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Hostile work environment Colorado

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  • Hostile work environment Colorado

    My director approached me about a position she thought I would be good at; it was a promotion and I got it 5 mos ago. Things went bad quick, as did with previous person in position. I went to EAP, they said it was hostile work environment and made appt with VP of HR. He met with me, then me and her, eventually he said that was just her 'tone' and we just needed to communicate better. Her behavior has continued although I have continued to try to 'communicate' with her. I feel that I have been through HR and they did nothing. Should I go back to EAP and HR...meet with attorney... or file a complaint?

  • #2
    The term, hostile work environment, has a very specific meaning under the law, and it takes a great deal more than someone being unpleasant. You will need to give us some examples of how it "went bad quickly" before anyone can say.
    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.

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    • #3
      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-ho...nvironment.htm
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        I talked to her about my problems I had with her aggressive, yelling, demanding that I have conversations behind closed doors, intimidating behavior, asking other staff what I am doing and not speaking to me but then accusing me of things I didn't do. Staff go to her and ask if she is mad at them. She said she won't change. She always told me that I was the person for the job and that I met her expectations until I made a complaint and HR got involved. Now she says I can't do my job, she has grave concerns, she doesn't believe in me, I have excessive absences, I don't communicate, all of which did not occur until after the complaint. Can I file hostile environment due to reprisal?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KLNKLN View Post
          I talked to her about my problems I had with her aggressive, yelling, demanding that I have conversations behind closed doors, intimidating behavior, asking other staff what I am doing and not speaking to me but then accusing me of things I didn't do. Staff go to her and ask if she is mad at them. She said she won't change. She always told me that I was the person for the job and that I met her expectations until I made a complaint and HR got involved. Now she says I can't do my job, she has grave concerns, she doesn't believe in me, I have excessive absences, I don't communicate, all of which did not occur until after the complaint. Can I file hostile environment due to reprisal?
          That is not a legal HWE. Your company may have policy against this behavior. If the company does then you should follow the internal procedure for complaints.

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          • #6
            I went to EAP, they said it was hostile work environment

            EAP's provide many good services but providing legal advice is not one of them. You were speaking to a social worker, not an attorney or HR professional. Your boss not being nice to you does not remotely constitute a hostile work environment as defined in the law.

            I feel that I have been through HR and they did nothing. Should I go back to EAP and HR...meet with attorney... or file a complaint?

            If you want to contact the EAP to discuss coping with your boss's behavior, that wouldn't be a bad idea but don't look to them for any legal advice. As noted above, on that score they don't have a clue as to what they're talking about.

            Obviously, your employer is not going to require your boss to change her management style. Your choices are (a) to put up with it, (b) seek a transfer to a different area within the company, or (c) look for a new job elsewhere. Absolutely nothing illegal is taking place here.

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            • #7
              Choice 4: Learn how to deal with difficult people. You'll be encountering them for the rest of your life. It's a good skill to have.
              I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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              • #8
                One thing - don't quit. If you quit, you will not get UI. If you look for
                other employment, look while you still have this job.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                • #9
                  There are some EAP services that are not just clinical/counseling services. For example, my company offers us EAP services that include limited legal advice, estate planning, childcare and elder care planning, retirement planning and transition, as well as counseling about work-related stresses.

                  If this "diagnosis" of a HWE came from an EAP counselor/social worker, then it's understandable that they probably have no idea what the definition of a HWE is. It's like going to your hair stylist and getting advice on your transmission.

                  If this "diagnosis" of a HWE came from an actual EAP lawyer or legal advisor, then they are grossly incompetent in their role, and need to be reported to whomever at your company contracts with them.

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                  • #10
                    I have requested a meeting with HR again, should I consult with a lawyer just so I know what to watch for (HWE)? What does she have to do to make it legally hostile?

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                    • #11
                      Did you read DAW's link above re hostile work environment?
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, so I see when she starts writing me up for the things she is accusing me of doing which I have not done, then it seems to me she is trying to make me quit,,, everything is already happening-she just hasnt written me up yet. I set up a meeting again with HR to discuss the issues today. Thanks for your input!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KLNKLN View Post
                          Ok, so I see when she starts writing me up for the things she is accusing me of doing which I have not done, then it seems to me she is trying to make me quit,,, everything is already happening-she just hasnt written me up yet. I set up a meeting again with HR to discuss the issues today. Thanks for your input!
                          Just because you don't see it as a valid complaint does not mean the write up is retaliatory. Even if what you say is accurate, trying to get an employee to quit is not illegal and is done frequently to try to avoid paying unemployment.

                          I see no reason for you to waste your money on a lawyer.

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                          • #14
                            It is my job then to prove it is retalitory if it is and can be proven. There is reprisal as a form of complaint procedure under EEOC. I want to know what would constitute a complaint under that area. I want knowledge

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                            • #15
                              You do realize, don't you, that even if you can prove it is "retalitatory" that is not necessarily illegal, correct?

                              Unless you reported ILLEGAL behavior and she is retaliating for that, she is free to "retalitate" against you all she wants and she hasn't broken a single law in doing so.
                              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

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