Compton, CA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California

Q: Can I sue my supervisor civilly for harassment and racism

I sued my employer and the court gave a verdict in favor of my employer but the jury found my employer was negligent and didn’t do anything to prevent my supervisor from harassment and racial abuse my lawyer filed judgment not withstanding the verdict the court said my employer was guilty of harassment but I was not awarded any compensation because the jury felt that I wasn’t harmed from the harassment

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information you provided, it seems that you have already sued your employer for harassment and racial discrimination, and while the jury found your employer negligent in preventing your supervisor's actions, they did not award you any compensation because they felt you were not harmed by the harassment.

Under California law, you may be able to file a separate civil lawsuit against your supervisor as an individual for their harassing and racist behavior. This would be a different legal action from the one you pursued against your employer.

However, there are a few important considerations:

1. Statute of limitations: In California, the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit for personal injury, which may include harassment and discrimination, is typically two years from the date of the incident or the last incident in a pattern of harassment.

2. Evidence: You would need to provide sufficient evidence to prove that your supervisor's actions constituted harassment and racial discrimination, and that you suffered harm as a result.

3. Legal representation: It is advisable to consult with an experienced employment law attorney who can assess the specific details of your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Keep in mind that pursuing a separate civil lawsuit against your supervisor can be a complex and time-consuming process. An attorney can help you weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of pursuing further legal action and can represent your interests throughout the process.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I disagree with the other attorney answering here. You should have sued the supervisor at the same time the employer was sued. You will likely be precluded from suing for the exact same thing seeking the exact same damages against the supervisor. At the very least you have a judgment saying that the exact same conduct did not cause you cognizable damages, and the law of collateral estoppel will likely prevent you from seeking damages from another jury about the exact same thing.

Seek a personal consultation with an attorney before making any decision about this.

And one last note, trying to get an attorney to take on a lawsuit against an individual will be a daunting task. Usually managers do not have the individual wherewithal to pay a large judgment, and a large judgment will be needed to support the fees and costs of a second lawsuit, even if you could bring it.

Good luck to you.

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