My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Kansas
This is a letter that was sent to the Unemployment office explaining why I quit my job. Unfortunately unwelcomed comments made to me about "being nude on a beach" was not significant enough to quit my job.
I worked part time and my shift varied on an approximate 6 hours, depending on the flow of daily revenue. My terminal manager and I were the only two female employees during the daytime work environment. My manager is very close with a certain particular individual (male) employee. I have made it clear to my terminal manager my uneasiness with this particular individual due to the large amount of time that he spends in her office, and how he makes statements to her such as “how beautiful she is“, “how she looks so nice“, calls her “sweet and innocent” his “second wife” and makes many other comments of this nature. They have both stated to me many times that he frequents her house on weekends.
My husband and I had planned a recent Florida vacation. And my terminal manager had stated a couple of months prior that she would like to get away for just a few days, and that she could never afford to go on a vacation like that, so I had offered her to fly in on the last three days of the vacation, at her only expense of air travel and food, and that my husband and I already had a room and car. And she accepted.
Before my terminal manager had arrived my husband and I had spent a day on the beach at South Beach Miami, Florida. While on the “topless optional” beach, my husband took a very private picture of me. This picture was developed and tucked into what we had hoped was a secured place while on vacation.
My terminal manager then arrived several days later; and we picked her up at the airport.
There were several times that my husband and I had left the room, leaving my terminal manager alone.
Immediately after I had clocked into work on my first day back from vacation; the above mentioned particular individual and I were the only two people in the office. Approximately 5 minutes later another male employee, came into the office and in a very serious manner immediately stated :
“I heard that you were laying out on a nude beach; I didn’t think that you were that kind of person to lay around in the nude; I just can’t believe that you would lay out on a nude beach !”He was very serious, and it automatically sent me into a defense mode, and stated back:
“Where did that come from, I never went to a nude beach, I went to South beach which is a topless optional beach. There are people of all sorts, families, elderly, young, everyone; and so what, it would be my business any way”
Being embarrassed, I stepped into the ladies room for a moment, and when I came back out the very vocal male employee had left the office, and the remaining above mentioned particular individual was very quiet, saying nothing; he then left the office to go outside. Approximately 10 minutes later my terminal manager arrived to work.
Because someone was telling “rumors” about my personal life, I embarrassingly stayed seated at my desk most of the morning; and was even more embarrassed when my manager initiated a Monday morning meeting with all daytime personnel. I just stayed at my desk until I clocked out for lunch. Before I clocked out, I approached the very vocal city driver and asked him “Where did you hear that rumor from” and he replied that “He must of misunderstood the above mentioned particular individual when he was telling us all.” , “all as in a group?” I said. I then walked away from the conversation feeling very intimidated, wondering who all was “all”, and “what were they thinking and saying”.
I clocked out for lunch and came back to work keeping quiet the remainder of my shift. I was just wanting my 6 hour shift to be up because I was very embarrassed of the offensive “rumors” that had been discussed amongst several employees. At approximately 15 to 20 minutes before my shift was up, my manager began asking me several times “what was wrong” I stated to her that a very embarrassing incident had happened when I first arrived at work, and that I did not feel comfortable talking to her about it. Our discussion escalated into an argument because I would not talk to her about it, so I left early; approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
The next day, I woke up with a headache and feeling nauseous from all the stress of what people were saying, or what they really knew. I called my manager and reported sick.
On Wednesday I went to work and attempted to do my job. My manager and I did not speak unless something work related was asked. I was still humiliated and remained very quiet at my desk until I clocked out for lunch. When I told my manager that I was going to lunch, she asked me to come into her office and shut the door. I did as she asked, and she then stated that she was writing me up for 3 things:
1. Leaving my shift early
2. My attitude
3. Making false accusations
(I had NEVER been written up before)
I explained to her that I would not sign the paperwork or discuss my issue with her; and that I would call the corporate office and discuss my issue with human resources. I then left (already clocked out for lunch) and went home to call human resources. I was not able to reach anyone, but I left a voicemail message explaining that an incident had happened and asked if they would please return my call .
I then spoke with the VP of Human Resources and explained my issue. He said he would get back to me. On Friday, I received a call back from him, he stated that they had investigated the issue and stated that all they could coach the individual. He suggested that perhaps the individual was just “ribbing” on me. I explained that I did not feel that this individual was just “ribbing“ on me, that I felt it was done in more of a harassing nature, and that I was humiliated and embarrassed that the rumors had created a hostile and intimidating environment, I explained that I did not feel that I could not continue my employment with the company.
*** Again, this was the letter sent to the Kansas Department of Unemployment. My request for benefits was denied with reason as I was dissatisfied with my employment. When I had my conference call with the unemployment office, I was told that the reason my employer gave them is that I was a “no show”. (I had been there for 16 months) but I have my phone records to prove that I had notified the Human Resource office over a three day period.
The reason I did not feel comfortable discussing my issue with my terminal manager was due to walking into the office and finding my terminal manager and the above mentioned particular individual locked in arms. His arms were around her waist, and her arms were around his neck. But I am sure that this situation would turn into a “he said” “she said” and it would be their word against mine.
I have never accused my manager of “snooping” through our personal belongings while alone in the hotel room and finding the photo. But, knowing that my husband and I had taken a private photo and then hearing certain comments pertaining to being nude on a beach made me feel humiliated and embarrassed.
Is there any recourse for me here?