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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Good Morning. I am the Ex Dir of a non-profit and it feels

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Good Morning. I am the Ex Dir of a non-profit and it feels like I am being harassed & even bullied by some on my board of directors. How can they be held accountable for their treatment?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.

In order to assist you I will need a bit more information. You say that you are an "Ex Dir" of a non-profit but that you are being bullied and harassed by your BOD. Do you mean your former employers? If so, in what way are they harassing you? If you are talking about a current employment situation, please clarify your facts. Thanks
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Marsha ~ My board is my current boss. I have been there for 9 years, and 3 years in capacity of ED. I was notified over the summer that I might not be a fit for the position. So a new job description was written and a metric for evaluation was put in place. These eval measures were discussed with the full board on Monday. Then on Wed I was notified that another 'assessment' was going to take place by 2 bod members sitting in on meetings of case mgmt. I asked them not to cross over the bounds of confidentiality with the clients. I was informed as my boss they will assert their authority in any area of the organization they want. Lots of questions, but how can they be held accountable? (There's much more but this is the latest.)

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello again,

Thank you for the information. However I don't see in the facts that you shared where there is any unlawful harassment or bullying taking place. If you have an employment contract that they are violating, then you could assert your rights with a breach of contract action. If you are being targeted for an adverse employment action, which at this point there is none, because you are a member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws, then at that point, you might have a discrimination claim you could make. However, that is the only way in which alleged workplace harassment or bullying can be pursued. In other words, there is no such thing as a general cause of action for harassment or bullying in the workplace absent unlawful discrimination. They must both exist. Otherwise, although unprofessional and arguably poor management, the actions would not be unlawful.

Again though, if you have a written employment contract, there might be some right there that you could assert.

If you do ultimately get demoted in pay or terminated, then if you believe that the action was motivated by your membership in a protected class, then as I mentioned, you might have a discrimination complaint that you could file with the Washington Human Rights Commission and/or the EEOC.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your help!
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.
You're welcome and best of luck to you.

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