Unfairly treated by another employee

The problem here envolves 3 employee's of a large corporation.(non-union). I'll call them employee A, B and C.

Employee A is a supervisor
Employee B is a full-time employee with some supervisoring responsibilities
Employee C is a part time employee

Emp C was recently moved to a new location because Emp B complained to district level management about Emp C dating Emp A. The company's policies do not prohibit friendships or dating among employee's as long as it does not negatively affect the business.

It is believed this move has happened because of a personal dislike and jealously. Emp B has made comments "Emp C doesn't deserve Emp A", "Emp C isn't cute enough for Emp A", and on and on to other employee's. As many as 9 other employee's as well as Emp C feel they are harassed by Emp B because of personal dislikes.

Question is, does Emp C have a right to file a complaint on grounds of being retaliated against for doing something that does not break policy? Emp C has dealt with being called "stupid" in front of other employee's as well as multiple sexual comments. All of which has been viewed by other employee's. There has been no complaints ever filed as this person just wants to get along and get past these problems. I feel Emp C is being treated unfairly and possibly illegally, does she have room to fight?

1 answer  |  asked Nov 20, 2005 3:05 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
Employee C might have a claim for hostile environment.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, Employee C might have a claim for hostile environment against Employee B.

Generally, employers do not have an obligation to abide by their own policies; therefore, they can move Employee C due to the dating issue regardless of whether there is a policy addressing that issue. If there was a complaint by Employee B, the employer may have been wise to move Employee C in order to avoid potential liability and business interruption.

However, Employee C has a right to a workplace free of discrimination based on her gender. If Employee B is making sexual comments to/about Employee C and/or treating her differently than male employees or creating a hostile working environment for her, then Employee C may have a claim against both Employee B and her employer.

Employee C's claim, however, requires that she complain of the behavior to the employer; if the employer is unaware of the discriminatory behavior of Employee B, then the employer likely has no liability on the claim.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585
Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Nov 21, 2005 08:25 AM [EST]

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