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Retaliation/Counseling as conditions of continued employment Florida

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  • Retaliation/Counseling as conditions of continued employment Florida

    I work security at a college(state) for 7 years. The college contracts with a private company for cleaning services on third shift. Ive been the go to person in dealing with the cleaning crew due to the majority of our guards choosing not to deal with them if possible. The present company has only had the contract for about 2 going on 3 years now. These companies pay a low wage and they will generally hire immigrants some are legal and some are illegal. I know a little Spanish as a result of my on going working relationship up to this point. I was made aware of a bullying/harassment situation toward two women on the cleaning crew.A older woman(Columbian) and a younger woman(Guatemalean) These two women had been ostracized from their co-workers. The person who is responsible for this was a woman(Dominican) who had been their the longest and apparently recently got married to their job site supervisor. I was asked for assistance but neglected to act until it appeared this situation had escalated to physical assault as I interpreted conversations.

    I made a anonymous complaint on the behalf of these two ladies and followed up with commencing a investigation with the assistance of a newly hired Spanish speaking guard to clarify anything I may have misinterpreted and to have a neutral party to the investigation. The guard helping me with the investigation was able to directly speak to the older woman but not the younger woman. The cleaning supervisor was made aware of this investigation at some point and I suspect he purposely changed her work arrival time to a hour later than her schedule. The other guard leaves work at this time and wasn't able to talk with her as far as I knew. The younger woman had started being harassed and threatened by the cleaning supervisor. she was getting cold feet and would put any bullying/harassment in the direction of the older woman. I informed my supervisor of all this as well. I turned over all information and the notes from the other guard to my supervisor. My supervisor authored a email up his chain of command, I was never made aware of the outcome. I did notice the company district manager showed up during the shift and sometime afterwards. The supervisor's wife wasn't seen on campus. I concluded she was removed and the company did not know they had recently gotten married.

    I want to add the older woman had a building to clean that takes all night to clean. The younger woman had two buildings to clean which combined take all night to clean. These are smaller buildings and take half the night to clean. Well the younger woman was taking the brunt of harassment from the cleaning supervisor and even though she claimed to have not been a victim of the wife's harassment, she was obviously being stressed out and her husband was pressuring her to quit, she finally quit around November. The younger woman's replacement was a prior employee before the summer.The new employee was a single mother with three kids and a day job, she was from Honduras, I got to know her circumstances from her previous time employed for this cleaning company, she has a temporary visa due to a open asylum case but she does have illegal status and was trying to save money for back home. She knew the chances of her getting asylum approved are very slim, she has already been deported from the United States on a previous occasion. She wore a ankle monitor. Her visa was to be expired June of 2016 if memory serves me correct.

    My supervisor had for some reason mysteriously resigned and if anyone knows it hasn't been passed around. Since the removal of the cleaning supervisor's wife he never approached me directly, I was informed at various times of that look can kill stare at me. I personally never had any complaints directed at me until after the removal of the cleaning supervisor's wife. I only know of one complaint from last year and that was a claim that I gave one of this employees a attitude. I know this not to be the case. Well this year things got pretty retaliatory against me.The day after MLK birthday a Tuesday, I was taking out the trash for the Honduran woman and the supervisor was passing by and witness me helping her. As usual nothing was said to me and her. The next day a Wednesday I noticed a employee in her assigned building. She was reassigned to the oldest building on campus. A building that normally takes all night to clean. This building was her reassignment and she was still expected to attend to the her 2nd half of the night building assigned to her. She was made aware of a issue between me and her supervisor previous to this incident. On Thursday her supervisor showed up in her building and spent quite a few hours in there. This was highly strange and outside of his normal hands off supervisory style. I knew something wasn't on the level and figured he was probably giving her a hard time. I was made aware of comments he said to her in the past.

    I took a phone call on that Friday from my new supervisor who informed me their was a sexual harassment claim made against me and she gave me the name of the accuser, it was the Honduran woman. I was told on Sunday I could come into work for my shift but the remainder of my shift would be worked at the main campus. The two campuses are 20 miles apart. I have never worked or trained on main campus. The main campus does operate differently than my campus. I have also discovered the wife of the cleaning supervisor is working at the main campus. My campus operates more flexible in our structure compared to the main campus that operates a more rigid structure. I haven't been given any type of training that is standard or issued any equipment for the main campus. I have been given tips from the guards on the third shift. My documented training and equipment issued is for my campus. The only security supervisor issued orders from main campus during my tenure was a few times of being given Title IX(sexual harassment) posters to put up in various buildings. My first visit to human resources didn't seem to be of being given a fair shake. I submitted some documentation and other things to prove my case and it seemed to fall on deaf ears. The HR person assigned to the investigation seemed to have already made her mind up, she said the woman was afraid of me. I recently had another visit to HR last week and both visits have been a hour after my shift ended. My first HR visit was me and the HR person assigned to my case. This recent visit to HR was with the same HR person and not my assigned supervisor from my home campus, it was the lead supervisor from the main campus. My case was supposed to be confidential as emphasized by HR.

    The outcome to my HR visit was I have been given a final warning in my file, the claim is there I was harassment on my part, I am being returned to my campus after this week. The reason my return hasn't been immediate as requested by my supervisor was a letter had to be mailed out to the woman and they wanted to give her time to digest my return to the campus. I am mandated as a condition of my continued employment to have contacted the EAP counselor and attend counseling. Does this situation afford me opportunities for a attorney or filing with the EEOC due to retaliation.

  • #2
    Particularly after reviewing your posting history, I fail to see how a warning in your file regarding a sexual harassment that has been been made against you constitutes illegal retaliation for an anonymous report.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I am not sure the relation of my posting history to this thread. The initial action on my part was in doing the anonymous complaint. I supported that complaint with a investigation and all info at ion gathered by me and the second guard was turned over to our supervisor. There was no true anonymity upon the initial complaint being done.


      • #4
        Just because you state you didn't harass the woman, it doesn't mean she didn't feel harassed. Especially with a language barrier, actions can be misinterpreted. Moving you to another campus while the claim was investigated is very standard. HR wants to separate the parties while the investigation is being conducted. You could also have been suspended without pay.

        Also not all harassment is illegal. If the supervisor's wife was throwing around her power and picked on the weakest cleaners, that isn't illegal. You spent a lot of time (on the clock?) investigating something without authority and even involving a coworker. Then you made a complaint which is impossible to corroborate. Your company could easily fire you for that if it is discovered.


        • #5
          There is a whole lot of totally unnecessary and irrelevant detail in your post. Bottom line is there was a complaint made against you by the employee of an outside vendor and while investigating it, you were transferred to a different location. There is nothing that even begins to hint at retaliation of any kind. Clearly you crossed a boundary you should not have crossed. I suggest focusing on your job and let the cleaning company worry about their employees, workload, and assignments. It isn't your place to get involved and you aren't responsible for supervising their employees.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.