "disabilities" (defined as health conditions that impair a major life function.)

If you can argue that your mental condition qualifies as a disorder that "impairs a major life function" -- and you likely can if a doctor warranted it was serious enough for a Xanax prescription, you can argue that a "reasonable accommodation" in your circumstance is a transfer away from the manager who has caused this condition to develop and will only continue to make it worse.

If your employer refuses to provide a transfer as a reasonable accommodation, then you may have grounds to sue for a FEHA violation. Again, all of this assumes that your mental condition qualifies as a condition that "impairs a major life function," but as noted, it likely would satisfy this definition if your condition warranted prescription drugs.

This letter demanding a transfer as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to FEHA can be drafted by your self but is best drafted and sent by an attorney, as your employer will be much more inclined to give it substantial weight and consideration. To locate a local employment law attorney who can assist you with drafting this demand for accommodations, see here:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have aslo seen a Psychotherapy doctor who has me on Lamictal because of what happen.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information. This would further support that your condition is a disaiblity under FEHA which entitles you to reasonable accommodations, including a transfer away from under this supervisor.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.

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