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After Harassment Charge (Texas)

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  • After Harassment Charge (Texas)

    I recently filed a harassment charge against my boss for cursing at me and yelling slander. When I brought verbal harassment charges against her, our VP of HR was required to meet with us both seperately to understand the situation from both sides. I was first to be spoken to. The conversation didn't begin the way I guess I had expected. I felt like I was being lead to answer certain questions and I kept being told that in my particular situation, my boss probably felt that she couldn't go to her supervisor, not that her actions were acceptable, but that because I was working for the company I put her in a frustrating situation. I should probably mention that when I go this job a year ago, I was hired temporarily as an assistant for the person directly below my father. It was my understanding that if there were situation similar to mine that she should then go to HR and discuss the issue but I could be wrong.

    I was just informed by my father, who is the manager, that the new owners (in the time I had been employed I was going to get on full time but we were being bought out and so I was religated to wait) felt that they must do what was right for the company, and as my boss had been with the company for 4 year to my 1, and the clients knew her better, they were not firing me but as soon as I found another job I could go. Is it legal for them to ask me to leave after I have pressed harassment charges? Can they (the company) side with the person the complaint was filed against or should I be talking to a lawyer? I have been directed that a month should sufice, but I would appreciate any advice on this. Thanks.

  • #2
    Cursing at you is unprofessional but not illegal; what you describe does not meet the definition of slander. Since no laws were violated, your employer had no legal obligation to take any action at all. (I'm not saying they shouldn't; I'm saying they were not obligated to.) Even if laws WERE violated, they were not obligated to take the action you want them to take.

    Since the actions you complained of were not illegal, it IS legal for them ask you to leave. Of course they can side with the other person; where ever did you get the idea that the law obligated them to side with you? They are free to believe whomever wish.

    I'm not saying they handled this in the best possible way but they did not violate any laws.
    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'm not suggesting they should have sided with me but prehaps you could answer me one more question. During the intial interview with HR they asked me if I felt my boss was my boss as a result of the takeover nothing more had been spoken of the matter so we all weren't sure of our position. When I responded that intially she was my boss but as yet we weren't sure where we all stood, HR replied that if I didn't feel that this person was my boss then I wasn't being harassed. Harassment, from what I was told was punishable only if it was superior to subordinate, then I was told, not asked, that my work environment was not hostile so again not harassment. Regardless, of how I tried to explain thing as being anything but pleasant I was still told that I was putting my boss in the situation.

      A secondary meeting was held in which I was formally confirmed that my attacker was in fact now officially my boss. I am not trying to make more of the situation than what was previously mentioned but I wanted to know if this situation is still in the realm of legal...I know it's not fair and I can live with that but I hate coming to work now and I am constantly on edge at work. It's not just my "now" boss but her friend in the department as well. They have set themselves against my father and myself. By slander I ment that they were accusing me that I was incompetent, yet they kept giving me the work load. There haven't been any errors and my boss' friend and I have no direct dealings so I can't understand any reason for him to complain other than it being his friend the harassment charges were drawn against. I can understand if it's still legal but I wanted to know for sure as I do not know the work force laws.


      • #4
        Yes, it is still legal.

        I know what your HR department was talking about but I wouldn't have phrased it in just that way.

        What you describe does not come even remotely close to meeting the definition of slander, sorry.
        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.


        • #5
          Well, thanks for the help.


          • #6
            I don't like to doubt people, but I always want to confirm everything. I was under the impression as was a good friend of mine that telling clients and people outside of work was slander. I don't want to question your knowledge but you seem to know what your talking about, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Thanks again.


            • #7
              Slander occurs when someone either knowingly or negligently makes false statements to a third party and as a result you suffer damages. What you are describing is an opinion that you do not agree with, not a false statement. In addition, you have not suffered any damages directly as a result of his offering this opinion.
              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.


              • #8
                You must practice. Thank you for all your help.


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