exactly no but my situation actually this
June 27th, 2013
To the Quintstar Management Department of Human Resources,
I am writing this letter to complain about an unfortunate incident that recently happened to me while I was working at the Pancake Haus in Moab. I believe I have been treated unfairly by the management, who decided today to fire me after I complained about a sexual harassment incident.
On Monday, June 24th, my co-worker Devran sexually harassed me. The incident began while I was in the kitchen. Devran began speaking to me using very condescending and degrading language. I said to him “I don’t want to talk to you,” and I asked him to leave me alone. Then, he started to shout at me and used specific Turkish phrases that can be directly translated to mean “I am going to f**k you when I see you outside of work” and “Who are you? What are you going to do?”. The latter phrase was said in a very threatening way, so I walked to my manager Angela’s office to report him. She appeared to be on the phone and, after I waited for a minute or so for her conversation to end (which it did not), I walked back to Pancake Haus to continue doing my job.
After entering the restaurant, I encountered Devran again. He continued using degrading language, and he then told me to go outside so he could “punch” me. Scared and embarrassed that co-workers and guests were witnessing this scene, I followed him through the back door in the kitchen until we were standing outside of the building. Once we were outside, Devran repeated the Turkish phrases that were meant to threaten and intimidate me. He began to approach me until he was standing only a few inches from my face. He held his hands up on either side of my head and stared me directly in my eyes. He repeated himself, saying “I’m going to f**k you.” I would like to clarify that, in my native language of Turkish, the phrase that Devran chose has a very literal and intentional meaning. It is not typically said to be funny or to, as it is so often used in the US, jokingly shrug someone off or express anger. It’s significance is very clear. To me, it felt like Devran meant what he said. He continued to say it despite my efforts to make him stop. I tried saying to him, “You cannot use this language with me.” Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain.
After this encounter, I went directly to the manager on duty, Angela, who was outside right after the incident. I told her about the encounter and asked her to call the police, as I was not sure how to handle the situation. I felt scared, frazzled, humiliated, and threatened. At that time, Devran was still there instigating me, daring me to call the police while he gestured his phone towards me in a mocking way. He then walked back into the restaurant. I continued to insist to Angela that nobody should be allowed to use this language to another co-worker, male or female. It was then that she told me that the police are going to do nothing. “I can’t fire him,” she insisted, despite the fact that I relayed the whole encounter to her and told her of his threats to punch me. “He was just threatening you,” she said. “If he was actually going to punch you, he would have done it already.” This nonchalant attitude, as though threats are acceptable as long as they are not followed by action, was shocking to me. His threats, empty or not, still filled me with fear and still, in my opinion, create a work environment that feels violent.
I am writing this detailed letter because I feel that it was unjust for me to be fired after this incident while Devran only received a warning. Clearly, there were two parties involved in the situation, and I cannot help but feel that I am being discriminated against by being fired. When I was laid off, I was told that the reasons for my termination were because I am an unhappy employee who is hard to please, that I have a bad attitude, and that the incident with Devran did not really occur. Angela told me that the managers came upon this decision regarding the incident after watching the security cameras. However, Stephanie and Leighanne from the Quintstar Office later told me that they did not, in fact, watch the cameras. Therefore, I am confused and hurt because I feel that this very serious situation is not being addressed with the correct care and respect. Harassment at this level should be taken very seriously, and I do not believe that firing the victims of such harassment is a fair policy.