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A gay man who I have worked with on and off for 20 years is

making disparaging remarks about me...
A gay man who I have worked with on and off for 20 years is making disparaging remarks about me to management because I will no longer listen to him rant and rave about political climate
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Iowa- been a bad workplace environment since last November I don’t trust our HR dept. He claims to be HIV positive also.
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: At will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have have listened to his suicide threat for many years also. He put a suicide note in my company mailbox in 2011. I took it to HR. They confiscated from me. I made a copy 1st.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/7/2017
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,377
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me what your question is?

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
My coworker brags to everyone that he has HR wrapped around his finger because he is gay and HIV positive
He has it out for me now because I have severed all social media ties with him last year after the election and also instructed my family members to do
Customer reply replied 7 days ago
He is mentally unstable a foul mouthed misogynist to say the least

I am sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what your question is?

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
I feel an attack by him on me in the HR dept is imminent
Can I use a voice recorder if such a meeting occurs?

Legally speaking, yes. Iowa is a "one party consent state", meaning that If the person listening or recording is a sender or recipient of the communication, or is openly present and participating in the conversation, the communication can be recorded without the consent of the other parties. But note that the employer can still restrict this. You see, Iowa is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

So while it is legal to secretly record, the employer can still say that you can't, and discipline or even terminate you if you do. That would be legal under the at-will doctrine, even though your actual actions would not be illegal. Does that make sense?

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
He is 61. I am 57. It is a cereal factory. He is a terrible misogynist so yes I think this is sexual harassment due to me being a woman
Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Have you seen any precedents of gay men sexually harassing women with foul language? Bitch, Whore and worse?
Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Hello?

Frankly, no. The reason is that it's not illegal to be a jerk (or a massive jerk, a-hole, etc...). If you're being targeted because of your gender, or if the workplace is "highly sexualized" then it could be a case of sexual harassment.

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Yes, I'm here. I'm a fairly fast typer, but it still takes time to respond.

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Foul language, in and of itself, is not enough. There are two types of sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile workplace). It's not a quid pro quo situation (sleep with me if you want to keep your job, advance in your job) so it'd have to be hostile workplace. But that means it has to be "highly sexualized". It's not enough to call you something because you're a woman, but rather be making comments, suggestions, etc... based upon the fact that you're a woman and that it's sexual in nature. Does that make sense? ?

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
There are 2 other women he has harassed
We all work together and now don’t make small talk with him due to his behavior
Just minimum required for workplace
He is accustomed to being privy to our private lives and social media accounts. That is over He is not happy

Again, if he's making sexually suggestive statements or statements about sex aimed at you or harassing you, that's sexual harassment. But calling you these horrible names (which I agree is awful) without more is not actionable. Again, generally speaking, people are legally allowed ot be jerks, a-holes, etc... and rarely does the law actually step in and limit free speech rights.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
My intention was not to secretly tape at a meeting but to turn voice recorder app on at the meeting in full view if it occurs
Is that legal?

Yes, it's legal. There's no law that says you can't do that. It's legally to secretly tape and turn over the recording. Now if your employer doesn't like it, they can still terminate you. But there's nothing that the authorities can do against you.

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If there's nothing else, please rate this answer.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~40 minutes now) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Could this qualify as a retaliation firing?
Management knows he is a cry wolf suicide threatener. For over 20 years. Has taken many days, months of from work,
walked off the job etc
In 2011 When I took in a suicide note he had placed in my company mailbox to the HR rep she did nothing
I told her this was just an escalation of oral threats I had received over the years and I urged a 5150 hold They did nothing He was back to work in 2 months like nothing happened
She took the note never gave it back but I did make a copy 1st

First of all, you have to be retaliated against for it to be retaliation. But then it has tobe retaliation for doing something that is protected under the law. So if you filed a complaint with the EEOC, or took FMLA leave, etc... and were retaliated against, you'd have a case, because those laws have antiretaliation provisions. In other words, it's against the law to retaliate against an employee for those reasons. But if you were retaliated against because of your actions, there's no law that would outlaw that retaliation. It'd be unethical, immoral, and illogical, but not illegal.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
putting a suicide note in a company mailbox of a coworker is OK
I am really burned out on being his untrained unpaid psychiatrist on the job
Yes I stopped about a year ago
Have you ever dealt with workplace serial suicide threateners who use suicide threats to control those around them? At work?

No, I've not dealt with them, but that doesn't change what the law says about it. There's no protection for such employees that are the subject of others using them as psychiatrists, etc... I'm sorry to say.

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,377
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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