work environment harassment

I am having trouble with my co-workers. Recently, I was allowed to go home early. My manager made the decision. The following day when I returned to work my work vehicle was filled with office equipment and something was poured on the seat of my vehicle. My manager states that he is going to write this individual up for harassment however, the tension in the work environment has caused me a great deal of emotional distress. It seems as though through a series of events leading up to this I have been the target of harassment for several months. I believe that these acts are do to my sexuality. I do not want to file anything against my manager. I was wondering what kinds of action,(if any), could be taken towards my fellow employees? I am particularly interested in the incident which lead to the sabotage of my work vehicle. Should I let the situation go? I recently have sought counseling through my employer. I am afraid that the situation could intensify and I am constantly worried about what will happen next. Do you think that I could be over-reacting? What should or could I do. Thank you for your time.

Diane Stark

1 answer  |  asked Apr 19, 2007 11:57 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Sexual preference harassment is not unlawful

It appears that you are being subjected to harassment that is severe or pervasive enough to amount to a hostile environment. It is less clear, however, whether the motivation behind the harassment is for an unlawful purpose.

If the harassers are harassing you because you are female, then the motivation to harass you (your gender) is unlawful. However, if the harassment is based on a sexual preference for the same gender, then it is probably not unlawful. This is a shortfall in the law. However, it is the current state of the law.

You raise a number of other issues that I have not addressed in this answer, such as how to deal with this situation. If you would like to schedule a consultation we can address those issues, as well as explore other legal remedies that might be available to you in this situation.

As a final matter, let me know if you do not want your name to appear in this question and answer, which will be on the site. I think I can remove your name from the site.

Best regards,


posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Apr 19, 2007 1:05 PM [EST]

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