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I have been working in a hostile and toxic work environment…

Customer Question
I have been working...

I have been working in a hostile and toxic work environment for nearly four years that has become steadily worse. I've been sexually harassed, discriminated against, have had my work sabotaged, been called names, had things thrown at me, etc. Its all one person - my boss. I am the only one subordinate to her. Ive been warned to keep my mouth shut and this employer has ZERO procedures for concerns/complaints, mediation, etc. - there's no process at all (my understanding is they have to have one by law; we don't even have workman's comp information or an employee manual). What do I do? How do I find a lawyer in this situation?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

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

There is no employment agreement to my knowledge. I'm full time and salaried.

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

Maybe just that I have TONS of documentation and notes (I always take notes anyway; now the notes have become proof) and there are multiple co-workers who can corroborate things as well. This has affected my health very negatively as well (a therapist said I may have developed "complex PTSD" due to the prolonged hostile environment). This is not normal work stress or normal behavior (I've been given raises twice so it isn't my performance - not that that would excuse sexual harassment etc.). Thank you!

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/6/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,310
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,221
Experience: Helping you with your legal questions.
Verified

Hello. My name is***** am an attorney. Just to confirm, you are still working at the company, correct?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am. I have asked for assistance - just a meeting, even - and have been just flatly ignored. (I have some of these requests in writing.)
Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

Okay. You mention lack of promotions, correct? In other words, are you being paid less for the same work others are doing? Or are you being denied promotions other are getting?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I can't really compare myself to anyone else here as my job is self-contained. I will say that last year, I was given a raise, and the performance evaluation consisted of me just being told by my boss to keep my mouth shut. It seems implied that if I didn't follow that "direction," I wouldn't receive another raise etc. (I was given a raise the year before too - it was once a year at my eval.) This year, after I spoke up about a couple of things that I thought were wrong (non-confrontationally), I didn't get an eval at all.
Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

Hold, please.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Money isn't really my issue, or it isn't at the top of the list at least. The pervasive treatment that has resulted in my having physical issues (IBS, etc.) as well as psychological issues (insomnia, increased severity of anxiety, etc.). My doctors could corroborate that. Then on a few occasions, I was sexually harassed (a co-worker was witness to one instance).
Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

Okay. You mentioned being sexually harassed. You mention you are having a meeting. Is this meeting with an HR department? It seems that you have reported these incidences before, correct?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We have no HR department. We don't even have an employee handbook. There are no procedures in place for anything - literally anything. We don't have phone numbers displayed or even workman's comp info anywhere. In fact, if forced to define someone who does HR here, I do quite a bit of HR, and the other person who does HR (payroll, etc.) is my boss - the person inflicting this behavior. I have asked for a meeting many times, and once was just told "No," and after that, when I have asked for meetings or to speak to someone in authority (usually meaning I go to the company president directly), I am ignored completely.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
As I understand it, a company is required to have some sort of procedure and to display information for employees. That is my understanding, at least. To add to that: Everyone here is treated differently than I am. To the extent that there are "procedures" here, those do not apply to me. I am 100% treated differently just by virtue of the fact that I am the only direct subordinate of my boss.
Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. Have you considered filing a claim in court for the sexual harassment if all else fails?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I haven't. I don't know if my treatment overall is completely tied into that. It just seems to be sadistic treatment. The sexual harassment is just one component of it. It doesn't happen constantly (the hostile treatment itself is constant).
Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

I understand. Is there anything else I can help you with? Or do you have any other questions? If so, I am happy to help.

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Employment Lawyer: Damien Bosco, Attorney replied 4 months ago

Hello again: Do you have further questions? I know you are in a difficult situation and I am willing to continue to discuss it. If though, you are satisfied with the services I provided to you, please provide a positive rating between 3 and 5 stars at no additional charge to you so I can get paid for helping you. Again, if you have a follow-up question, just let me know. Best regards.

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