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Sexual Orientation issue - Nevada Nevada

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  • Sexual Orientation issue - Nevada Nevada

    Roughly 2 1/2 months ago, a co-worker walked through our area making statements that "Gays should be hung" and "I have the perfect tool for gays" while pulling his knife out of his holster. (Mind you we are in an office, why does he have a knife in the first place?). My former supervisor witnessed this and IM'ed me asking if I was offended. I answered that yes I was a little, so she said she would report it to the department manager and went to his office. When she came back, she said the department manager would talk to him. Since then there was no arguments and we have remained civil, sometimes even friendly with each other.

    The former supervisor has left the company and relocated out-of-state. However, I am still in contact with her through e-mail and she has offered to sign a statement as to what she witnessed. I also have at least one other witness.

    Move ahead to last week. The same co-worker had made a fairly serious error on a ticket and it tried to call out to him to get his attention. When he didn't answer I went to his cubicle and discovered that he was slouched down in his chair with his earbuds in his ears. I firmly tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention, which startled him (semi-intentional). We discussed the ticket and I went back to my cubicle. Well, that night he went and complained to HR and I got called in to the Manager's office. I explained my side of the story and asked if the manger could provide any more specifics of the complaint so that I might be able to address them. He stated that I had addressed all of the specifics and that it may go to HR.

    Well, needless to say, 2 days later I was called into the office and my contract was terminated. The manager stated that the reason it was being terminated was because "he had to protect his business". This was a contract relationship through an agency.

    Now, my questions:

    1. Does the client have an obligation to do more than they did with regards to my co-worker's statements?

    2. Is there a statute of limitations on when I can file a complaint and is that affected by the time I discovered they had not done more?

    3. What effect will the latter incident have on the former?

    4. What effect does this have on unemployment, should the agency choose to protest?

    5. Considering the availability of witness statements, is the case worth pursuing?

  • #2
    A company has to make sexual harassment stop. It appears the management did so as soon as they were notified of the incident. What more did you want done?

    Do I understand you correctly that you were a temp working an agency and the incidents occurred with employees of the business?

    What were the details of the complaint? What reason was given to the agency to end your contract? Was there an actual contract and if there was what does it say about terminating it?

    Comment


    • #3
      1. Does the client have an obligation to do more than they did with regards to my co-worker's statements?

      No. They made the offensive behavior stop. That is all they are obligated to do. Additionally, they are not obligated to tell you what action they took, what warnings were given, what was placed in his file. Just because it wasn't done visibly doesn't mean it didn't happen at all. Quite frankly, unless you have access to the personnel files, you don't know what action they took.

      2. Is there a statute of limitations on when I can file a complaint

      Yes; within 300 days of the violation. Contact the Nevada Equal Rights Commission for more information

      2a) and is that affected by the time I discovered they had not done more?

      No, since as above they were not obligated to do more

      3.) What effect will the latter incident have on the former?

      None. The first event is over and done with. The employer did everything they were obligated to do.

      4.) What effect does this have on unemployment, should the agency choose to protest?

      None. Unemployment is a completely different issue managed by a completely different agency and the two are unrelated to each other

      5. Considering the availability of witness statements, is the case worth pursuing?

      From what you have posted, unless you have a valid and supportable reason to believe that your termination was due to your sexual orientation, no, since unless that is the case, your termination was legal. Caveat - you mention a contract. If the contract specifically and in so many words spells out how and under what circumstances your employment can be terminated AND this violates them, speak to an attorney.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually, they didn't make it stop. Just change form. There were other incidents, albeit a little more subtle.

        As far as "What I want", I think the incident should have been more thoroughly documented, perhaps even as far as HR and the agency being notified. I believe a record of it would have had an impact on my termination. Secondly, I feel they could have removed me from the situation (e.g. moved me to another cubicle), and thirdly, I think this is not only a discrimination issue, but also a potential workplace violence issue. As I stated before, there were implied threats of bodily harm, before and after this specific incident.

        Comment


        • #5
          You said incidents continued after the initial comments. Did you report them? What was said when you reported the new incidents? Did you ever report this stuff to your agency? I'm not sure why you think that would be the client's responsibility. The agency is your employer; if you have an issue at the assignment you are on, you need to say so.
          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.

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