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Hostile, Uncomfortable and unsafe working conditions

Los Angeles, CA |

Over 2 months ago. I brought it to my bosses attention how I was uncomfortable with a co-worker who said sexist, racist, and lude comments. I really dont not feel safe around him and he has yelled at me and I reported that right away then he lies that he didnt yell but I had a witness who was never asked about this. He made sexist and anti immigrant comments all the time. He started talking about how porn is edited. All they did was move me to a new location and tell him not to talk to me if it is work related but he still goes out of the way to say hi and tries to make small talk with me. I have to deal with him on a daily basis and do not feel safe he does things to antagonize me often. It has been two months and they have not addressed this other then moving me . what are my rights?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I'm sorry you're going through this. It must be a difficult experience.

When an employer is told about sexual, racial, or other types of illegal harassment, it must take all reasonable steps necessary to end it and prevent it from happening further. Although moving you, instead of him, wasn't necessarily the best thing to do here, it also didn't necessarily violate the law so long as it addressed the problem.

The employer doesn't have to keep the person from saying hi to you or from making small talk with you. The employer only has to keep him from engaging in illegal sexual or racial harassment.

The fact that he "antagonizes" you doesn't mean that he's doing anything illegal. People antagonize each other in the work place all the time, and the employer is under no obligation to stop it. If he continues to engage in sexually or racially inappropriate statements, you could then continue to bring that to your management's attention.

In other words, if the sexual and racial harassment has stopped, the employer has fulfilled its duty. You have a legal right to be free from sexual and racial harassment. You have no legal right to be free from antagonistic jerks in the workplace.

Sincerely,
Craig T. Byrnes
www.ctblawfirm.com

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.

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Asker

Posted

he comes up to me just staring at me when i am alone. and then he did that infront of a coworker i was talking to. she was with me and he just came into the room and just stared at me for 5 minutes while i was talking to her and then i left the area and she said he left right after i left.

Craig Trent Byrnes

Craig Trent Byrnes

Posted

I understand. Unfortunately, there's no law against staring, making people feel uncomfortable, or being an obnoxious jerk. There a few cases to the contrary, that include staring at someone as part of sexually harassing conduct, but they are in a small minority of cases. If you decide to complain to your employer about this conduct, I suggest doing so in the context of your previous sexual and racial harassment complaint. In other words, point out that you believe this is continued sexual and racial harassment, just in another form. I'm not telling you that you should complain; I'm not your attorney, and I'm not suggesting the best course of action one way or another. I'm only suggesting that, if you do decide to complain, consider doing so in the context I've described. Bear in mind that your employer could turn around and fire you for complaining. It's not clear that it would be illegal for your employer to do so, and even if it is, you'd probably rather have a job than a lawsuit. Consider this possibility as you decide how to proceed. Good luck with your legal matter.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison

Posted

Mr. Byrnes has given you sound advice and I agree with his advice. I would meet with an employment rights attorneys and discuss your situation before doing anything else.

Posted

In addition to what has been said already, I would add this: If you believe the employer has not taken appropriate steps to remedy your concerns you may complain to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), asking them to investigate. The DFEH website is www.dfeh.ca.gov.

As well, if you are retaliated against by your employer because of your complaint, seek the advice of a knowledgeable employment law attorney who represents employees.

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Posted

Hr has not met with me regarding this and i am worried i will have to be in the same office as him again this has effected my health greatly. thanks for the advise i will.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison

Posted

This is an excellent suggestion by Mr. Rose.

Posted

In addition to the above, if this experience has caused you a great deal of stress you may have a claim of a work injury and be entitled to workers compensation benefits.

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Posted

It effected my health I have a doctors note from how it is effecting my health. he got in my face when I did not want to say good morning or replay to him when he said how am i doing. he comes over when i am alone and just stares at me. he also said something sexual prior to being told not to talk to me unless it is work related.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison

Posted

Another great suggestion by Mr. Hong- that is why you really need to meet with an attorney first - before you do anything!

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