Relocation contract

I have recently taken a position where the last manager was promoted. I signed a 12 month relocation contract where I am responsible for part of my relocation if I resign prior to a year of service. I am in an environment where I manage union employees and I am employed by a seperate contract company.

My employees are all female. The last manager was a very laid back, attractive young man. I am a female. The employees have told me that they feel the last manager will come back if I quit. There have been numerous false accusations against me. There was an unsigned letter sent to my boss that was easily proven as being lies. I have had a bad experience when addressing my boss about the issues. He told me that the last manager had the nick name of "sex God" and that the last manager would "flirt with the young ladies, and the older ones would mother him." My boss is sending me to a training seminar for people skills to appease the union. This will not work. I get harassing phone calls from my employees at home trying to pressure me to quit. The Union has told me they don't like my company and feel that my job should be held by a union employee.

I have six months left on my relocation contract. Does the hostile work environment give me a solid ground to quit and not repay the relocation contract? I am literally losing sleep and suffering depression from this position. Can job stress be cited as a reason form leaving employment? I want nothing from my employer but to be able to leave. The contract company I work for does not support me and I barely see them.

1 answer  |  asked Feb 8, 2005 7:52 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
You may have a case of gender discrimination

If you can prove that you are being harassed and set up to get fired because you are female, then you can claim a sexually hostile environment. The law recognizes variants on the classic sexual harassment hostile environment where the harassment is "because of sex." Here, it appears that you would not face the same harassment if you were a male.

Proving gender discrimination will not necessarily get you out of your relocation obligation. However, a victim of a hostile environment has a right, and some would say a duty, to report the sex-based hostility to management, who then has an obligation to make it stop. If you could get the harassment to stop, it would likely solve your problem and you could complete your year of service in peace.

If management does not stop the hostility and you end up with a claim, then you could try to bargain with the company for a clean break, meaning you would not pursue your claims for discrimination in exchange for being released from your relocation obligation.

Managing your way out of a hostile environment is tricky business. You have to make a complaint that is effective, but not so inflammatory as to draw retaliation. While retaliation is also unlawful, being a victim of it is not fun. If you would like to arrange a consultation to set a strategy, call Julie at 330.665.5445, ext. 0 and she will try to get you on my calendar.

Best regards,

Neil Klingshirn.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Feb 9, 2005 09:58 AM [EST]

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