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Do I have any legal recourse against my employer for allowing workplace harassment and bullying?

Lorain, OH |

I work for a small company (less than 15). There is a coworker that has, from the day I started, constantly and daily harassed me. Calling me "fat, "stupid", "slow," etc. He constantly talks about hating Jews. Constantly makes sexual comments towards another coworker.

This doesn't happen just every once in a while, but all day, every day. I already approached the managers about this situation. They are aware of it, but just told me to "grow thicker skin."

Since I have approached management and they refused to do anything, do I have a civil case against them?

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Attorney answers 4


Federal discrimination/hostile work environment statutes apply to employers with 15 or more employees. However, the state counterparts cover smaller employers and may apply to your situation. Many employment attorneys offer free consultations and they can help you determine whether you have a legal claim.

I wish you the best of luck.

This information above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have questions about your individual circumstances, please consult with an attorney. Please feel free to contact the firm. However, contacting the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison


I concur with Mr. Hoffman- go see a lawyer now.


The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take.

Many attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. In contingency fee arrangements, there are no hourly fees. In some states attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case but in others there is a reasonable fee charged to compensate the attorney for their time and advice. As Abraham Lincoln said "a lawyer's stock in trade is his time."

You can begin your search for a lawyer on this website. Good luck!

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These type of comments are completely inappropriate and probably amount to a hostile work environment.

More questions need to be answered, but you should contact an employment attorney immediately to discuss the case.


You appear to be aware that the number of employees that affect whether federal and/or state agencies impact the jurisdiction of the EEOC and agencies is generally 15 employees. However, many counties or other smaller governmental units like cities have discrimination laws.

Also, the fact that the company may not fall under the jurisdiction of the law, does not mean it can create a hostile environment. Typically, where the number of employees is too low, it does not mean that conduct is legal, it just goes to the remedy. If it became so unbearable that no "reasonable person" could work in that environment and you quit, it could be considered a constructive discharge and then be in violation of a public policy.

Creative lawyers might find other ways to attack, but the number of workers is a jurisdictional issue that would benefit from consulting with a local attorney.

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