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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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In work situation where another employee refuses signatures/

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In work situation where another employee refuses signatures/ answers needed from him over which only he has authority. When he does answer 1 week later, his decisions are hurtful to the client and/or uncooperative to me. I am female. He is male. I am the only employee who works in his office who has the same boss as him. I believe that he treats me this way and hurts the clients that I am dealing with because it is his way of harassing/controlling me. He does not treat the males or most of the females who he supervises this way, unless he wants to get rid of them. We have the same boss. She ordered him to answer me via email on 3 seperate occasions. He ignored her until she said this is the final time I am asking. Then he answered but his answer was that he was too busy to deal with it so the answer was no. She got mad because this decision/action should take 5 minutes tops. So she made the decision/took action/helped the clients. Her employee that would not take action called her boss & filed a complaint against her for going against his decision to do nothing.  Now she also refuses to help/answer the client for ffear of retaliation. By the way this employee has been insubordinate to her for awhile refusing to answer her emails & provide time sensitive company demanded stats. The difficult employee ran all over the building telling anyone who would listen his version of what happened,  of course painting my boss & I in a bad light.  His best buddy's office is just down the hall from me. He was on the phone talking loudly about us too, with clients/workers in the next room & halls.  I filed a complaint with human resources I couple of years ago over these same issues when we had a male boss that this employee did not disrespect like this. Another female employee of  a different race did so before me & they transferred her right away several years ago.  Nothing was done for me (white) & I have only had one interview since. This is only because the guy was new to the company. I also walked in one time when I asked my bosses' boss to assist with resolving one of these time sensitive client situations. The problem employee had the call on speaker & he & my bosses bossa were running me down for the world to hear. I called my bosses boss told him what I had heard & that I did not deserve it. He back petaled & was helpful. But recently when I asked for assistance again because of the employee's refusal to answer, my bosses boss said if I were you I would just quit. I said I am not going to allow you folks to harrass me into quitting. He said I'm just saying that's what I would do & have done. But when he told his story, he had not quit. He had got transferred to another site. I have requested a transfer on more than one occasion.  Also, l have asked to be relocated into the building with the other folks that share my job title. I am the only one with this job title not located in the other building. I would have access to help & assistance with clients in that building that I do not have now. Also it would make it impossible for this troublesome employee to disappear and shove his work load off on me or to hide from clients like he does now. I do not ask for assistance because I want to from these bosses. I ask because I have to. Because of this man's inaction, refusal to answer clients/me/inability to track him down, clients can find me & are threatening law suits or calling/comingby/emailing me to death on matters he should handle or that I cannot get to do my job. To tell you the truth, sometimes, I feel just as harassed by the client as I do the employee. They know this man has a reputation for being vindictive,  he openly brags about it, so they will not elevate the issues in writing to his boss 9 out of 10 times. They just bug me incessantly. One client told me that he could not believe that this man was in charge of a department because all he does in meetings is talk about how he screwed this one & that one over. The bad thing is this man has everyone so scared that i do not think that the others that he has hurt or who have heard things will stand up for me or tell the truth. Rightfully so, they will be terrified of losing their jobs just as I have been for the past 5 years. I have  a legal leg to stand on here to take action here?


Thank you for all of the information, but I am unclear, based on the extensive narrative, exactly what basis would you be wanting to take legal action. Can you briefly say? For example, are you saying that you alone are being targeted for this action by this employee and if so are you saying it is because you are a woman and white?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As hostile work environment/harrassment is defined does this quality. He has on a lesser level done this stuff to two other women my boss & the girl who filed a complaint & was transferred. Both are black. He told anyone who would listen that they transferred her because she was black & they were afraid of a lawsuit. My boss who is as well told me she is afraid to go up against him after what happened to her last time because she is black. However our CEO is black so that may not be an issue. He has also done this to another white female vendor. She has told everyone about it but the folks who can take action because she is agraid too. I was not brought up to dwell on race so this makes uncomfortable. I do believe that I was not given a transfer forced to stay in this position for two more years & blackballed from promotion because I made the complaint. If they transferred the other girl just because she was black then it appears that they are not transferring me because I am white & they think that they do not have to fear a lawsuit. If I understand the law if they are using discrimination to make decisions preventing me from moving out to another company or being promote and refusing to give me the information needed to do my job then they are guilty of harassment, reprisal & a hostile work environment. Or do I misunderstand. All of the women that he is doing this to now do not work for him they just depend on him for critical information. Their issues are recent a few months max mine are years. I just had another client whobis going to file a lawsuit because ofhis lack of assistance. I am terrified because in the past even when I have emails to prove that I did all I vould begging foe help/info somehow this man talks his way out of it and the fingers point at me. I am just hoping that I have a case. I am desperate to get out of here before my career health & finances are completely ruined. Some folks have said just find a new job. I cannot prove all I have is some heresay but I believe that they have been giving me bad reference s even though I am the largest producer & they have used my stats to get a grant to hire more folks like me.

Hello again and thank you for your reply. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I had a meeting I had to attend. I am still not entirely clear on what basis you might have a discrimination case for since you didn't directly answer my question. However, I am going to assume from the facts you have shared that you are thinking that perhaps you are being targeted either because of your gender or your race.

First it is important to note that "hostile work environment" harassment does not exist unless there is a discriminatory intent against someone because of their gender, race, national origin, age (over 40), religion, disability, pregnancy or AIDS/hiv status and the harassment is "severe and pervasive." In this case, what you have described this coworker doing would not be considered by the EEOC or the courts as "severe." That doesn't make it professional or acceptable behavior from a workplace standard, but it would not be considered hostile work environment harassment even if it was motivated by your gender or race.

As for the actions of your senior management/HR in allowing black women to transfer by not you, that could potentially give rise to a racial discrimination case if the action is considered "adverse" and if it is based on race. So, if you believe that is the motivation behind the decision instead of legitimate management/company needs, then you have a right to file a formal complaint of racial discrimination with your employer (HR or the office that handles EO complaints if it is a different office.) Then, if they cannot resolve the issue in a way that you think is appropriate, you can file a formal discrimination complaint with the EEOC. They will investigate the allegations and try to resolve the issue and if they cannot they will issue you an opinion about whether or not the complaint is substantiated and also issue you a "right to sue" letter that you can take to a local employment law attorney to decide whether or not to file suit.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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