Harassment Complaint

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Harassment Complaint

Post  iwannabelikekev on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:32 pm

State? TX
I am working for a consultant company and I was contracting for a client company.
I got acquainted with a married woman at work in the client company through some meetings. She was also a contractor but working for another agency. She was very friendly and talked about a lot of things including her personal life. Since she was having friendly conversations, I also started having some friendly conversations with her. Since I guess she and I were almost coming and leaving at the same time, we have met a lot of times in the garage and walked together, she would go in her car and I would go in my car. She lives far away and I live near by. So, we take different routes. In fact, I invited her and another friend of hers for my birthday lunch. I saw her as a good friend.
One fine day, the manager at my client company said that he was not satisfied with my performance and he decided to let me go off from the team in 2 weeks and he asked me to transition the work that I had been doing to another new employee.
One week after this incident, I got a call from my consultant company asking me not to go to the client company as she filed a harassment complaint. She had mentioned that - 1. I had been following her in the garage and at workplace, 2. I had been staring at her office from the stairs (insane why would I look at chair and desk in the office?), 3.I have been waiting for her in the garage when she was in the fitness center working out for 15 minutes.
She was talking to me casually until the last day I met her and I have no idea why she would file a complaint all of a sudden. She never told me that she was uncomfortable talking to me.
She has mentioned that her husband doesn't have a job 3-4 times, she lives in her mom's house temporarily until her husband finds a job (it has been almost 4-5 months since she said that), she wasn't making good money in her previous job, she is trying to have kids, going to doctor because of complications, won't get paid if she takes sick leaves or maternity leaves. Not sure if money was her motive. But anyways, the client company terminated my contract. So, she won't be able to sue the client company and make money.
My consultant company has a lengthy procedure for handling harassment complaints. At first, I was interrogated by couple of HR folks based on the complaint. But, I wasn't given the copy of the complaint and they didn't disclose the date on which it was filed. They just disclosed the name of the complainant. The next day, they went to the client company to interview the complainant and her manager. Those details were not revealed to me.
The HR folks have documented all these information and sent them to Grievance committee in my consultant company. It has been almost 3 weeks and I have no idea what is going on. AFAIK, they will take a decision and communicate to both the parties. If someone is not happy with the decision, they can appeal for it and the final decision will be made.
What are the possible outcomes here? In the best case scenario, if my consultant company says that her allegations can't be proved and if she is not satisfied and files a complaint with EEOC, will she be able to make any money? In the worst case scenario, if my consultant company asks me to resign, what are my rights? Can I file a defamation lawsuit on her stating that she filed the complaint for making money? She is also a contractor working for another consultant company.

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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:07 am

If you have a contract review the terms of hire there may be an arbitration feature if you are dismissed,and that feature exist move this to an arbitrator. If the womens grievance's are reviewed by H.R and the H.R dept see no validity to the claim, she can proceed to the EEOC. The reality is the company H.R dept did a more thorough investigation than the EEOC will conduct. As far as a civil suite against the women for defamation you would have to run that by an attorney experienced in that type of law. If the H.R dept finds no validity to the claim the women made, I see very little in the way of damages, which is the essence of an tort proceeding.
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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  bears00 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:01 am

First of all, I have been in your shoes, and know what it is like to be wrongfully accused. I lost a job 2 years ago due to LIES. I found out earlier this year (after an employee decided to clear his conscience) that is wife called executive staff and LIED because she was jealous of an affair that DID NOT EXIST!!!

Are you an employee of the consultant company, or are you an independant contractor? Do you have an ADR, or arbitration agreement?
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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  iwannabelikekev on Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:07 pm

I work for a consultant company. I don't know whether we have any agreements or not. There must be a contract document that both the companies signed but, they don't disclose those contract documents.

By the way, she works for some other consultancy. Her contract was supposed to end this month (October) at the client company. She mentioned that it is a contract-to-hire position but, for some reason she can't become a full time employee but, they can possibly extend her contract. Instead, if the client company terminates her contract, will that be considered as retaliation for the harassment complaint and can she sue the client company? So, she could have filed the complaint just to retain her position at the client company.

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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  bears00 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:48 am

iwannabelikekev wrote:So, she could have filed the complaint just to retain her position at the client company.

She "could" have done this; however, the logic doesn't hold up because her company was going to not renew her long before she made the allegations.
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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  iwannabelikekev on Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:49 pm

I guess it might be worth mentioning another incident here. A week before this complaint was filed, I myself filed a harassment complaint on my supervisor. My supervisor and I were having some discussion. During the discussion, she said "Show me your butt! I have to hit you!" with a body language as if she is going to hit me (but, didn't actually hit me). So, I filed a complaint stating that this behavior was inappropriate. The HR personnel investigated this case but, the decision of this complaint hasn't been disclosed yet.
I guess they are probably going to disclose the results of both the cases simultaneously.
Now, if my employer fires or demotes me, can I sue my employer stating that it is retaliating against me for filing a complaint against my supervisor?

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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:40 pm

You filed a complaint with H.R against your boss for that? I have to be honest thats sounds so trivial
I wish my boss was had a sense of humor like that. When you go up against big game you have to take them down the first shot. If a complaint is trivial H.R wont like it, and the boss definitely will not like it.
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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  bears00 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:27 am

iwannabelikekev wrote:Now, if my employer fires or demotes me, can I sue my employer stating that it is retaliating against me for filing a complaint against my supervisor?

You could, but I don't think you will get far. A reasonable and prudent person MIGHT find this offensive, but not on any protected basis. In other words, you COULD construe this as harassment, but not all harassment is illegal. It would be a VERY BIG STRETCH to call this sexual.
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Re: Harassment Complaint

Post  iwannabelikekev on Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:03 pm

One of the lawyers told me that it is possible that she could file a lawsuit against my consultant company too.
And all of a sudden, my consultant company asked me to return to my home country before even disclosing the results of the complaints. I had a H1B visa and they intentionally kept me on bench without assigning me to any project. They just asked me to go to my home country within next 24 hours and handed me the tickets. The reason which they gave me was that since I am on H1, I should be assigned to some project and they didn't have any project requirement for me at this point of time (which is a lie). It was Friday afternoon and I couldn't contact any of the lawyers. The HR manager escorted me till the parking lot. I am not sure if they informed INS to cancel my H1B. I am in my home country now and they haven't terminated me yet. But, I guess they are probably expecting me to voluntarily resign the job.

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