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What can I do about my boss sexually harassing me and then threatening my job because I rejected him?

Raleigh, NC |

I work at a privately - owned restaurant . My boss has been hitting on me since I was hired almost three months ago . He's completely aware I'm dating someone else but he's persistent and has even given me gifts . When I reject him , he treats me differently ( IE : Cusses me out at work and treats me unfairly ) . If I'm even remotely nice to him , he'll take it the wrong way and go right back to trying to touch me , kiss me , and make sexual statements towards me . He has recently threatened my job .

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You need to consult with a labor law attorney as soon as possible. You need to keep careful documentation of your employer's conduct. Good luck with this.

    This is not a substitute for a consultation with a labor law attorney in your community.


  2. In addition to contact an attorney in your area, as soon as possible, you should also contact your local EEOC office (www.eeoc.gov). North Carolina has Unlawful Workplace Harassment Policy and therefore, you may also be able to recover under state laws. As the previous attorney stated, document everything and keep a detailed record of the encounters.

    Information provided in this response is intended to be informational or educational only. It in no way establishes an attorney-client relationship. Because every case is factually dependent, it is not possible to accurately answer each question posed. If you have sincere legal concerns, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel in your area. Any response is not intended to create, nor does it create, a continuing duty to respond.


  3. Sexual harassment is unlawful. However, I think it is very important for you to speak to an experienced employment attorney about this situation. There are special rules regarding unlawful harassment by a supervisor. An attorney can help you determine what your next step should be.

    Kirk J. Angel is an experienced North Carolina licensed attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has focused on employment law for more than 15 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at www.theangellawfirm.com This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.


  4. A key question here is: how many people work at this privately owned restaurant. If there are fifteen or more employees, you have protection under the federal anti-discrimination laws and you should contact the EEOC to file a charge of discrimination for a hostile working environment. If there are fewer than 15 employees, you have no protection under either federal or NC law. If the harassment includes actual touching, there are civil claims that you may be able to bring or threaten to bring if you are terminated (but not if you quit). You'll need some proof, however. If it's just verbal "hitting" on you, you've got no legal recourse in NC (yes! that's our proud tradition of looking out for employees!). But, you can quit your job and you can still be eligible for unemployment benefits under the circumstances you've described (at least until Governor McCrory does something about that).


  5. Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. You indicate that your boss has been making advances towards you since your heart three months ago and continues to do so despite telling him that you are not interested. You have met all the elements necessary to make a claim particularly since your boss treats you worse when you reject his advances. That is called "quid pro quo" sexual harassment. I'm sure that you have suffered emotional pain and suffering potentially post traumatic stress but do not yet have it in me economic losses. I don't know how many employees are employed at the restaurant, but unless there are more than 15, you may fall outside the jurisdiction of many statutes. You should contact the EEOC if you wish to file a charge which is necessary prerequisite to filing any claims in court. You should also seek the advice of an attorney

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