My wifes boss has been flirting and sexting my wife.
There may or may not be something in your wife's employee handbook to prevent this, but the employer's behavior is definitely against the law (assuming that your wife objects to the conduct, which I am sure she does). The employer's conduct most likely constitutes sexual harassment.
Legally, sexual harassment is considered to be a type of sex discrimination. This kind of harassment can be either "quid pro quo" (i.e., have sex with me and you can keep your job) sexual harassment or "hostile work environment." Sometime, it can be both. As in other types of discrimination, the victim is being subjected "terms and conditions of employment" that are "less favorable than those afforded to similarly situated employees" who are "not in the protected group," (i.e., in most cases, the opposite sex). In the case of sexual harassment, the "terms and conditions of employment" consist of the actual acts of harassment to which you are subjected.
It's important to keep in mind, though, that not everything that's rude, annoying, or mildly embarrassing automatically qualifies as "harassment." The conduct must be "sufficiently severe or pervasive" that it creates a hostile work environment. In other words, it "alters the conditions of employment" in a negative way. Whether particular conduct meets that test is very fact sensitive.
You also need to remember that the victim of sexual harassment has taken the appropriate action in response. That's because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (the law that makes sex discrimination and harassment illegal) doesn't allow you to sue your fellow employees. Your only option is to sue your employer. And you can only do that if the harassment is perpetrated by a supervisor, manager, or some other member of management, or if the harassment is carried out by a co-worker, you have reported it to management, and management has done nothing to make it stop.
Finally, you should know that the same law that prohibits sex discrimination ALSO makes it illegal for your employer to retaliate against you if you engage in what the law calls "protected activity." "Protected activity is, essentially, taking some sort of action to protest or stop sexual harassment. Although you have probably already engaged in protected activity, filing an EEOC charge of discrimination (a mandatory first step in an employment discrimination case like yours) is like a bright red line telling your employer that you cannot be punished for protecting your rights. While I can't guarantee that your employer WON'T still fire you, I can tell you that the chances of your employer doing so are much lower if you have filed a formal charge BEFORE your employer begins termination actions. I can also tell you that in many cases, retaliation is often easier to prove than the actual discrimination.
In any event, your wife should talk to an Indiana employment law attorney as soon as possible.
I'm licensed to practice law only in Indiana, so if you're in another state, 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.
As Mr. Meisenhelder stated your wife may have a claim, and she should consult with an attorney. . I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. There is a tab "Find A Lawyer" on the home page of Avvo at www.avvo.com that will help you find a lawyer in this practice area in your locale. Good luck!
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Save, and make hard copies of all the texts.
As best as she can, make a log (keep it at home) with the what, when, and in front of whom for all the statements made by her boss.
Figure out if you have any witnesses who will testify on your wife's behalf.
Get to an employment law attorney. Asap.
This response is only general information and is not legal advice. It does not form an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. You should seek a qualified attorney before taking any action related to your inquiry.
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