Legal Question in Discrimination Law in Virginia

At approximately 4:15 pm, 21 Nov, I was standing at the paint counter. I had just finished looking up a sku for a customer when Cameron walked up. He started to complain about no one putting up the sale tags on the items throughout the store. Cameron then asked Angie if she would put up the sale tags, saying” I have asked others to do it, but they’re just a bunch of jackasses” as he was saying this he was walking away toward receiving. A customer walked up to the paint counter, gave me a look of disgust and walked toward the door. I looked at Ward, and told him that Cameron had just called me a jackass. I started walking back toward receiving, and as I walked back there, I saw Cameron and asked him to come back with me. When we got behind the double doors, I asked him if he had called me that. He told me that he had asked four people to put up the tags and no one had gotten it done so basically he was calling everyone a jackass. That was when I told him I should punch him in the mouth for calling me that. He put down the item he was carrying, and told me to do it. I thought better of that statement as soon as I said it. I went to Alex, who was telling us to calm down (big help he is) and told him I was leaving. I packed up my stuff, put everything away, then clocked out and left.

After reading this, the person "Cameron" is prone to this kind of activity all the time. He is hot headed, short tempered, and quick to insult people all the time, wether in person or over the radios that we all carry at work. Is this harassment?

Asked on 11/21/09, 6:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cary Moseley Law Office of Cary Powell Moseley, PLLC

Possibly. Many employers have grievance procedures as well as workplace violence policies and also policies about cursing/foul language, which is also grounds for termination. The problem is you potentially encouraged the violence and could be charged or sanctioned yourself. Check your employee handbook and/or employment agreement(s) and report the problem to supevisors, rather than confront someone with a threat of violence as you did. Keep witnesses close by. Good luck.

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Answered on 11/26/09, 8:39 pm

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