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What are my rights when demoted from position after I submitting a verbal sexual harassment claim to management?

Phoenix, AZ |

I work at Olive Garden. I reported a female for sexual harassing me at work and out of work. No written report was given for me to sign and nothing came of it but that female being promoted a week later.

The female apologized to me for her behavior and would text me late at night. After her promotion I didn't know what to do, so I tried to play nice. She made advances toward me again a 2 weeks ago, and I polietely declined them. Two days later she notifies me she went to management with some text messages I had sent that were not incriminating on my part, but I was demoted and told the reasons for the demotion they were not allowed to discus with me.

What are my options?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Many questions come to mind. Were you having any performance problems prior to your demotion? If so, were these documented? If management decided to demote you based on its perception that your work performance was unsatisfactory (accurate or not), then you would have no legal recourse to contest the demotion.

    Another important consideration is who made the decision to demote you. If this female coworker became your manager by virtue of her promotion and decided to demote you for your prior sexual harassment complaint against her (when you two were coworkers), then perhaps you would have a retaliation claim. Otherwise, if the decision-maker was someone else, the connection between your prior complaint against the female coworker and your demotion appears to be a tenuous one (unless there are exceptional circumstances you have not revealed here).

    As to the complaint your female coworker reported, did management or HR ever question you about the text messages you sent to her? Do you think you may have violated company policy in any way by sending them? If you were the subject of a workplace investigation, at minimum you should have been afforded a meaningful opportunity to tell your side of the story. If you were not afforded a chance to explain what happened and demoted as a result of your female coworker's seemingly fabricated complaint, then it appears as though you have a legitimate gripe. However, even these circumstances may not be sufficient to support any viable legal claim.

    Your best bet is to consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer licensed in your area. You have not provided enough facts here to permit a thorough evaluation of your potential claims.


  2. Time to go visit with an employment rights attorney who handles SEXUAL HARASSMENT cases now.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com. Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at http://texassexualharassmentattorney.com/blog/


  3. See a sexual harassment attorney, file with state labor and EEOC.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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