Management Consulting/EEO

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Question
Hello, I have been struggling with a hostile work environment for the last five or six months, which is also the length of time I've been employed with the company. I am the only female employee underneath my supervisor, and my working conditions are starting to get out of hand. I've tried multiple times to get us on the same page, and even made a comment to his supervisor about his behavior, and nothing is being done.  I've become desperate and start looking for jobs, using personal days and sick days to do so. I have yet to find anything that will compensate me in the way that I need for my current financial situation. I have been encouraged to file an EEO complaint from my friends and family. The job is starting effect both my physical and mental health,  and I am wondering the following
1)  do I need to remain employed with my current employer for the duration of the EEO complaint? I feel desperate to leave and know that the complaint will not be taking gracefully. I'm nervous to still be employed while the complaint is being handled.
2) what are the chances that my complaint would result in compensation? I have now had six interviews and not one has offered me a wage that I could live on... I live in Maine and am only looking for $15/hr! It's really the lowest I can go. Could I be compensated while looking for a new job? Could I receive compensation for the personal days I spent job searching? Could I be compensated while looking for a new job? Could I receive compensation for the personal days I spent job searching? Obviously, I don't want to put myself in the situation  or I leave my job and can't afford to take care of myself anymore.

Little more information, I do have detailed records of the misconduct and witnesses of the harassment and hostile work environment. I work for a local government, and very few women are employed here.

Answer
Hello Lerin,

Thanks for your question.  Here is my opinion.

You should file a complaint with the EEOC.  When you do so you should have a complete write up of your experience at work.  It will help you file the complaint. If you “Google” “How to file an EEOC complaint you will find great advice and examples and forms on how to do so and how to prepare yourself to file.  I found sufficient information on the “Net” to assist with that.

It is against the law for your employer and its management to further harass you for filing a complaint.  If that happens you can file a second complaint.  You can continue to work with your present employer even after filing the complaint.

You did the correct thing by registering you experience with your supervisor as well as the next level up of management (your supervisor’s supervisor). And it is good you have dates, times, events to document what happened. That stuff is very valuable to the EEOC in pursuing your complaint.

Regarding compensation.  When you file a complaint, you can enumerate the costs to you, monetarily, physically, mentally.  And possibly, if your family has seen the impact on you due to the discrimination and harassment at work, you should have them document that and include it with the docs you take to the EEOC.  You can ask for compensation in your complaint; some folks hire law firms to represent that… you can find one that does not charge a fee unless the lawsuit is successful.  The attorneys are pros in enumerating costs and requesting monetary settlements.

That is my advice Lerin, I wish you good luck and success going forward.

Mark

Management Consulting

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Mark Eichinger

Expertise

Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. Topic categories would include Employment Practice, Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Diversity Management, Performance Management, Talent and Career Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Can’t answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that may surface that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.

Experience

I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. www.IHRCConline.com. I successfully held corporate leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region I created and led the Asia Pacific level H.R. team, the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managed the Asia Pacific key leaders process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

Organizations
SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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