One on one conversation with a female. I told her a joke after she consented to hearing an innapropriate joke from me. She said she had probably heard worse so I told her. I am concerned that I may get into trouble if she says something to a supervisor.
Absolutely yes. In an at-will employment situation an employee can be fired for any reason at all or even no reason at all absent union protections, a written employment contract, or illegal discrimination against a protected class of persons.
You knew your "joke" was inappropriate for work---you did it anyway....hope it doesn't catch-up with you.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE, NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE CREATED. DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY ON THIS FORUM. Actual legal advice comes after a complete review of the all facts and relevant documents. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.
Like a lot of employees, you're overlooking a very important fact: "your" job isn't really "yours" at all -- it belongs to your EMPLOYER, and the employer gets to make the rules. Moreover, Kentucky, like nearly every other state, is an "at-will" employment state. That means, unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise, you can be terminated at any time, for any reason (or even no reason at all), and without notice. Unless you can show that the real reason for your termination is BECAUSE OF your race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, or that you were terminated in retaliation for exercising some legal right, the termination is legal.
If your employer finds out about the joke, it doesn't matter if the woman consented, or how bad the joke was or wasn't. If your employer decides you should be fired for telling the joke, then you can be fired.
That's why you should you should never say or do anything at work you wouldn't want your boss to see or hear.
I'm licensed to practice law only in Indiana, and we've never met, so I can't give you "legal" advice. My answer is simply "friendly" advice based on my experience as an attorney in Indiana, my knowledge of federal and common law, and common sense. Even if you are in Indiana, employment law questions are very fact specific, and based on the limited information you provided in your post, I can't give you legal advice, and my answer is intended as general information only. It doesn't create an attorney-client relationship.
Agree 100% with colleague's. You will get in trouble and most likely fired fot telling inappropriate, most likely sexual, jokes at work no matter what the context. I have received numerous calls here in Elizabethtown from people thinking they have a case because they were fired for a joke, Facebook post, etc. Kentucky is an at-will state. You can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Do not give an employer a reason to fire you by saying or doing anything inappropriate at work or in social media. Most all employers monitor your social media account to make sure you are not saying or doing anything that they would not like to be the image of their company. You have no legal protection from even a wrongful claim of sexual harassment from a fellow employee.
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