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I am looking to speak with an employment lawyer to help me with a workplace harassment/ retaliation issue I am dealing with

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

Yes, with a manager.

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

It is "at will," and salaried

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

No, thank you

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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5/29/2018
Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,805
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to help if I can. However, I am unclear about the situation (please remember that I do not have independent knowledge of your problem, and know only what you tell me here). Accordingly, can you please provide a little more background information and perhaps clarify the question? Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
of course.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I complained about sexual harrassment in the workplace. Although it probably doesn't count as sexual harrassment.. it felt like harrassment and inappropriate behavior nonetheless. I was asked /told numerous times to go to lunch with one of the company's owners. The guy Sam would ask me about my personal life, if I had a boyfriend, what does my BF do for a living and suggested an overnight trip to Tahoe.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
He also had me download a chatting App to "stay in touch" and sent me personal texts after work hours. I told my immediate supervisor Fred who reported it to the CEO, Li. Li didn't do anything, but eventually Fred banned Sam from the office
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
This was all in Dec. Now, come January. Both me and Fred (the supervisor that tried to protect me) are not getting a bonus when the only other employee who is an admin (and friend's with Sam, who I complained about) is getting a bonus.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
When I asked why, Li said it was because the company has a 1 year policy. But both Fred and the admin have received pro-rated bonuses, like Fred said I was supposed to. I had been there 7 months, and the other guy who is friend's with Sam had been there for 5.5 months. I brought this up to Li who said, that the board just didn't approve it. I asked who is on the board, turns out it is the dad of Sam (the guy I reported the harassment about)
Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hi again.

What you describe could be considered harassment and retaliation, depending on the facts. The bot***** *****ne is that if you did not receive a bonus because of your complaint, then that would indeed be illegal, even if Sam's conduct would not be considered sexual harassment once all of the facts are reviewed.

You may wish to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is responsible for investigating illegal harassment and retaliation in the workplace. Once the EEOC investigates, it could agree that illegal harassment or retaliation took place, and attempt to work out a settlement with the employer. If the EEOC cannot work out a settlement, or if the EEOC does not find that there was illegal conduct, then a person can request a right to sue letter, which gives that person the right to sue his/her employer for violating the law.

You can file a charge by following the instructions found here: https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

Does that answer your question(s)? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ever since all of this, there has been a hostile work environment. I would like to know of i have a case to pursue this further. I spoke with the eeoc who said i have a strong case but couldn't help me since the company had less than 15 employees. They referred me to the DFEH and my interview is next week
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Also, i want to quit but signed a contract saying i need to give 30 days notice. Am i able to avoid consequences if I quit on the spot?
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Since they are at fault
Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hi again.

Whether or not you can avoid consequences for quitting without giving 30 days notice depends on the contract, and frankly, whether your complaints against the company can hold water. Assuming you are successful in your claims against the company, including that there is a hostile work environment, then you can likely avoid consequences for giving less than 30 days notice. The argument would be that the company breached the contract themselves by allowing a hostile work environment.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
How would i prove the retaliation and/or a hostile work environment. The CEO has already said he knows I have a case which is why he supposedly tried to get the board to approve it.
Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hi again.

Proving retaliation and a hostile work environment could be easy or difficult depending on your evidence. If you have evidence such as emails, letters, recordings, witnesses, etc., then it may be easy to prove. If you have no evidence, and you are merely guessing, then winning may be impossible.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
That is very vague. What would the evidence need to say... the boss admitting it? Or proving other people received a bonus less than 1 year (the only reason they gave me)
Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hi again.

Your question is impossible to answer. It's like asking what kind evidence is needed to prove a murder. A gun with fingerprints is helpful, but so is a video of the crime. So is eyewitness testimony. All I can say is that you need enough evidence, whatever kind it may be, that convinces a judge/jury that you were the victim of harassment and retaliation. There is no one specific type of evidence that is required. Also, bear in mind that a decision like that in court is made based on the totality of the evidence. In other words, even if one piece of evidence by itself is not enough to convince a judge/jury, all of the evidence when combined may be enough.

For example, proving that other people received a bonus is helpful, but certainly not conclusive. I would not expect to win if that is the only evidence. But that fact may be very helpful if you have other evidence as well.

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Employment Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, and you haven't yet rated me, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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