Recently my boss has been saying very inappropriate things to me. It is always just her and I when the conversations take place. so I understand it's her word against mine. The only thing I have in writing that she has admitted to saying is that " I need to grow a pair." She made insulting comments regardin my anxiety disorder. Such as ....when she has a bad day at work she doesn't need to run home and a take a xanax. She dismissed my anxiety and said that I was just too sensitive and took things too personally.
The major thing that she said, but denies is.......If I quit my job to go teach karate to kids then she would post on Facebook etc that I was a child molestor.
It is difficult to conclude, based upon the limited information in your post, whether you have sustained workplace harassment.
Is your workplace situation one where you as an employee cannot reasonably perform your work due to certain behaviors by management that are deemed hostile? Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or retaliation constitutes harassment when the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment, or a supervisor's harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee's employment status or benefits (e.g., demotion, termination, failure to promote).
Since Avvo is a public forum, and since employment cases are highly fact specific, I suggest you consult with an employment attorney.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
I also think you should consult with an employment attorney. My firm and I handle workplace discrimination matters, including harrassment in connection with medical conditions. I would be glad to talk to you about your potential claims, if you would like.
I am sorry this has happened to you - you spend so much of your life at work... it can be very challenging going into a work environment that is uncomfortable and stressful. The worst part of it is, it can make existing anxiety issues even worse.
Take care and talk to you soon, Rabeh
PLEASE READ: ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. I am providing you with general comments, not legal advice. Nothing in this answer creates an attorney-client relationship nor constitutes legal advice, as I do not know the facts of your case well enough to be able to guide you, nor am I making any promises about the outcome of your case, or any guarantees about my capabilities, skill level, or predicted success. If you would like to retain me to provide you with legal advice, please contact me and we can discuss the engagement.
Have you reported this behavior to human resources/personnel?
Unlawful harassment must be based on a protected category, such as race, sex, religion, disability, age (40 and over), pregnancy, or genetic information. Harassment can include verbal conduct, slurs, derogatory comments, comments or questions about a person's body, appearance, religious, or sexual activity. Harassment can also include offensive gestures, sexually suggestive eye contact or looks, mimicking the employee in an insulting way, and derogatory or graphic posters, cartoons or drawings.
Harassment is unlawful when the conduct is either severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive environment. Severe conduct would include most physical contact and many types of threatening, vulgar or degrading conduct. Pervasive conduct is widespread, happens frequently and/or in many situations. One offensive statement is not pervasive, but the same comment made over and over again may be pervasive.
If your boss is harassing you due to a mental health disability, her conduct may be unlawful under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Government Code sections 12900, et seq. (FEHA). The FEHA is similar to the ADA but more employee-friendly. Please look at my Avvo guide on the ADA: http://www.avvo.com/pages/show?category_id=6&permalink=disability-discrimination-in-employment and also my Avvo guide to the differences between the ADA and California's more generous FEHA: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/employment-disability-protection-under-californias-fair-employment-and-housing-act-and-federal-ada?published=true.
You may need proof of these events. Keep a log of any comments, adverse actions or other funny business, starting with the day the first adverse action took place. Write down the date, time, what was said or done, who said or did it, and any witnesses. Be sure to include any complaints you made to HR, your boss or anyone. Keep your log at home, not at work, because you never know what will disappear.
Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to speak with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
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