Unfair treatment, not sexual, what do I do Illinois

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Unfair treatment, not sexual, what do I do Illinois

Post  Worker In Need of New Wor on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:39 am

I need help. My workplace - a small business - has become unbearable. I am a qualified female office manager, do the bookkeeping, manage accounts, etc., but it began way back in April when my then-friend, and "Catering Director" began saying to me while he was drunk, things like, "I will make your life so miserable that you will quit." I stayed away from him, because of his abuse, which got worse - the threats, the intimidations - he even burned my flannel in a work grill, in front of all the employees some of which filmed it on their camera phones - because he hated it. He made work personal, because I didn’t want to hear/talk work all the time, we are no longer friends. The "Catering Director" has threatened me at work (witnesses were present), but the worst was outside of work, when again he was drunk, chased me out of our local bar when I was pretty sober, grabbed my arms, bruised me, and said I was fired, literally because I didn't agree with him that he was "always right." I called the president to discuss, due to the gravity of the situation, and no response was provided until the next work day, wherein I showed up anyway.

Back in April, I asked for more responsibilities at work because I wanted motivation to HELP get me there on time. Yes, I had often been late. I wanted to be more challenged; it would help motivate me to have more to do. Instead of that, I was reduced to part-time on the "Catering Director's" whim to the president (who happens to be his gay lover), on the basis that I was often late for the past two years. I've been there 3 years to this month, and they had counted up my hours of 2007, and said 32 hours was all I'd really worked per week on average, but which also included mandatory unpaid holidays and 2 weeks vacation time - UNFAIR! Yes, I have been late most of my life, and yes, I've made great progress - I'm usually now 10 minutes early.

The president, today, told me that I had to work this Saturday and take another day off during the week. I said, "If it won't be a fifth day, like I was originally hired to do, I cannot rearrange my schedule to accommodate. I will work with you, if you will work with me." The answer was, "I expect you to work Saturdays like everyone else." I said, "I need five days like everyone else," and the response was, "then find a five-day job." I wanted to quit on the spot. I'm sure they won't realize how much I do for them until I am gone.

The ex-friend "Catering Director" has done what he has promised. My life IS so miserable I want to quit. He has taken his personal issues and personal partner-power, into the work place. He has abused me in front of other staff members, talked about me behind my back, made jokes about me to fellow co-workers, insulted me, takes out his anger on me, threatens me with sending me home when HE's the one being obnoxious... and it's not getting any better. The only physicality was outside of work, so far, but emotionally in and outside work, he is a bully.

A co-worker even stated that "He (the Catering Director) made you his whipping post." What are my grounds? Do I have a leg to stand on? Yes, I've been applying for other jobs for several weeks now, but nothing new yet. If I quit, can I get unemployment security while I find something else due to a hostile work environment? It is VERY stressful to walk into work EACH & EVERY DAY not knowing if he's going to blow his gasket out at you for no wrongdoing, other than the fact that he's pissed and wants to take it out on someone else. UNFAIR TREATMENT. I needed to get out 6 months ago but hoped things would get better & they got worse. Please, please help if you can. Thank you.

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Re: Unfair treatment, not sexual, what do I do Illinois

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:30 am

First I am not so sure it is not unfair treatment because you are a female. Unless he routinely burns the male employees flannels the same way,and treats them shabby. If not your post wreaks of disparate treatment. Under the prevailing analytical framework for disparate treatment in U.S law there is an expectation that employees who are similarly situated will be treated similarly.

Disparate treatment is illegal discrimination based on the employer treating similarly situated employees differently based on a protected factor (Race, Sex, Over 40, Disabled ,etc).

Don't throw out female if its a pretext for the discipline. Under McDonald Douglas v Green framework you could make a prima fascia case. If that is the only way to overcome the “at-will” presumption take advantage of it.

To establish a case through circumstantial evidence you must overcome three hurdles to prevail:

1) Was the individual treated differently than the person of another sex?

2) Can the employer (defendant)articulate a legitimate non-discriminatory reason?

3) Can the employee (Plaintiff) overcome the employers non-discriminatory reason?

If the employee can provide no evidence of a pretext for the employers non-discriminatory reason. Then the employer (defendant) prevails as a matter of law. The above is known as the McDonald Douglas v Green framework for unexplained disparate treatment (McDonald Douglas v Green S.Ct 1973) .

But under the more recent Dessert palace Inc v Costa U.S 2003 if the employee offers a mixed motive in the employers reason in step 2) without direct evidence, the employee may still prevail.

Also under (Dessert palace Inc v Costa U.S 2003) in mixed motive verdicts the court held:
Direct evidence of discrimination is not required in order to prove employment discrimination in mixed-motive cases under Title VII; statute imposes no special or heightened evidentiary burden on a plaintiff in a mixed-motive case; abrogating Mohr v. Dustrol, Inc., 306 F.3d 636, Fernandes v. Costa Bros. Masonry, Inc., 199 F.3d 572, Trotter v. Board of Trustees of Univ. of Ala., 91 F.3d 1449, Fuller v. Phipps, 67 F.3d 1137. Civil Rights Act of 1964, § 703(m), 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2(m)

I suggest you contact an attorney in Illinois I have the following link to the I.L.A.S please review it there are other state laws that com into play as well. http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=316 I hope this gives you a better understanding of your rights.
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