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Do I have any legal recourse?

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I am in an unusual situation. It's a long story, but I'll try to be brief.
My husband and I both have full-time jobs and housing provided by a ranch in Montana. The owner of the ranch has three daughters ages 19 to 21, who come and go, and occasionally work on the ranch for a few weeks or months
at a time. Without being too specific, two of them frequently make very crude sexual remarks around the male employees, wear inappropriate clothing, make inappropriate finger gestures, etc.

The 19-year-old daughter worked on a project in a remote area alone with my husband for several weeks this past fall. My husband repeatedly requested of his foreman and operations manager that he not have to work with her alone because her reputation for being promiscuous was causing strain in our marriage. He and I were told we had to handle the situation because she is the boss's daughter, and there was really nothing they could do to change the situation.

During the course of their working together she and my husband had a one-time sexual encounter. I found out and spoke to her at which time she readily admitted that she
tried to seduce him, and she had no feelings for him. "It didn't mean anything." He has asked her to stay away from him, but they see each other every day in a work environment, and every time she sees me she give me an inappropriate finger gesture. She still attempts to approach my husband to talk and flirt.

My husband was an idiot to do what he did, and of course was not physically forced to do so. But we both love our job and the place where we live, but this has made the situation intolerable.

This is my home, my marriage and my employment that is affected by this girl's behavior. Her father, the owner, does not know this has happened, but I fear he would fire my husband if he did, because my husband is 37. My husband and I have been employed for 4 years by this ranch in which we have each received steady pay increases, and exceptional job reviews. Also, the owner
refuses to have any written employment policies including policies about sexual harassment or interpersonal relationships.

My questions are:
Could my husband legally be fired?
Can my husband demand that he not have to work with this girl?
As his wife and an employee do I have any legal rights pertaining to a hostile work environment or harrassment?
Thank you for any advice.


Senior Member
You sound like a remarkable woman.

I don't know Montana's laws and whether federal laws apply depends in part on the total number of employees.

But in general, you are in a situation where you can not win. The spoiled daughter feels entitled to get everything she wants, even if it is your husband.

I urge you and your husband to see a lawyer that does NOT work for the ranch owner. He may have a good suggestion, or know a way to get the owner to understand that this is bad for morale and business, and may result in legal action.

This is intended as general information only and NOT LEGAL ADVICE. You are not my client, and I have no obligation of any kind to you. To retain a lawyer, go to http://AttorneyPages.com


Either you or your husband might have a valid complaint for a hostile sexual environment. Of course it depends upon Montana's laws. I only practice in CA so I can't advise you as to your state's laws. If the 19 year old is indeed the cause of the harassing situation, the employer has to take steps to eliminate that environment. That does not mean terminating you and or your husband. If he did that then it would be an unlawful termination. You should consult with an employment (labor) law attorney near you to be sure. You can find one at attorneypages

Mark B. Replogle

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