I have a coworker who very obviously has a mental disability; he suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier in life and experiences debilitating symptoms which affect his behavior and his ability to cope in day to day life.
My boss was an abuser and a bully, and would frequently call him a "F****g retard," scream at him, call him "retarded, " and call him other names directly related to his disability. Many times my coworker would get so upset and clock out early due to the emotional distress.
We were all subjected to a hostile work environment due to my boss' abuse of this man. I am wondering if I could file a charge of discrimination on his behalf with EEOC, due to the fact that he is incapacitated and probably does not know his rights; I feel he is entitled to damages
The only way you would be able to file on another adults behalf is if you were their legal conservator. It sounds like your coworker is an adult with no guardian/conservator. If that is not the case, the rightful conservator can file on your coworkers behalf.
You can also help your coworker find a lawyer to represent him/her but only if he/she agrees.
The above answer should not be considered and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on any of this advice because each case is fact specific and could be subject to different local, state, and federal laws. No attorney-client relationship exists based on this response.
What you describe is awful. You are very nice to want to help. You can help him file, but you cannot file on his behalf.
You speak of the boss in the past tense. If the situation is no longer as bad as it was, perhaps it is best left alone.
If it is a continuing problem, report it internally at the company and encourage your co-worker to seek the advice of an attorney, who can help with the administrative filing. [Note, except in somewhat rare circumstances if it far better for a California employee to sue under the Fair Employment and Housing Act which is administered by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing so it is better to not file with the EEOC.]
Good luck to you and to your co-worker.
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If the harassment is either "severe or pervasive," and based on your friend's disability, your friend may have a case. While you can help him file a DFEH or EEOC complaint, it is best that you help him retain an employment law attorney to represent your friend. His attorney will be able to speak for him and represent him properly. You can find employment law attorneys' contact info on Avvo.com.
You can not directly file a discrimination charge for your co-worker. However, you may be able to assist him with contacting the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing office in Fresno or with helping him to find an experienced local employment lawyer who may be able to assist him.
Answering your inquiry does not establish an attorney-client relationship. California law requires that the potential client and the attorney enter into a written retainer agreement. Moreover, additional or different facts may affect or change the general legal response offered. Therefore, the attorney makes no warranty of the accuracy or applicability of any of the information that he may provide in this response.
You cannot file on his behalf. Only the aggrieved or injured party has 'standing' to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, he is unable to advocate for himself. He likely does have a good case but you would help him best by contacting an advocacy that specializes in representing the needs of individuals similar to your friend. You might start at The Brain Injury Association of America www.biausa.org/, an advocacy organization. Another resource is www.disabilitypolicycenter.org/links/assoclinks.htm Last, many states have enacted criminal 'anti-bullying' statutes. Check to see If your state has one and if your bosses behavior is egregious enough, you might help your friend make a report with the local state attorney or police. (it's a long-shot but it could put the boss on notice).
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