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Workplace Harassment - Should I quit or first talk to a lawyer?

by H.

I have worked for a company for 10 years as a sales rep and now the owners family member (brother) has become my manager within the past year. He needless to say is a bully. I have spoken to HR about him and his discrimination that I felt he showed toward me and women in the dept. The other 3 women quit or transferred out of the dept because he was a bully. He would stand over you and belittle everything you did. He would yell and when you asked for help he would say "no, do it yourself". Me and one other woman are left in the dept along with 10 other men. The men have even stated they see how he watches every move I make. HR initially made my manager apologize and take management classes and then when incidents of loud and abrupt language occured again I went to HR they told me that if I complained again that I would be written up. I knew she meant that I needed to quit coming to her because it was not going to help and I would get fired. I have battled depression for years and now am having anxiety attacks with confusion and memory loss. I am seeing a Neurosurgeon, Psychiatrist and counseling but I am at wits end. I make very good money but today my counselor told me that my peace of mind and mental health is far more valuable and she would see much value of me quitting. I want a plan of action to quit. Do I try for unemployment? or Disability? What would be my first steps? Thank you so much!!

Hi Hannah,

I, probably like
you, already know your situation calls for legal advice from a labor attorney.

This is not just a simple should I quit unemployment question.

Your rights are being violated and if it is happening to you, it's likely not the first time. But, this may the first time an employee is about to exercise a their right to do something about it with this particular employer.

You are the victim of workplace harassment, you have health issues and you have been threatened with termination if in essence, you continue to assert your right not to be harassed. Threats of retaliation which often lead to actual retaliation being the cause for settlement that can make HR compliance professionals cringe .. even when discrimination is found to not of existed.

It is paramount that you receive good advice to try to work this out .. before you quit without nary enough evidence to prove good cause for voluntarily quitting.

Just the thought of an employee attorney getting involved is also a powerful threat that can change the tune of of an employer when they start thinking about the cost of hiring their own attorney to combat yours .. especially when they know they are wrong.

Nepotism in my opinion is a dangerous thing for an employer to allow in the workplace. It's why so many companies have policies forbidding it and for good reason as you now know.

Do not fool around. If things are this bad now, it's just a matter of time before the employer builds a case to discharge you which might stand up unless you draw a line in the sand now that can explain the real reason behind the employer's actions.

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