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My Manager and HR disclosed my identity to the co-worker I made complaints against. Is this okay? Any union rule on this?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a union employee. I made a formal complaint against a co-worker for slacking on the job, mocking and making verbal harassment toward other co-workers behind their backs. As a result, this problem co-worker has been moved to the other office where he is in close proximity to the Manager (our dept. has 2 offices, across from each other). Now, this problem co-worker has been, for 2 months, intentionally giving me an attitude whenever we are in a close distance from each other (of course, only when no one else is around to see it).

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Attorney answers 3


Union rules are found in the union's bylaws. The bylaws and the union constitution are the governing documents of the union, and they are individualized to the particular union. If there were any rule that prohibited the employer from disclosing your identity to the coworker, most likely it would be in the company's policies. I doubt any employer would agree to keep the identity of such a report confidential because the employer probably will not be able to investigate without revealing the source of the information.

One thing you may want to consider is that the bylaws of some unions contain a provision that prohibits one member from ratting out another. It's stated more politely, of course, but the general idea is that all union members should treat one another with respect. "Telling on" another union member can result in union sanctions against the one who spoke up. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***


I could be wrong, but I think I already answered this question a few days ago. The guidance I provided then is still good guidance now. Report the conduct to your employer. While the prior conduct and the present conduct by this co-worker is not unlawful, it may be in violation of company policies about harassment in the workplace.

Telling the employee who made the complaint is not unlawful, and in some situations it is the right thing to do. For instance, if you go back and report this new conduct to the employer, the employer would likely tell the co-worker to lay off of you specifically or face further consequences.

As to the union, you can talk to your union representative, but this is likely not a union issue. It is a workplace harassment issue that should be handled by the company. Keep in mind that the union also represents this co-worker.

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.


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