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Help! Harrassment and Possible Discrimination

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What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

Hello. I'm back after a long peaceful stretch to ask for advice again.

I will again try to make this brief and hope I get some solid advice. This is multi faceted and crazy, and yes it's for real.

First, after my first year with my employer (now at 4 years) I asked about CFRA for my partner. He is permanently disabled. My previous employer gave me paperwork and just said fill this out and we'll take care of it. They never asked for anything other than this form back. We had CFRA and it was renewed for the 6 years I worked there. When my mandatory year period passed at my current employer in Nov. of 2011 I asked about CFRA and they had no clue about it but promised to check into it for me. We are at 4 years and many requests later and they have never provided me with the forms. I have asked countless times. We were bought out in 2013 by another company. I still never heard anything back. They told me now to call Liberty Mutual because they handle these claims. My partner insisted that I not do this because he fears they will fire me, so I have abided by his wishes, even though it's created some serious problems with his medical issues. But I have agreed. From Nov. 2011 to Jan 2013 when the new company took over, were they in violation of any law by not providing us with the paperwork and whatever was required to get this done? I still have an email from the doctor and the doctor's head nurse waiting for the paperwork 3 years ago.

Anyway, in overlapping that issue, the company also has a work from home program but you have to have good attendance. Well since they never provided us with the CFRA paperwork, they counted every time I had to take care of my partner as an attendance infraction. Even to get their qualifications, they made me wait "18 months". Like with the CFRA, I kept asking every few months and they kept telling me they'd get back to me, but they simply never did. I find this seriously disorganized. At the same time, others were being granted the ability to work from home. So what gives? I had managed to clear off my attendance many times over those 18 months, and have done so since many times, despite having to juggle medical necessity at home and work, and they wait until I hit a patch that throws me into a verbal warning and then tell me I don't qualify. This is still ongoing, even though the ops manager has recently asked me if I still wanted to work from home. He would schedule meetings to follow up in a month each time for some reason, and then would ditch the meetings. This happened twice, the most recent being I believe in August. Of course now that I have built up a few attendance issues that are nearly off my record, they review it and tell me again sorry. Why do they wait months until they can give me a reason?

I have never caused any issues at work, and in my last review they advised me that each year I have had only 1 error in my work, which the ops manager claims is "phenomenal". I have met every other qualification they demand such as learning the role of dispatcher and achieving top level call handling... which I have.

Now on to the next issue. One of my lower management told me the other day in a casual way that one of the girls due back from maternity leave was going to go on work from home status because she felt uncomfortable leaving her newborn at home without her. So they figured that was more important than me leaving a permanently disabled person at home on days when there are issues. We've even had to miss medical appointments at times because they could only schedule on short notice and if we dont give 2 weeks notice, it's an attendance infraction. So I guess that means the maternity leave on FMLA is important, and the CFRA for me is not.

Then we move on to another person that is going on work from home status starting Monday. This person was granted work from home status for an unknown reason. They have in the 2 1/2 years that they have been employed here, had fights with at least half of the staff, had complaints from customers that she was flirting with them and they were uncomfortable. She has tried to track down the wealthy clients such as lawyers to try and get dates with them, yelled at people on the phones during calls. She recently also made a veiled threat to come and shoot up the office or have her son shoot us. Then for some reason her behavior turned on me, and I had actually stuck up for this person in the early days of her employment when others were picking on her. She tends to cry alot. She stopped talking to me and I was upset because before this shooting stuff, been friends. Someone told her I was upset she wasn't talking to me and that set in motion some crazy actions. I was pulled aside by another employee and told that she had called another employee that she knew also, and told her that she was going to have my current employer "fire me or have me arrested". I have no clue what for. The lady was afraid to say anything more, and her team lead got wind of her telling me the little she had, and advised her not to get involved. So I am to this evening clueless about what she is going to do. To make this even more twisted, the girl that works from home with her infant is the one was told of her plan by the employee directly. We have to communicate through an interoffice chat at work. After hearing all this, I felt it best - judgment clouded at the time - not to interact with her until the office manager could get this straightened out and under control. She messaged me once after this and I asked a manger to please talk to her because I didn't want to have to interact with this person. They had since claimed she never said anything and doesnt work in the office anymore and doesnt want to get involved. So she became angry at the delay of any response. The next Saturday she came into the office to work because she had to be in the area. She had a brief conversation with the lady doing all of this and then leaned over our desk partitions in the office and started yelling at me about disrespecting her. This went on for 5 minutes and I told her we should really take this into a private room to talk because it was disrupting the office. At that point to cool it down, I opted to leave early, and the on duty manager that came in just after this stopped gave me a couple hours off to regroup. I was more nerves and shocked than angry. So to reward this lady that had started all this grief for others and now myself, they let her work from home. She wouldn't even comply by learning the requirements. She said they were boring.

I have had to talk to corporate HR about all of this. The CFRA, the work from home, the harassment issues. What it is basically coming down to is that they are leaning towards not doing anything even as far as disciplinary actions or making good on the CFRA. The work from home issue is dead for the present of course due to lack of CFRA. This lady even followed "me" to a restaurant my partner and I have gone to for over 10 years, which is 10 miles away and made most of the people there think I'm some sort of loon. She got a job there and immediately made friends with my two favorite servers... it's way out of control. So I'll still have to see her or stop going to this restaurant :( Some think since she was fired from her last two jobs and is suing the last one for wrongful termination that they are afraid to discipline her.

If anyone bothered to read all of this I had to try and cram this all in so it would eventually make sense. I have to talk to HR on Monday from home on my day off. They are requesting the call. What does everyone make of all of this? Is there anything I should not say? I have told them I wish to file a complaint with the DFEH re: the CFRA and harrassment issues so they are aware. Should I send the completed paperwork in now? I know some here may think I'm the one thats nuts, but I am a quiet worker that is definitely not used to this unwanted attention or lack of communication from my employer. Some in the office actually call me Eyore.... I'm not a troublemaker and non confrontational so I just dont get why they are just not even talking to people or doing anything re: any of these many issues. I seem to be the one that is getting in trouble? Just a final note, the reason I wanted to work from home was to find a balance to care for my partner if needed but be working.



Senior Member
I'm sorry I can't wade through your post, it's too long. However, here is some legal information for you:

Harassment and discrimination are only illegal if they're based specifically and directly on things like your race, gender, age (but only if you're over 40), religion and/or disability. Complaints made about illegal harassment and discrimination provide job protection. Employees who complain about any other type of harassment or discrimination (i.e., the legal kind) risk losing their jobs...and this would be legal.

So if you have solid factual evidence that any negative treatment you're receiving at work is based solely on your race, gender, age, religion and/or disability, bring that evidence to HR. If the situation doesn't change, then file a claim with the EEOC.

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