Do I have any legal recourse against my employer for allowing workplace harassment and bullying?

I work for a small company (less than 15). There is a coworker that has, from the day I started, constantly and daily harasses me. Calling me "fat, "stupid", "slow". He constantly talks about hating Jews, he is German. Constantly tells another co-worker that "he likes to suck dicks", "likes a big dick in his ass". His words, not mine. Not just every once in a while, but all day, every day. I have approached the managers about this situation, they are aware of it, but told me to "grow athicker skin." Since I have approached management and they will do nothing, do I have a civil case against them?

Lorain, OH -

Attorney Answers (4)

Matthew James Porter Coffman

Matthew James Porter Coffman

Employment / Labor Attorney - Columbus, OH
Answered

You should contact a local employment lawyer to discuss this matter further. Federal discrimination/hostile work environment statutes apply to employers with 15 or more employees. However, the state counterparts cover smaller employers. Many employment attorneys offer free consultations and they would surely have numerous questions for you to determine whether you have a legal claim.

I wish you the best of luck.

Matthew J.P. Coffman

This information above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.... more
Rachel Anne Sabo

Rachel Anne Sabo

Employment / Labor Attorney - Columbus, OH
Answered

You need to contact an employment attorney immediately. These type of comments are completely inappropriate and probably amount to a hostile work environment. More questions need to be answered but you should contact a lawyer to discuss the case. You can find someone here on Avvo or search www.oela.net.

John Michael Singleton

John Michael Singleton

Employment / Labor Attorney - Lutherville Timonium, MD
Answered

You appear to be aware that the number of employees affect whether federal and/or state agencies impact on the jurisdiction of the EEOC and agencies generally to 15 employees. Many county or other smaller governmental units like cities have discrimination laws. The fact that the company may fall under the jurisdiction of the law, that does not mean it is to create a sexually hostile environment. Typically=, where the number of employees is too low, it does not mean that conduct is legal because it is not, it just goes to the remedy. Thus, if it became so unbearable that no "reasonable person" could work in that environment and you quit, it could be considered a constructive discharge and then wrongful in violation of a public policy. Creative lawyers might find other ways to attack but the number of workers is a jurisdictional issue and you should consult an attorney.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison

Sexual Harassment Attorney - Lakeway, TX
Answered

The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take. Many attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. In contingency fee arrangements, there are no hourly fees. In some states attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case but in others there is a reasonable fee charged to compensate the attorney for their time and advice. As Abraham Lincoln said "a lawyer's stock in trade is his time." I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. Good luck!

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