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Harassment by Business Partner in Oregon

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  • Harassment by Business Partner in Oregon

    In the Spring of 2001 I was hired while still in real estate school to be my office's office manager. My duties would include all that the title implies including A/P, /A/R, payroll, all advertising, creating marketing tools for agents etc. I would keep this job title as long as I wanted it after I became an agent but as long as I was the Office Manager, I would not be allowed to assist clients until after business hours. Thus any client leads for listings and showing properties had to be done after 5pm or on weekends. Needless to day, I worked more than 16 hours per day, 7 days per week. I know that I cannot hold my employer responsible because I was not covered by wages for these tasks. I fast became the largest producing agent for the office and was made a full partnership offer at the end of 2004. Since this offer was made, my "partner" continues to expect me to do all of his required duties, i.e. broker price opionions, comparable market analyses, input of his listings, creation of his marketing tools, has informed me that I will always be his 'girl' because no one is up to the task but me. When I bring it to his attention that I am no long an employee he belittles me, tells me that I willnever be his equal or he just laughs and says 'yeah, right.' He subsuequently sabotaged a transaction that cost me approximately $30,000 and because of this error on his part, it left me in a bit of a financial bind. He agreed to loan me money and said we would draw up an amicable repayment agreement. Since I took the loan ($4800) he has been hounding me, telling me that I need to dump my husband and take up with him and if I would grant him even the privilege of sleepling with him, he would be more than amenable in extending my period of time to repay the note. When I politely laugh it off and say thats not going to happen he becomes abusive or starts in with 'when can I expect payment back from you?' If i have an offer to go over with him, he asks me to lift my skirt and show him my p**sy (his word, not mine). I was getting ready to go meet with clients at a property and he and I were the only ones in the office. I was unshining my face and straightening my hair when he came in behind me and proceeded to urinate, asking me if I wanted to come and hold it for him. We have a small office, our bathroom is Unisex and like one you would find in a private home, not an office; there is no stall, all is open. We only have a six person office so he's the president and I'm the vice-president/Human Resources person. I have tried to return on two separate occasions, but again, he comes into my office and starts in with the 'when I can you pay me, when are you gonna dump that jerk you are married to, can I watch you go to the bathroom,' etc. I have watched him start in on the company's secretary as well.

    I cannot be around this person. He is withholding my commissions (since October), my property management fees and has accelerated the note to purchase the business since I have not made a payment to him. He has not provided me with an accounting as to the payments he is due so how can I pay him? I need legal advice!!

    Can I recoup funds for him creating a hostile work environment? Can I sue him for not allowing me the opportunity to do my job without the harrassment? I am under a doctors care and take medication for depression and sleeplessness. The physician feels I need to buy out his half of the business or get a job where I would not feel as worthless as he has made me feel now. I am a highly intelligent person but I have been out of the law for too long and never held my paralegal degree in Oregon. Please don't respond with "duh". I really need avenues to pursue and I need to do it now. I had to mortgage our property we have owned since 1980 to cover our househould expense and I am NOT happy about that either!

  • #2
    The first thing you need to do is report the sexual harassment to the EEOC or your state human rights commission, or both. You need a right to sue letter from one or the other before you can file a lawsuit.

    You need to contact your state DOL regarding the unpaid commissions. Note: in some states, the DOL cannot help you with commission issues; if yours is one of those states, you will need to sue him in civil court. This will be a completely separate action from any sexual harassment claim you eventually bring.
    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
      Thank you for your direct and to the point advice. It is much needed. I knew that I had to contact a State organization before I could proceed with the harassment claim but I was unsure of which...tyvm


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