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John
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5729
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I am disabled with a traumatic brain injury and had disc replacement

Customer Question

I am disabled with a traumatic brain injury and had disc replacement in my back. I'm on disability and my employer knows this. In the past year the owner of the company loaded a whole dumpster of garbage into the bed of my truck. He put bloody tampons on both side mirrors, front, back and the bed of my truck. He put 3 huge poles with 50lbs of cement on each one in the bed of my truck. Not just once but twice. After I lifted them out, he put them back again. He also drove my truck without my permission and moved it off the property into an alley while I was clocking in. He also torments me in front of other employees saying things like: I have girl legs and I'm going bald and other ridicules remarks and then laughs. He put dirty toilet brushes in my truck. And on and on...I actually get sick before going to work each day. The last thing that he did was urinate on my truck. There are witnesses. I can't take any more of this torment and harassment. Can I sue him? What are my options? Sincerely, ***** ***** (###) ###-####
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today. I'm sorry to hear about your treatment.
I'll need to ask you some preliminary questions before I can give you an answer to your question.
What type of disability are you on? How are you on disability and still working? If it your allegation that the employer is treating you like this because of your disability? If yes, does the employer single you out - how does he treat other employees?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
SSDI for my back injury and I work part time under a limit of 1070.00 dollers a month through social security. I am getting signed out for this treatment and I don't know why
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also I forgot 2 mention the owner who is harassing me is my stepfather who was physically and verbally/emotionally abusive to me, my brother and sister, and my mother for thirty years now. I really need this job to pay my bills but I get physically sick every morning due to his abuse.
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Shawn,
The problem you are going to have here is the final statement of your response "and I don't know why". I would describe everything that he is doing and saying to you as bullying. I suspect it may be because you are disabled, but that's my speculation.
The term "hostile work environment" comes to us from the Supreme Court of the United States. It is a very specific term. Though it certainly sounds like it would apply in your situation, the high court required another ingredient beyond the types of things you are talking about here.
Hostile work environment is illegal harassment (ingredient 1) which is based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use (ingredient 2). Without that second factor, there can be no hostile work environment. This is because the Supreme Court stated that our employment laws are not meant to be a civility code, but are only meant to deal with illegal discrimination.
Now, some states have considered passing workplace dignity laws that might apply in situations where the harassment in generalized and not specifically directed at or based on a discriminatory factor like race or age. Unfortunately, no state has managed to pass such a law at this time.
Your inability to state WHY he treats you this way will destroy any chance you have at a claim. I'd recommend you start a journal, note if his actions are somehow related to your disability. If when you get evidence of that - take it to an attorney and discuss bringing a claim.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you.
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
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