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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116710
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I am wondering if I should contact an attorney. I work as

Customer Question

I am wondering if I should contact an attorney. I work as a Registered Nurse in the IT department as a Cerner analyst. I am having some problems with the department. I was forced (along with the entire team) to watch the movie Airplane as a team bonding experience. This was mandatory. I asked to leave and just go do work and I was told I had to stay. the movie depicted bare breasts, references to pedophilia, a woman giving a blow up doll a blow job, etc. It was pure sexual harassment in my opinion. I also have been told in 3 occasions by either my supervisor or my manager to go "pray about it" when I have come to them with problems. I also found out today that the Director or the department was having a number of people watch me and report anything and everything to her that I did. One of them got in trouble for not doing so. This director, effective today resigned (forced to do so) due to managing with fear. I have 2 e-mails that prove that people were going back to report things to her that were either out of context or not true that I received from her as a under the table reprimand. I just received a verbal written warning from the manager based on an e-mail that I sent to him in which I strongly asked him to consider someone on our team for a firstnet position. He found that to be insubordination. It was ridiculous. I have also complained about 2 of our employees whom I feel are getting away with murder and treated differently than me and some of the other women on the team. One of them told another employee to F off when coworkers could hear it. He has a temper. I have sent e-mails to my manger about 2 other incidence with this same man who has reacted in an inappropriate manner with the team as a witness. Nothing happens to him. I met with my manager and told him that I thought it was inappropriate for him to be going out for beers with his subordinates and how it creates a bias whether he intends to do so or not. He does not see it that way but I have watched this man get away with all kinds of bad behavior and a pattern is forming. I also have brought to their attention that both of them take long lunches, come in late, are never at their desks, leave early, etc. and how that affects the job. I was told to mind my own business. I feel like I have been targeted. I feel like I got a reprimand that was not warranted. Everyone is too scared to go to HR about the inappropriate movie for fear of getting targeted or fired. Is there anything I can do? I can share my reprimand with you and explain more if needed. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did not receive a evaluation until I had worked in the position of over 2 years.a few weeks ago when I told my supervisor I love my work but hate that every day I wonder if this is the day I will be walked to hr. I don't trust him nor the manager. I told them I did not deserve to be written up. He disagreed. He told me that the old anager had a thick file on me about communication that he chose not to read. I was suprises and tole him that julie never once talked to me about my communication in the 2 years that she managed me so if there was a problem I was never informed. Isaid that I feel scared all the time and like I am walking on egg shells. I am a salaried employee for confluence health an at will employer so they can technically fire me any time and there would be nothing I could do. It should be noted that the 2 problem employees I reported were men. The supervisor is male and the manager is male.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also want to know how I can get ahold of my hr file and my supervisor and managers files so I can write a rebuttal to what might be in them. Is there a way to subpeona them? I also want to write a rebuttal to the verbal written warning that I received.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If the conduct you are being subjected to is based only on your age/race/SEX/disability/national origin/religion or they are now retaliating against you because you complained about sexual harassment or hostile work environment based on sex or religion, then your first step is you must go to the EEOC, as they have to investigate and grant you a right to sue letter in order to go to court. This is part of the federal court requirement that you exhaust all of your administrative remedies before proceeding to court.
You do not need an attorney to file your complaint with the EEOC, you can do so without an attorney. Once the EEOC issues a right to sue letter, you have 90 days from that letter to file suit and at that point you need an attorney. So once you file your complaint, while the EEOC is investigating, then you need to look for a local attorney to represent you when the right to sue letter is issued.
There is a 300 day statute of limitations to file your claim from the date of the last incident of harassment/discrimination, so time limits in these cases are short.
Under WA law, workers may request to inspect their personnel files at least once per year. Upon request by the worker, a business must make the personnel file available within a reasonable period of time. The worker can make copies of anything in their file. The law does not prevent an employer from charging a reasonable fee for copying records from the file. As far as submitting a rebuttal to anything in the file, there is no WA RCW that mandates the employer accept the rebuttal and include it in the file. The employee may write a rebuttal and ask for it to be considered and included in the file, but the decision to do so is at the employer's discretion unless there is some employee or union contract providing this as a contractual right.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So based on the information I gave you does this qualify as a hostile work environment? Does it qualify for harassment? Do I have a legal basis to do anything about it?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the sole reason for the conduct towards you was based on one of the reasons outlined above, then yes, it would seem to qualify for hostile work environment and possibly discrimination.
You do indeed have a legal basis to file your complaint with the EEOC based on all of the conduct you described. It is up to them to review the evidence to determine if a right to sue letter should be issued and if they find probable cause for your allegations based on gathering of all of the evidence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you suggest I go to hr first? Could they just find a reason to fire me?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you believe HR will take action, you can go to them first. However, if you believe they will simply do nothing or will try to retaliate against you, you do not have to go to them.