Q) I’ve worked here for the last 4 years, I was threatened by someone who said they were going to shoot me so I left for the day due to unsafe work conditions. And my boss is saying he has to let me go. This guy has threatened 2 others already. Do I qualify
A) According to the US Equal Opportunity Commission:
“Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:
The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, an agent of the employer, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
The victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
Unlawful harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim.
Prevention is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment. They should clearly communicate to employees that unwelcome harassing conduct will not be tolerated. They can do this by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process, providing anti-harassment training to their managers and employees, and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. Employers should strive to create an environment in which employees feel free to raise concerns and are confident that those concerns will be addressed.
Employees are encouraged to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. Employees should also report harassment to management at an early stage to prevent its escalation.”
Note: If you quit your position or employer due to such hostility, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits. Generally a person who quits forfeits their right to unemployment benefit payments, but there are exceptions that allow you to pursue other legal rights through the EEOC and Federal Court.