Anonymous asked this question on 4/7/2000:
For approximately 6 months a Supervisor in my dept. (not my personal Supervisor) had uncomfortably pressed me to be a part of her life outside of work. It was pretty well assumed by all that she was gay & it made me quite uncomfortable. I blew it off because she wasn't directly over me & I could avoid her. When the jokes started about how much she "liked me" with some of my co-workers, I made it a point to tell her to stop the BS and leave me alone. She immediately stopped talking to me as though she was mad. 3 weeks later, a re-org took place & she became my direct Supervisor. I had just received a double level promotion and had an EXCELLENT (seriously) work performance record for 3 years. From the minute she became my Supervisor, this overly-friendly woman turned mean & viscious. Taking me to rooms away from the dept. spitting in my face furiously & laying into me saying I was worthless & she would fire me "IF". There was always something attached to the "if". The excellent employee turned into the "idiot" that cannot do anything correctly. Going one level up proved to be fatal. When he didn't solve the problem & it got worse, I went to HR. Pretty much from the beginning I said she was doing this to me because I rejected her, but I was not yet using the term "sexual harassment" I'm figuring these people KNOW because they are HR people & they are trained to recognize these situations. (and I was trying to keep the "legal" terminology out of it. After going to HR, they wrote me up on bogus charges, demoted me and left the 2 perpetrators over me to continue to harass and torment me. Only now they were working together to try to get rid of me. They took my projects away from me, then wrote emails saying I was not doing my work. They removed all the people I directed. They canceled my health insurance while I was off having cancer surgery (off for 3 weeks) (things like that) I resigned "under duress". Then to further mess with me they did not offer me COBRA and withheld my last 2 paychecks. (even though I was at work the day one of them was due.)
Can you tell me in your professional opinion what transpired here? Was I sexually harassed? Was I retaliated against? Have they broken laws here?
Thanks for your input!
hrpro2000 gave this response on 4/8/2000:
It is difficult to make an absolute statement regarding the validity of a legal claim when only one side of a story is known. However, having said that, let me answer you.
Assuming that everything you have said in the preface to your question is accurate and true. I am shocked and appalled by your story. Yes, you have been discriminated against (sexual harassment is sex discrimination because, but for your gender, you would not have been harassed). The courts have ruled firmly (and recently) that same sex harassment is illegal harassment.
And, yes... you have suffered retaliation. The retaliation you suffered is of the most gross kind. Like the crooked cop, the very people charged with protecting in whom you placed trust, further victimized you by retaliating against you for asking them to help protect you from the illegal act of the supervisor, "their agent".
Yes they have broken laws... all over the place. Federal laws and state laws, and maybe even local or city laws, depending upon where this took place.
You should see a competent attorney, one that specializes in employment litigation (actually, I advise everyone to see an attorney closer to the beginning of the ordeal... in other words, give management one shot at stopping the conduct then see a lawyer). None the less, it is probably not too late... contact an attorney now. I hope you can wakeup this company, it's incompetent HR representative(s), and the harasser by digging deep into their collective wallets. Good Luck! HRPro2000 BobO
The average rating for this answer is 5.
Anonymous rated this answer a 5.