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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  associate attorney
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I have an defamation against me in the workplace,

Customer Question

I have an defamation against me in the workplace
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state you're in?
Customer: Pennsylvania
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no, i told me supervisor that this was going on and nothing was done but i did ask him to document it. This week it happened again
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I plan to build a case and sue
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and for using What do you mean defamation against you? What happened? Are you being discriminated against as being a part of a protected class (gender, race or age)?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Everything started 2-3 months ago. I had a co-worker say that "Damien said you masterbated at work." I didnt unsderstand my people were being rude until he told me. I couldnt just do nothing. Then I started noticing things done to my car I even had cigarette burn on the driver door of my car. Air was left out of my front right tire and my electic motor under my seat was stolen. I already have social anxienty because after my father died of cancer I didnt go out or hang out with my friends or anything for 2 years. I just stayed inside. So what I am saying is when i started this job it was like I was learning to communicate and socialize all over again. So at times I could be a bit weird and awkward. I been here for more than 6 months. I started to make friends and become more socialable. That being said I didn't know what to do when I was being targeted with threats and aggression. It took alot for me to confront my boss about it. I told him that a friend outside of work told me that he was told by somebody who worked here that this was being said about me (I still dont know if that was a good idea). Even though I had a co-worker literally tell me who was saying it I didnt want to get him in trouble I just wanted it to stop (I regret now). He called in his boss and another supervisor. I then explained again to them what was going on(which was so unbearably awkward). When I told my production manager about the rumor. I told them I am willing and wanting to take a lie detector test to defend myself. His response was "I dont have a lie detector test so what do you want me to do about it." I also have reason to believe management thinks I called Ocia when there was an electrical fire (made us keep working while breathing it in)and water pipes bursted. I can explain more of this later as to why. I felt targeted even by the production manager of the whole plant. Reason why I say that is the same week he walked around my work area and looked at me and flicked me the middle finger but not towards me but he was staring at me when he did so(real immature guy). Nobody will ever will bluntly confront me they just say stuff behind my back I have caught people numerous times execpt one person and that was the one who told me very suddlely. So I confonted them to find out what was really going on cause i couldnt just do nothing. Told them about the rumor. I offered to take a lie detector test. He said "well i dont have a lie detector test so what do u want me to do about it." He said "well i dont know who said it so i dont know what you want me to do." He seemed real smug saying this which to me was odd cause I never even talked to him before this point. It took all I had to gather the courage to go and confront this situation head on. Also took everything I had not to say the name who did it. I work with this person everyday right next to him and we never really got along. My thinking was get this rumor to stop so I can just go back to work without it being awkward to work with my co-worker and often high(how do i know this? he tells me). I had to do his job and my job. With that said I asked the production manager "Well at least report that I came here asking for help." He said he would have someone do it. Things settled down after that and things were fine which is all wanted. People started to be more friendly and stopped being rude. But last week it started to happen again. Since then I have had people make obscene gestures and flicking me off. So if me confronting management politely didnt work last time Im going to need a lawyer cause I will not stand by idle while I am defamed. I lived here most my life and have a house so I cant just pick up and leave. I have a brother that I took care off since he was 16. Our dad died of cancer and my mother was not around. I stopped college to come back and help. My brother and I have been though enough in the recent years. I am 28 years old now and have become stonger and more tolerable to ingnorance. I know I have lost friends to this infection of a rumor. I am more concerned for my Brother than me who also works there on first shift which I will later ask him if he was aware of this rumor. Im also concerned that my employer will not properly and justly investigate if I report to HR. I need a lawyer to help me with my options. I will do whatever it take even if it costs me everything to get the truth out.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I get the feeling no one will help me because of the severity of the accusation. Im little scared to go to work cause i feel threatened. I didnt know what my options are or if there was a way to get off work so i can spend time finding a lawyer that will actually help me.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

This is a VERY common accusation, at least on this site that I see. Do you have an employment contract? Are you part of as union?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No it just a privately own company. I am a actual employee with the company.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

As an at-will employee (with no employment or union contract), it will be difficult to file a cause of action against your employer if you are not a part of a protected class and you are being harassed because of that. Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from making job decisions based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), or national origin. Additional federal laws prohibit discrimination based on age (if the employee is at least 40 years old), disability, or genetic information. Employers with at least 15 employees are subject to these laws (for age discrimination, employers with at least 20 employees must comply with the law). Employers may not discriminate in any part of the employment relationship.

Pennsylvania law also protects employees from discrimination based on these traits. In addition, employees in Pennsylvania are protected from discrimination based on their use of a service animal or their possession of a GED rather than a high school diploma. Employers with at least four employees are subject to Pennsylvania’s state laws that prohibit discrimination. To file a complaint or learn more about Pennsylvania’s laws prohibiting discrimination, go to the website of the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission.

Harassment based on any of these protected traits is also illegal. The law defines harassment as unwelcome comments or actions that create a hostile or offensive working environment or that the victim must endure as a condition of employment. Sexual harassment is the most familiar type of harassment, but harassment might also be based on disability, race, and other protected traits. If you complain about workplace harassment or discrimination, you are protected from retaliation (this means to your OSHA complaint cannot have negative consequences on you). Your employer may not discipline, fire, or take other negative action against you because you complain within the company, to a government agency (like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission), or in a lawsuit.

Under federal law, harassment of employees based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or parental status is prohibited.

Prohibited workplace harassment may take either of two forms. It may entail "quid pro quo" harassment, which occurs in cases in which employment decisions or treatment are based on submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct, typically conduct of a sexual nature. Workplace harassment may also consist of offensive conduct based on one or more of the protected groups above that is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as being fired or demoted).

Unfortunately without harassment based on you being a member of a protected class, you probably do not have a valid claim against your employer. In order for a “bullying” claim to be actionable in Pennsylvania, it must constitute harassment. This means that the bullying must be based upon an individual’s protected classification (i.e. race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, age, genetic information, etc.). If an employee comes to an employer with an allegation of bullying, the employer should investigate the claim as it would any other issue. While the underlying bullying claim may not be actionable, allowing bullying to permeate a workplace will lead to other issues, such as poor productivity and low employee morale. So if your employer does not properly investigate and deal with your claim under its own policies and procedures, you could have an action for your employer not provide a safe and proper environment.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will be greatly appreciated. See link for how to rate:

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
your saying a lawyer cant call for a cease and assist and/or investigate by questioning people to that work there?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

You could file a complaint with EEOC and it could be investigated if they think there is enough merit to investigate. You could also file a lawsuit and then employees could be deposed (official interviews by the attorneys) in that process. I think you mean a cease and desist order? That is unlikely that the courts would step in especially since it is really not unlawful to bully in the workplace unless it is based on you being part of a protected class. But no an attorney cannot simply investigate without there being some type of cause of action and a reason for he/she to be there.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will be greatly appreciated. See link for how to rate: