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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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A senior co-workers gets angry and rude for the most insignificant

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A senior co-workers gets angry and rude for the most insignificant of things: turning on a light witch, using coffee pot, etc. On one occasion he got extremely angry to the point of threating to get up of the chair and punch me because I turned on the lights in the office! I told him "to stop this harassment or else, I would bring it up to HR". There was one witness.

I feel alienated and have no choice but to share the same office with this person.

I have not mentioned the incident to management because 1) have never been through situations like this before and was initially shocked, and 2) I was brought up to believe not to be a trouble maker, 3) this person has been with the company 10 years, he would probably have the sympathy of management even if I complaint.

What I want is not have any physical contact with this person. Should I just shut up and take abuse whenever this person wants? Should I file a complaint even if the incident happened 1 month ago?

Thank you

I work in Fort Lauderdale Florida for a call center. I am a computer programmer. Started in the company 1 year ago. The other person is also a programmer and has been with the company 10 years.

I am sorry you are in this situation at work

Harassment of course, can only be a legal problem if it is based on your race, religion, age, gender, national origin or a disability.

However, this person threatened you with physical violence. And that, I suggest, should be reported to the HR. I suggest you can report it even though it was a month ago and explain that you are not a trouble maker, but his has been weighing on you since it happened and you would like the company to see that this person be involved in an anger management counseling or program.

That is really all you can do. Of course, if there should be any physical altercation, then I suggest you will want to file a police report for assault.

Remember, I can only answer and provide true and correct information for what you ask. I look forward to a follow up or your Good to Excellent rating.

Thank you and good luck
Sam and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I be retaliated for submitting such a complaint to HR? The company is easy going, it seems this person is one of the few bad apples. However, if I were to be alienated or even fired, do I have a case if I submit this complaint and ask HR to keep the complaint in my files?


Last, if I want to speak to a lawyer in person about this matter, what type of lawyer should I look for in the yellow pages? "Employment Lawyer"?


Thank you for your time.


Thank you for the follow up question

One can always be fired for any reason that is not based on discrimination.

Now, if this harassment is because of discrimination and you are fired, then you have legal recourse.

If the harassment is just because the person is nuts, and you are fired, you will not have any legal recourse. It would only mean the company chose them over you.

Let me know if that helps