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Say you were terminated at work for harrasment and creating…

Say you were terminated...

Say you were terminated at work for sexual harrasment and creating a hostile work environment. However during the investigation process you were not allowed to confront your accusers and they brought up no evidence only hearsay. What can I do about that.

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

HR

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?

To mention this is not the first time this was brought against me. Due to my sexual orientation

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4/12/2018
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,764
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question, however, in order to assist you I will need to know what State you work in. Also, are you saying that you were terminated because of your sexual orientation or were you terminated because of the employer's belief that you had violated discrimination laws (sexual harassment/hostile work environment)?

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Customer reply replied 14 days ago
Pa. Employers belief that I had sexually harrased and created a hostile work environment. However the person that I was supposedly harrasing was never questioned or brought in to question. They based it on hearsay from another employee. This was not the first time I was pulled in to the office for this type of accusation.

Thank you for your reply, however, you didn't directly answer my question, which is whether you believe that you were terminated because of your sexual orientation, or do you believe that you were terminated because the employer felt (right or wrong) that you had violated sexual harassment, etc., rules? (I understand the facts that you shared, just need to know what you believe the motivation was for your termination)

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Customer reply replied 14 days ago
I believe it was a mixture of both. They had no concrete evidence to terminate me. And this was the second time I was pulled din for sexual harrasment on another male. Bringing up that this feels like I was terminated for my orientation.

Thank you. First, I can address the issue of the investigation and what "evidence" is needed to terminate an "at will" employee. Unfortunately, the answer is none. In other words, there is never a right to a complete investigation or an interactive process in a disciplinary setting in employment "at will" situations. On the other hand, if an employee is a union member and works under a bargaining agreement, the often do have those rights.

With an "at will" employee, an employer may terminate them for any, or no, reason and with no notice or reason. The only restriction, other than the contractual protection I mentioned, is that they cannot terminate them if their motivation is to terminate them due to bias based solely on the employee's membership in a protected class under employment discrimination laws.

If you believe that the reason you were let go was because of your sexual orientation, then you can file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. You would also want to sit down with a local employment law attorney and discuss all of the details of your case so that they can give you their informed opinion about whether they think you should file suit or just let the EEOC investigate the case and try to resolve it. But again, you still must file a complaint with the EEOC in order to preserve any right to file suit.

As an aside, although you didn't ask about it. If you need to file for UI benefits, you can do so and can appeal any denial from the State which may occur if your employer disputes your eligibility based on termination for "cause." Upon appeal, your employer then must carry the burden to prove that you did what they say you did. If they can't, then you will receive UI benefits. However, that is a completely different legal process and analysis then whether your termination was lawful.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

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Customer reply replied 14 days ago
if I were to apply for UI benefits they would have to come up with proof of what I was accused of?

If they challenged your eligibility for UI benefits, and you appealed, then yes, at the appeal hearing they would have the burden of proof to show that you did what they said you did. They would have to provide proof. Again though, this legal standard is completely different than the issue of employment "at will."

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Customer reply replied 14 days ago
Ok thank you

You're very welcome.

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,764
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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