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I was sexually assaulted by my supervisor on Friday and I…

Customer Question
I was sexually assaulted...

I was sexually assaulted by my supervisor on Friday and I contacted Human Resources. Do I need to continue to work with him while they investigate the incident?

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

Rockville Maryland

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

At will

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

That is it

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
12/8/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,405
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Can you give details regarding the incident of assault? Also, would it be possible to transfer you or your supervisor so that you do not work together? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I was walking down the hall with my supervisor regarding a problem with checks printed from an incorrect account that an employee did. While discussing it he put his hand on my bottom and I jumped. I looked around for a witness and there was an accountant behind us. I gave HR the witness' name but I also know that I am working in an environment where employees do not see a thing. However, since the incident happened close to 5pm, I got my things and left.
This is a higher education organization.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you.

Employers have an obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment from continuing to occur once it is reported. You could argue that this obligation entails immediately separating you from the perpetrator of the offense you have alleged, and you could claim that you will refuse to work with the perpetrator until the investigation has concluded. However, I think this would pose risks for you. You could be accused of insubordination by refusing to work, and unless you can show that you reasonably feared for your safety or that the harassment was so severe that no reasonable person could ever be expected to endure it, I think you would have a hard time establishing that your refusal was protected. Basically, you would be putting your job on the line and you would have to show that your employer was acting unreasonably by not separating you before concluding its investigation.

If it were me I would not refuse to work. I would simply ensure that I am not left alone with this supervisor and that he is not in a position where he can touch me again. I would ask for a co worker to be present whenever I am with the supervisor so there is a witness to any further misconduct. Finally, I would document any and all instances of further harassment and demand that my employer conduct a prompt investigation into my complaint.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I feel the school is dragging there feet like before. I worked for the President and he was terrifying. The person before me who held the position was moved to a position they created for her. However, when she left I was called and asked if I wanted the position. I took it because it was a promotion but no one told me what I had to endure. I went to HR on him and they ignored me instead I was demoted. I just don't want them to do this to me again. I need to know my employment because they have not contacted me just to say they need more information and I don't know what else to give them. They got the misappropriate emails and a text of apology.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

It sounds like they need a note clarifying whether you have any restrictions and if so, what those restrictions are. I would provide this note as soon as possible. If you have restrictions, I would also inform your employer in writing what you believe they can do to reasonably accommodate you. If they do not bring you back on or fail to offer reasonable accommodations, your next step is to file a complaint with the EEOC.

I hope this helps. Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

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