The Mayor of San Diego and Sexual Harassment at the Highest Levels

No one is safe from harassment or discrimination in the workplace, and it can come from the people from whom you least expect it. Whenever you start a new job, you are entering into a contract with an employer. The employer expects you to do your best work and to help build the fiscal future of the company. As an employee, you expect to be compensated and acknowledged for your hard work, and to perform your duties in a healthy environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Employee harassment can wreak havoc on your ability to work at your highest level, and can truly harm your self-esteem and lower your sense of safety. A recent case highlights the fact that workplace harassment can come from anyone. A former aid to the mayor of San Diego has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against the mayor. The lawsuit states that mayor’s comments and actions made the aid feel “ashamed, frightened, and violated”. She is not alone in her response to the mayor’s behavior. Three other former supporters have accused him of sexually harassing supporters and staff members. He has both issued a public apology and a statement denying the allegations.

As California Labor Law attorneys begin to examine the case, it will be interesting to see the fall out. One thing is certain, sexual harassment should be not be tolerated, no matter how high up on the “food chain” the harasser resides.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees
http://www.public-pensions.com
1-800-874-2284

Hospital Sued By EEOC for Disability Discrimination

A man with a knee impairment applied for a job as a phlebotomist at a private regional medical center that operates five general hospitals in Charlotte, N.C. and the surrounding area.

In 2009, the applicant received medical clearance to participate in a phlebotomist training program at a community college in Charlotte. As part of the program, he completed a seven-week phlebotomist internship with one of the largest health care institutions in North Carolina.

On completion of the program, he applied for and was offered a permanent position with the company as a phlebotomist, pending a health screening exam. He disclosed the knee impairment during the health screening and provided his related medical records. The employee claimed the company then rescinded its job offer.

After investigating the applicant’s claims, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the health care company in March 2013. The EEOC alleged the applicant was fully qualified for the position and could perform its duties, but was denied hire simply because the company perceived him to be disabled as a result of his knee injury.

A regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte office said that the EEOC is fully committed to its responsibility to enforce the ADA and combat disability discrimination. Unfortunately, more than 20 years after the enactment of the ADA, too many employers hold impairments against applicants when those impairments don’t inhibit their ability to perform the jobs they seek.

The California law firm of Faunce, Singer and Oatman has successfully handled thousands of cases of employment discrimination and employee harassment.  If you feel you have been harassed, or discriminateed against, please contact Faunce, Singer and Oatman at 1-800-874-2284.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees
http://www.public-pensions.com
1-800-874-2284

Three Things to Do if You Are Being Harassed by Your Employer

If you are being abused at your place of work, it may feel like there is nothing you can do. After all, you employer provides you the money you need to keep food, shelter, and other necessities of life – if that is taken away from you, what will you have? The truth is that you don’t have to stand for physical, mental, or emotional abuse, especially from an employer, and there are laws that will stand by you. Here are three things you’ll need to do if you are being harassed at work.

  • Identify the type of harassment. When asked by others, especially those involved in law, about what the abuse at work entails, you want to be ready with an answer. Sit down and start writing out some of the offenses made by those you work with. The types of harassment generally include sexual, discriminatory, physical, emotional, or mental. If you can clearly identify what has happened to you and how frequently, your case will be a stronger one.
  • Recognize and abolish fears. You may be afraid of losing your job, and possibly having a hard time finding another one. Outline what you want to come out of your actions. Do you want to quit your job? Would you be willing to seek out another job in your field? Prepare yourself for the reality that new employers will want to know about this job, and how it affected you.
  • Seek legal representation. The final but most important step is to make sure you have a knowledgeable and powerful individual on your side. An employment attorney knows all of the laws about the workforce inside and out, and can make sure that you get what you are entitled to. They can also give you advice, and fill you in on the rules and regulations that your employer might have been encroaching on.

Suffering from beneath employee harassment is never easy – it may feel as if you are alone in your suffering, and powerless to stop it. Thankfully, the law is built to give you a way out – you have a right to fight back!

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees
http://www.public-pensions.com
1-800-874-2284

What is Considered Employee Harassment?

As an employee, you probably work alongside your coworkers for 30 or 40 hours each week. With this said, it’s understandable that personalities may clash and disagreements within the workplace may occur. Problems of this nature typically blow over after a few days, in which employees maintain a cordial relationship. But sometimes, serious tension can arise between two people in the office. And if one person goes out of his way to make life miserable for the other, this can be a form of employee harassment.

No employee deserves to be the victim of harassment. Whether the harassment occurs on a daily basis or only a few times a week, it’s wrong and employers should have policies in place to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment.

Employee harassment can take many forms, and a common form is verbal abuse. Does your employee yell or angrily use profanity when speaking with you? Do you deal with name-calling? Does your employee belittle or intimidate you? Are you the victim of unwanted sexual advances?

Maybe you’ve asked the employee to stop his or her actions, but to no avail. A hostile work environment can contribute to poor performance, plus trigger stress and low self-esteem.

If you’re the victim of employee harassment, you have rights. We believe in holding employees (or employers) accountable for their actions. Contact us today at 1-800-874-2284 and speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer and Oatman

Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees
Web:  www.public-pensions.com
Ph:  1-800-874-2284

The Supreme Court Decision That Could Change Your Workplace

Most people would love to believe that employee harassment is a thing of the past. It would be wonderful if the behaviors that we see on television shows about the past, such as “Mad Men,” were behaviors that had stayed in the past. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cases of employee harassment and public employee discrimination are still distressingly prevalent. Recently, the Supreme Court potentially added to the problem, by revising a key point in workplace harassment legislation.

In the case of Vance vs. Ball State University, an African-American dining hall worker filed a lawsuit against Ball State University, alleging that one of her supervisors began racially harassing and intimidating her in 2006. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision was to rule that an employee could only hold an organization liable for harassment, if a supervisor carried out the harassment. At the same time, they narrowed the legal definition of supervisor, to only those people who have the power to hire, fire, or “effect significant change in an employee’s status”.

This ruling, which has gotten very little press, has the potential to create an incredible number of problems, and it will be interesting to see how it affects employee harassment cases moving forward.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees

www.public-pensions.com