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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am an office manager in an oral maxillofacial surgery practice.

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I am an office manager in an oral maxillofacial surgery practice. A patient hand delivered a letter of complaint against another employee that I had asked her to put in writing so that I could make sure that the doctor would receive the complaint (she is his business manager). She is a very cruel, uncensored and self empowered employee that I have been trying to build a case again. When the patient walked in the letter placed in a sealed envelop addressed to me she intercepted it, opened it and shared it with another employee and then kept it. She obviously knew she had been rude to this patient They do not know that I am aware of this activity. I have the envelop and I have informed the doctor but I want to know now what I can do to her legally. He has not been back in the office since the incident but I need to know my rights because she has gotten away with so many other offenses that I need to personally go after her on this on.

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Are you and the other employee both 'at-will' employees or do you have a contract with your employer?

Has this employee made any statements to you discriminating against you due to a protected characteristic (race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, etc.) or any threats or actions of violence by any chance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

WE ARE NOT "AT WILL" EMPLOYEES AND THIS EMPLOYEE HAS NOT MADE ANY DISCRIMINATING REMARKS TO ME DIRECTLY, HOWEVER SHE IS VERY DEFENSIVE AND HAS BEEN IN ABUSIVE ARGUMENTS AND RUDE CONVERSATIONS WITH AND AGAINST OTHER EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE WITHOUT REPRIMAND. SHE HAS MADE AGE AGE DISCRIMINATING REMARKS TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. AGAIN AS REPORTED IN MY INITIAL REPORT, SHE SPEAKS UNCENSORED ALL WITHOUT REPRIMAND. THAT IS WHY THIS ACTION OF HER OPENING A LETTER ADDRESSED TO ME IS THE LAST STRAW AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE ANY MORE FROM HER. I NEED TO KNOW MY LEGAL RIGHTS WITHIN AN OFFICE SETTING.

Thanks for the additional information. I'll get back to you shortly.

(Also, please refrain from using all capital letters in any additional replies as well. It conveys that you are shouting and is hard to read).
Hello Nancy,

I'm afraid that in this situation you really do not have any rights against your co-worker. The only time an employee does have these rights is when there a legitimate threat to their safety that is being posed or the employee is subjecting them to discriminatory treatment on the basis of a protected characteristic.

It does seem that your co-worker is a horrible person and your boss is extremely careless in failing to reprimand her or take appropriate actions against her, but it is his decision, and his decision alone to decide to do anything or not to correct her behavior.

Unfortunately, there really is nothing that you can do legally here against your co-worker. You can only try to convince your boss to take some action against her due to the written complaint that you have and her past bad behavior.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph
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