How do I protect myself from verbal harassment in the workplace?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2012

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How do I protect myself from verbal harassment in the workplace?

My boss is a complete tyrant and tells me that he’s tired of dealing with my “estrogen” and curses at me relentlessly. He makes comments about my sexual orientation that make me extremely uncomfortable, he tells the kitchen staff to “smack” my “culo?” (I’m assuming it’s Spanish for butt). He tells, in vivid detail, of his sexual encounters with women. If anyone so much as attempts to speak up for themselves, they are mercilessly cursed out. I left work today in tears from the verbal abuse

Asked on August 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sexual harassment at work is illegal; your employer could face liability (have to pay money) because of your boss's harassment. You should contact your state's equal or civil rights department, or speak with a private employment attorney, about his situation; from what you write, you may well have a legal claim.

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