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Workplace harassment. I work by remote and live in the state…

Workplace harassment. Lawyer's Assistant:...

Workplace harassment.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I work by remote and live in the state of TX, employed by a company in NY.

Lawyer's Assistant: Was this harassment issue discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

Not as of yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the workplace "at will" or union? Is the job hourly or salaried?

At will, hourly.

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

I was salaried up until 2013, whereby the company offered me the opportunity to work by remote on an hourly basis.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/18/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 536
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. Can you provide a little more information about the harassment?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Started in 2016. First with all of my primary duties being distributed to a temporary employee for several months. Upon that Temp leaving, I was then expected to pick up where I left off. During this time I was advised it was for cross training purposes as I work as a treasury analyst, which is part of the A/R Treasury team. The temp was part of Accounts Payable. As this cross training took place I was told not to work during the year end close of 2016 as I was not needed. No problem. The cycle continues to this day except instead of cross training it is called "knowledge transfer". Fine except, 2 weeks ago I receive a call from this same manager with two other parties on the line yelling about my not copying her on an email. The email related to $40.00 in receivables. We deal with about $1 billion dollars in collections a year. Upon looking at my saved IM correspondence and emails, in addition to my daily work journals I realize this manager has taken ever opportunity to harass me to quit. I have an out of the blue email from the 2nd temp that arrived stating that they want to fire me. This temp quit unexpectedly and thus I was catapulted into performing my normal duties from Sept 2017 to year end close. Once again another temp arrived in Jan. 2018 and now I am back in limbo.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
During this entire time I have notes and IM's of emotional abuse. Phone calls whereby the director tries to embarrass me in front of others as I am always on conference call.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The files contain confidential financial information, but I do keep pdfs of communications. I have been their analyst since 2008 whereby I have never experienced such an aggressive attempt to remove me from my duties. This Director is the same person I have painstakingly trained prior to receiving their promotion. Other employees have spoken to the HR team about harassment but they are salaried. Several temporary support staff have suddenly quit in both Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. Turnover I have not seen during my tenure. Should I advise HR of my experience or seek legal counsel first.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this situation. In both Texas and New York employment is what is known as "at-will." With at-will employment, unless you have a contract for employment for a specified length of time, you or your employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason or no reason, as long as the reasons isn't unlawful (e.g., discrimination). So, the unfortunate result with at-will employment is that bad managers can often force employees to quit or make their lives miserable and unless that conduct is directed toward a person of a protected class because they are in that class (e.g., age, race, religion, gender), there is no legal claim for harassment. If the harassment is due to the employee's age, race, religion, gender, then if it is unwanted and so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person could not work in those circumstances there may be a claim.

Often bad management goes unnoticed unless employees complain to higher level corporate/company representatives. If you have an HR department, you may consider speaking to them about this situation. It is in their interest to fix problems like this one to ensure all employees are treated professionally. Be prepared to share the documentation you have of how you are being treated. In response to whether to go to HR or seek legal counsel first, there is not right or wrong on that front, it has more to do with what you know about the company, having been with them so long, and whether you think you might get a better response going to HR on your own first. Also, if this director is making statements to others about your performance or that you may be fired/wants to fire you and those statements include provably false statements about your competence in your job, that might give rise to defamation (slander) concerns.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is ​for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 536
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
Attorney Wendy and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have a timeline of events that have occurred with supportive documentation. Including an email from the Director's boss whereby it is insinuated that I am not responsive to her request for training. My phone log and the multitude of IM correspondence counter the claim. Last year her boss called and claimed that this same Director stated that I was rude to her. I quickly advised that I have never been rude or had anyone claim that I was rude during my time with the company. It does appear that my character if being defamed. Thank you for the advice.

You are very welcome and best of luck resolving this situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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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