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I work at a church. I was accused of Harassment of a women…

Customer Question
I work at a...

I work at a church. I was accused of Sexual Harassment of a women whom I greeting as "hey pretty Lady whats up? or on one occasion I said to her as she entered my office, Hey beautiful how can I help you. In both cases she replied with "Thank You James" She now claims she was offended and was made to feel uncomfortable. I lost my job because of it. Do I have a right to appeal?

Lawyer's Assistant: Was the work environment intimidating, hostile, or abusive?

No! We are or were really good friends, she never said anything or showed discomfort. .

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment "at will," union, full time, or part time?

Full Time, I should say I was demoted,

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Im black and she is white.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
8/1/2017
Employment Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,628
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Employment Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Good morning,

You don't mention what state you are in, but the vast majority of states (with the exception of Montana) are "at will" employment states. An at-will employee can be fired at any time, for any reason (except for a few illegal reasons, spelled out below). If the employer decides that's the end of your job--and you have very limited legal rights to fight your termination.

Even if you are an at-will employee, you still cannot be fired for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law. In these situations, the government has decided to make an exception to the general rule of at-will employment. For example, if your employer is subject to federal and state laws prohibiting job discrimination (as all but the smallest employers are), you cannot be fired because of certain characteristics, such as your race, religion, or gender. Similarly, you cannot be fired because you have complained about illegal activity, about discrimination or harassment, or about health and safety violations in the workplace And you cannot be fired for exercising a variety of legal rights, including the right to take family and medical leave, to take leave to serve in the military, or to take time off work to vote or serve on a jury.

Based on the facts, this doesn't sound like an unlawful firing -and that's the awful part of at will employment. An employer can literally terminate you just because. In this case, the employer was likely concerned they were going to get dragged into potential litigation if they didn't respond to the employee's complaints, and responded by terminating you. You can certainly talk to the employer about what happened if they will listen to you and try to get your job back, but they are under no obligation to do so, and there is no legal right to a formal appeal process, unfortunately.

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Employment Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Was there anything I could clarify or additional information you needed? If so, please reply without rating, and I'll be happy to assist you further. Otherwise, please leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page as that is the only way experts are credited by the site for our assistance. Thank you.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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