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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30393
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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I believe I have a case against my former employer. I need

Customer Question

I believe I have a case against my former employer. I need to speak with an attorney to discuss the matter.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

What can you tell me about your case? Also, what state are you in?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I recently resigned from a position due to my boss creating an hostile work environment, constantly trying to bully me and also forcing me to buy her Herbalife products. Since, I resigned she intentionally cheated me out of my pay - almost $400.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She also tried to get me to falsify documents which is why I resigned. I am trying to see if I have a case to move forward and if I should report this to the Department of Labor
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm in the State of Illinois
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear that.

"Hostile work environment" is legal term of art. It doesn't just mean that the workplace was unpleasant. Other than peddling Herbalife, what was she doing? Are you a member of traditionally marginalized group?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She would make uncomfortable comments about the man that works there, try to use her position as the director to make me do things.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She would come into my office and try to get me to write up false information on people, create false documents, and then try to use the fact I take care of my mother against me. If I needed to leave she would mention in a staff meeting that "some people are always leaving saying its for family reasons - when I always had documentation
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Legally, a hostile work environment means that she was sexually harassing you, making sexually inappropriate comments, making racist comments, or allowing other employees to do so. Was there anything like that going on?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
she made inappropriate sexual comments about my male co-worker which Human Resources got involved
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

If she made those comments to you directly, that could qualify as a hostile work environment. In these types of lawsuits, the judge is looking for an ongoing pattern of behavior. Your male co-worker could have a sexual harassment claim, depending on what she said and did, but that's separate. To win this type of case, you have to be able to show that she made working for her unbearable because of your gender and the comments she made/allowed others to make.

You absolutely have a case for the $400 she withheld from your paycheck. Under Illinois law, if you have to go through the state to get your money back, she'll have to pay them a $250 administrative fee. You can tell her that, if you want to see if it will help you get the money faster. Here is a form and instructions for seeking reimbursement.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

And if she forced you to write false documents, report it. Report it to her supervisor if she has one, the owner if she doesn't, and if she owns the company, you can talk to the other people who work there. If the false documents amount to fraud, you can notify the police and ask them to investigate.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?