Can I file a claim for employment harrassment if I spoke with management and nothing was done so I stopped coming to work?

I recently quit my job 2 months ago. I filed a sexual assault case against one of my co-workers husband. This co-worker sent me threatening text messages that made me feel very uncomfortable about going back to work. I spoke with the manager. She had told me that it would be better to quit if I could, and that she would do what she could if other co-workers intimidated me; however she could not say the same about the other managers. We agreed on a day for me to come back. That day, I received threatening text messages from my co-worker and her husband. I did not return but filed a police report.

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may well have a case of employment sexual harassment or discrimination. Employers have a duty to not only not themselves (e.g. management) sexually harass (or assault) employees, but to also prevent co-workers from doing so, at least when they have notice of a threat or actions. If a coworker's husband sexually assaulted you, then the coworker harassed and threatened you in relation to that sexual assault, that course of action may constitute sexual harassment. It's certainly worthwhile consulting with an employment attorney to evalute the situation.

(Note: an employer does not have to generally prevent one employee from harassing or threatening another--though they would be wise to do so, since if the harassing employee then hurts, steals from, etc. the other worker, the employer may be guilty of negligent supervision.)


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