Hostile work environment and false accusations of harassment...
My Store manager is allowing another manager to break policies and laws by not holding her accountable for harassing a male manager. She falsely said he sexually harassed other women, and since the company didn't do anything about it she was going to use an hourly associate who is of the same religion to confront him at his church, which was 50 miles from her church.
The store manager told me the manager was going to do it and she don't care and wasn't going to stop her. I advised the store manager against this as the associate would be representing our company by going to his church and confronting him in front of his family and congregation (since it is her obligation as a Jehovah witness).
The store manager said that's her decision, and she did send the associate. I challenged the store manager and area director on this and reported it to the legal department. The legal department told me to go through the store manager who did nothing about it. She did not do an investigation and she withheld information so she could protect the manager she's spent the last 13 years working with.
I asked her in her office why she is withholding information, because now the area director is making negative comments about my performance after 2 1/2 years of outstanding reviews. She admitted she wasn't capable of holding this manager accountable.
Three days later the Vice President came to my location and told me I have to move my family to another city - so I can be relocated or I can be unemployed. There is a lot of documentation I have on the manager that has been breaking laws, and the store manager has never documented her for any policy or law violations like race discrimination and harassment.
There are several witness and several fear if they say anything about any of it they will be retaliated against. I'm a professional that follows policy and law and the legal department shot me down. I have it on emails. I am the assistant store manager and feel like these false accusations have seriously damaged me professionally.
What can I do? Do I file a lawsuit - against the manager or my employer? Or do I file a complaint with the EEOC? Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Hostile work environment and false accusations of harassment...":
It's obvious you are very frustrated at the manner in which the company is handling the entire matter. Moreover, you've already gone to the legal department and they took no action to support you.
Unfortunately, Louisiana is an "at-will" employment state. This means your employment can be terminated for just about any reason. There are exceptions...
The United States Department of Labor has set out grounds for wrongful termination, unfair treatment, and/or harassment in the workplace based on discrimination. Discrimination includes ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), sexual preference, or disability.
However, you haven't been fired. There are though, additional grounds for the filing of a legitimate complaint about your employer with The United States Department of Labor. Those grounds include:
- Denial of a reasonable work accommodation because of your religious beliefs or disability.
- Retaliation because you filed a complaint about employment discrimination, or you assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
If you believe you have been discriminated against for any of the reasons above, contact the Unites States Department of Labor. Their address and contact information is as follows:
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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