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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Unhappy Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment


    My temporary agency told me that my previous on-site company were I was harassed is re-training my team about harassment/sexual harassment. How this can help my case?

    How can I be sure that they are really doing this re-training? If they just retrain my work group (6 people all together) I do not see how that will help the issue because people from other teams were even more harrassing me especially sexually. I am suffering from high anxiety and I need greater help than my councelor can provide for me. I do not have any money left to find a lawayer or a psychologist.

    Local legal free help refused my case because they say they have too much caseload although they believe it has a merit (??????)

    How I can file EEOC claim if I do not have all the names of the witnesses and all harassers - I was at the company for very short period of time to find out about the names - I do recognize some people though but not all (and I was placed in rather high cubicle to see all harassers's faces would be rather difficult), and whom I was supposed to ask for names when they protecting each other and not intervening when harassment was happening. One person that told to one harrasser who stalked me to stop, was immidately reminded not to intervine and mix into othe people lives.

    When I reported 2 group members and 1 male from another group that made obscene comments of wanting sex with me - my supervisor did not do anything and harassment exploded so much so that I had to leave (not from my group members especially - although they were ocassional comments - not hostile as the rest department that made for me each work day after the report living hell), but the rest of the department made my place of work very hostile work environment. I do not know what to do. My agency HR representative was suprised that I might suffer from PTSD after such short period of time working at the onsite company - it felt like he did not believe it. I was even thinking of killing myself. I do not have any closure! Please Help!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    First, you need to get professional help as soon as possible. The fact you even considered suicide suggests that your mental health is the most immediate concern here. Even if you were subjected to the most vile mistreatment on this assignment, you do not want this harassment to continue to harm you psychologically or physically. You need to speak with a trained mental health specialist to address how you have been impacted.

    Second, I will reiterate a point I made earlier. Once you are secure and centered enough to “revisit” the underlying events, you will need to summarize what happened to you as if you were a researcher or a reporter detailing the critical facts. While you may not recall the names of all the parties involved, you should calmly do the best you can in recollecting and recording how you were harassed. Without such a summary, I suspect you will continue to have difficulty in locating private counsel. With such a summary, I think your chances of securing an attorney to represent you will improve.

    Third, you should contact the EEOC on your own soon. The fact you cannot identify every person by name does not foreclose you from filing a charge of discrimination. Identify them by name, description, job duties and/or any other means you can think of. You only have an obligation to yourself to do your best.

    Please keep in mind that the statute of limitations for filing an administrative complaint with EEOC is relatively short (i.e., in Florida it is 300 days from the last act of discrimination, I think). You do not have a lot of time to file your complaint. Do not fail to file because you are lamenting about the information you do not have. Stop being “stuck”!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    Thank you Esteele. I am getting psychological help now. I am feeling better although I still might suffer from ptsd or acute stress reaction. I am willing to live for my family - not to give up because of them. I was thinking of suicide soon after I left the workplace - but not anymore. Such thinking was brought by stress and hoplessess of the situation I was in. It would be selfish to do so because of my family. One more reason to sue the company - they did not hurt me only but my family as well that witnessed how much I was suffering.
    I am trying my best to get better.

    I will definitely submit a claim to EEOC – (timeframe: 180 after the last incident of harassment for a local agency, 300 days to federal EEOC in Florida) whether it helps me any or not - I own that to myself and my family.
    I was basically made a joke and a target in the department I worked in because I am an ethnic minority and threat to some people due to my advanced education and willingness to work hard, (jealous and ethnocentric as well as racist women, ethnocentric and racist men and sexually harassing men - who saw me as a an easy target because of my quietness, shyness, and ethnic origin, and thought they could get away with everything).

    Slender and lies about my behavior is especially hurtful because I am Christian, and they knew how to hurt me the most.

    I never even spoke to men in that company except to a person who train me and treated me with respect, and my supervisor’s boss who was also respectful and our conversation was about the task I was doing for the team, my education, and possibility of further training because they needed to hire more employees soon to do more complex tasks than what our team was doing due to a business need and expansion (when he found out that I have business skills that they needed -from my female supervisor , and the degree for the job - he offered training for the new position). This was strictly professional communication. However, in that company, it is enough for one person to prejudge or start a rumor and slender in order that others who might or might not even believe in it join in purely because of the hatred on an ethnic basis.

    Still, he should have protected me when he heard lies about me and about how I was harassed because he knew that what harassers were insinuating was not true. I guess he as well as my immediate supervisor were more concerned to keep their positions there intact, and that they should keep their friendships with harassers, business relationships, and peace with harassers (some of the harassers where supervisors in other teams or belong to a same group) than to do what was right to do.
    Anyway, after or during EEOC investigation (depending on what they will do with my charge - disregard, get an investigation going, offer mediation, or a "Right to Sue" letter), I will talk to a employment lawyer - try to find one on a contingency basis (thanks for the website you suggested where I can find a lawyer).
    This is too much hurt and consequences to be let easily.

    The company told my employment agency about re-training (anti-harassment), but never apologized to me or to my agency about what they put me thru.

    I wonder whether an anti-harassment training after I left ever happened? - this would be admission that harassment occurred, or is just a general HR procedure after allegations of harassment were reported. Were they telling the truth to my agency - I do not know, but it sounds fishy. They were probably anti-harassment trained before I was employed there numerous times to know how to treat women and how harassment on ethnic and other basis is innapropriate.

    Thank you Esteele! God Bless you!

  4. #14

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    I think anti-harassment training wouldn't be proof, but used as a defense saying they educate their employees in a proactive manor. Just my thought.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    Thank you for your answer!
    I am sorry, but I do not understand how anti-harassment training after actual harassment happened is a defense for a company who failed to prevent further explosion of harassment when it was reported and when supervisors did not do anything to stop it even when they knew it was happening. How can that be a defense or a proactive behavior against harassment in the company. Something must have failed in their harassment policies otherwise harassment would not be allowed and would be sanctioned. Harrassers are getting trained again and again and again and then they harass someone, but a company will implement anti-harrassment training after the fact and that is to show their proactivity and defense in the court?! I am just confused do not get me wrong.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    Anti-harassment training to me isn't going to help you because any reliable legal evidence to support it was giving because of what happen to you will never surface. Even if it does you can't hold the company reliable. For the company to be held reliable the harassment would have to continue after formal reports to HR. The company couldn't predict their employees would be hostile towards you; however, if it was a case where they hired a convicted rapist that raped you then without question the company would be liable. You have to establish that the company knew and did nothing.

    Tell me if I read wrong but you quit. Temp agencies can be very tricky. They get paid by retaining companies that utilize their services. So please don't think they will be on your side against this company they have a contract with.

    There will be a few things you'll run into:

    1: You reported it just to your temp agency; It'll come back as company's HR never knew
    2: You reported it just to the company; Your temp agency will say you violated their rules
    3: If you had an on site manager I can almost say 100% they'll say you never came to them

    What documentation do you have that can be used as evidence?

    My sister went through similar situation. If you're still working even in remotely similar work environment you'll have a hard time getting anything out of them for your emotional stress.

    BTW: you'll get money if they agree to mediation. My sister said the mediator told the company she worked for that they better pay her because it cost an easy 20k plus to defend a discrimination case when you have temp workers. I guess its normal for temp workers to hear about discrimination and jump on the gravy train.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    "They get paid by retaining companies that utilize their services. So please don't think they will be on your side against this company they have a contract with"

    At first they at least pretended to be on my side. True, I do not have expectations from them anymore. It is the "honesty" that upsets me.

    "I guess its normal for temp workers to hear about discrimination and jump on the gravy train"

    No in my case, I am not after their money - what I am seeking is some kind of justice - call me stupid I do not care. Perverts and harassers there think that they get away with everything - it is them I am after.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostile Work Environment

    I'm not saying you are after the gravy train. Just that other temps will see it as a gravy train and jump on. That is why these situations usually get settled with a little cash at mediation. They know if it goes public they'll be dealing with other temps claiming the same thing.

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