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Could I sue my company for workplace harassment, stress and employee neglect?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a detailed documented history of actions against me in my former workplace including filed complaints with in store, area, and regional human resources staff who never proceeded to help me or address the issues I had stated. In turn I also contacted my Market director by email who had stated he never even knew about the communication of my concerns and failed to even attempt to contact me, In turn I found a new job and left that company. Though, I do have everything documented from february up to my departure with the company. I feel that they overlooked me and the stress and harassment by management above me was unfair and unnecessary I feel that there may be a chance that I could pursue legal action. Is this possible? I know you would need more evidence and circumstances. Thanks!

Attorney Answers 2


  1. There is no way to tell if you had a valid claim or not based on the facts you have provided. There are many forms of workplace harassment that are perfectly lawful and would not support a lawsuit. The only kind of harassment that is unlawful is harassment that is directed at you because you are a member of a protected class of people, or because you engaged in legally protected conduct. Harassment based on office politics, personality differences, ego, jealousy, rudeness or any number of other reasons is bad management, but not unlawful conduct.

    Your resigning from the job has also likely caused some additional problems with you being able to pursue a case for wrongful termination. You would have to prove that you left because no reasonable employee could be asked to tolerate the unlawful conduct you were facing (note, the test relates to the unlawful conduct, not the lawful but bad conduct).

    If you think you might have a claim for unlawful harassment, you will need to discuss far more facts with an attorney to get a good idea if you really have a claim. It is therefore important that you locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  2. Only harassment based on a legally protected trait, such as race, religion, or gender, is legally actionable. There are no laws which mandate civility in the workplace, and although you may have been treated in a highly unprofessional manner, that in itself is legally insufficient to bring a claim against your employer.

    If you can link the treatment you experienced to substantial emotional harm that has rendered you unable to work, it may be possible to bring a workers compensation claim. Unless there are additional facts, this would typically be the extent of the recourse available to an individual in your circumstance.

    http://www.johnphillipslaw.com

    This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.

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