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I have a friend who, on Monday, was suspended for a week. She

asked why and was never...
I have a friend who, on Monday, was suspended for a week. She asked why and was never told the reason.

As she left the building her HR person, followed her across the parking lot and to the bus stop which was off the premises.

Her boyfriend was waiting for her and when the HR person saw him, he quickly gave an excuse to her and left. She has been sexually harassed in the past and has reported it.

She was terrified she was being stalked by this person and is scared to go back to work.

What can she do?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/24/2013
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
Verified

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

wallstreetfighter :

Was she harassed in the past by the HR person?

wallstreetfighter :

This is an unfortunate situation, and is serious, if she made previous complaints to the employer about the matter, and feels that a hostile work environment has been created, the law does protect her, and she should file a civil rights complaint with the State Civil Rights Agency, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature that is detrimental to a positive work environment. This includes anything that is aimed at someone solely because of that person’s gender.

wallstreetfighter :

the Washington State Human Rights Commission


Toll Free: 1-800-233-3247

wallstreetfighter :

She can do this by contacting the above agency, she also should send a letter to the employer about the incident, and explain to them that the HR actions have created a hostile work environment for you, and that you feel the suspension was due to your gender as well.

wallstreetfighter :

Most times an employer will try to solve the matter, before it escalates.

Customer:

This is not the same person who harassed her before. But this person knows about it. She was going to go to the police station and file a complaint. She is also concerned that her previous sexual assault complaint was not filed appropriately and wants to look at her personnel file but is afraid they will take that part out. Because she is visually impaired (blind), she feels they think she will just let it all pass.

wallstreetfighter :

She should file the police complaint as this may be considered stalking, also, she should file the complaint with the State civil rights agency.

wallstreetfighter :

If she has a copy of her previous complaint, that would be enough to prove the employer had notice,

wallstreetfighter :

she can also hire a local attorney to send a letter to the employer threatening legal action, if they do not allow her to review her file, and if they do not stop the harassment.

Customer:

She was harassed by someone else but this person knows of that incident. She wants to go to the policie and file a complaint with them. She is also concerned because she wants to look in her personnel file and is afraid they will take that incident out. She is visually impaired (blind), and feels that they think because she is not only a woman but a blind woman and they don't think she will do anything. She is not comfortable going to anyone in that organization. There are other issues as well and they just ignore her requests. She really is terrified to go back. It is a hostile environment but feels she can do nothing because it

wallstreetfighter :

She can do something about it as I have mentioned above,

Customer:

This is not the same person who harassed her before but he knows of the incident. She wants to go to the police and file a complaint. I will tell her to contact theState Civil Rights Agency.

wallstreetfighter :

she needs to file an official complaint, and to send a letter to the employer describing the recent incident and that she feels she is facing a hostile work environment,

wallstreetfighter :

She can file a police report, also, if she feels the harassment may be due to her blindness,

wallstreetfighter :

she can also file an EEOC complaint for disability discrimination

Customer:

This is not the same person but he knows of the previous sexaul harassment. She wants to go to the police and file a complaint. I will tell her to file with the State Civil rights. She is not comfortable going to anyone in that company as she feels they don’t do anything. She wants to see her personnel file but is concerned that they will take the harassment issue out. There are several other issues she’s addressed but they don’t act on it. It is a non-profit organization and feels because of it’s title, and she is blind, she feels they don’t think employees will act on the hostile environment.

wallstreetfighter :

She will need to protect herself, by filing the civil rights complaint, and having an attorney send a letter threatening further legal action, that would force the employer to cooperate.

Customer:

This is a diifferent person but he is aware of her filing an harassment complaint. She wants to go the police and file a complaint. I will tell her to file one with the State Civil Rights as well. She is not comfortable going to anyone in that company as she feels they don’t do anything. She wants to see her personnel file but is concerned that they will take the harassment issue out. There are several other issues she’s addressed but they don’t act on it. It is a non-profit high profile organization and feels because of it’s title, and she is blind, she feels they don’t think employees will act on the hostile environment.

wallstreetfighter :

All employees’ right to review and rebut personnel files: Washington State Revised Code 49.12.240-260

wallstreetfighter :

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries enforces this law.

wallstreetfighter :

If the employer has denied her access, or removed the complaint from her file, she should file a DOL complaint against the employer as well.

wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

wallstreetfighter :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback so we can receive credit.

Customer:

She is terrified to go back to work. Should she go back? Or, file the complaint and not go back. She knows that they think she is incapable of finding another job as they do with all the employees there. It is a power struggle and the employees feel powerless.

wallstreetfighter :

She should file the complaint, and if she has any sick days oor vacation time, she should take it now, and go to work after the complaint,

wallstreetfighter :

If she does not go back, they can terminate her for cause,

wallstreetfighter :

or state she quit, and she can be denied unemployment benefits,

wallstreetfighter :

Once she files a complaint with the State,

wallstreetfighter :

the employer is prohibited from taking any negative action against you,

wallstreetfighter :

as that is retaliation, and against the law.

wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

wallstreetfighter :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback.

Customer:

Is this as easy as it sounds? What would the cost be if she hired an attorney to fill out all the forms that you have suggested?

wallstreetfighter :

an attorney may cost her $200-$400 to fill out the papers and send a letter,

wallstreetfighter :

however she can file the complaint herself,

wallstreetfighter :

and the civil rights agency will investigate the matter, and see if there is any merit,

Customer:

Thank you so much. You have been very, very helpful.Have a wonderful weekend.

wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
Verified
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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,253
17,253 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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