Legal Question in Employment Law in California

I'm a 51 y.o receptionist having worked at my workplace for 15 yrs. We have only one HR person/office mgr who is my direct boss. A highly manipulative 36 year-old coworker, and pathological liar, who reports directly to HR, has brainwashed HR to an unfathomable degree. She has worked there about 12 yrs, and wants to be HR one day.

About 10 yrs ago I made a few legit complaints about coworker and was told never to complain about her again. But HR listens to every childish, petty thing coworker whines about, and ensures she has the entitlement she wants. Upper management has stopped fighting it, knowing it's futile. I have suffered from significant stress as a result, as coworker has created a decade-long hostile work environment. It's all covert, though many people say they can't stand her. She has a few people spying on me non-stop and too many other things to write about.

Since Nov. I've been unfairly accused of everything coworker does, such as not being a team player, texting all day, never taking initiative, surfing the internet all day, gossiping all the time about coworker, and always spreading negativity. HR is rarely around to observe anything. So coworker is telling her this crap.

She also said, "You act like a 16 yr old! You act unprofessionally and look at your clothes! You even dress unprofessionally!" This came in response to my replying to coworker's email (she cc'ed half the co), insinuating I'm doing something shady with our meager lottery winnings. I maturely used facts to defend myself. All but HR were sympathetic toward me.

HR said I shouldn't have responded to this email and that I was childish. When I reminded her coworker started it she said: "But you're 51 yrs old!! You should be more mature!" I said, "She's 36!" HR said, "But you're older! You should be the bigger person!".

So she's justifying (as usual) co-workers actions because she's younger. I'm supposed to allow her to imply I'm dishonest, but I shouldn't set the record straight - because it's childish.

I've been given more of her work to do in spite of the evidence I showed HR proving coworker wastes hours daily taking long excessive breaks.

She never asks for my side, or anyone's. She believes coworker without proof, yet refuses to see my proof that it's untrue. She ignores logic and proof I have against coworker.

HR knows I suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, and ADD, and she knows I have mild Asperger's. We used to be work-friends before she became HR, and we've socialized after work maybe 10 times over the yrs, even last Nov right before things heated up!

The owner is a sweet, elderly man who I would never sue.

Do I have a basis for reporting her to the EEOC for age discrimination? I just need for someone to see the seriousness of this matter. The owner needs to know how they are behaving. This needs to end. But if this isn't enough proof, I will look like an idiot reporting her.

I'm making preparations to quit and move back home, but it's going take a month or too.

Also, can I redact info on my resume in my employee file, or remove the resume completely, in case coworker does become HR years from now?

Thanks for your time.

Asked on 4/13/19, 7:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys


You may file a claim for workers compensation benefits for your work-related stress. Feel free to call me at 213-388-7070 for a free consultation.

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Answered on 4/18/19, 1:03 pm

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