Dear Annie: I am seeking some advice. I have a disability, and my place of employment is discriminating against me based on that disability. I finally filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and waited. Having heard nothing, I phoned just to make sure the EEOC got the forms. After repeatedly calling, I finally had a return call stating that my case had been automatically deleted from the EEOC’s computer system after 90 days because of inactivity.
I went to the local EEOC office to file my complaint in person, but with interview questions such as “Why are you here, because you have not lost your job?” it became uncomfortable, as well as insulting. Am I wrong in believing that no one should be told one’s harassment or discrimination is unimportant because one is still employed? The officer then directed me to another agency but said not to tell that agency I am disabled, because it would be referred back to the EEOC.
As you can see, I really am at a loss and would appreciate some advice. Do I just go back and try again, or should I lodge a complaint with someone? If you recommend the latter, to whom should I complain?
— Dismayed in Kentucky
Dear Dismayed: How incredibly frustrating. You’re not wrong for trying to file a complaint. You don’t need to be fired in order for your concerns about workplace discrimination to be valid. That’s not how that works. I’d recommend contacting a plaintiff-side employment lawyer (many offer free consultations) to discuss your situation and the options for redressing your grievances.
Dear Annie: I haven’t any family except one son, and he lives in a group home. When I married for the second time (my first husband passed at the age of 35), the man had two sons, and one has passed. I am leaving just about everything to my stepson because I have no one else. The remainder will go to the organization where my son lives. I just made out a new will. My lawyer said that no one needs to see it — that I should simply put it in a safe box and let the executor know where it is located. I have done that.
The issue is that my stepson wants me to fax him a copy. He wants to see it. It isn’t any of his business right now. He is acting as if he’s perfectly innocent and in the right for asking. I feel the conflict building between us and can tell this is going to become a fight. Previously, when there was a problem with his father’s will, he just ignored all communications from the estate lawyer.
What can I do? He may not realize it, but he is the one who will mess up if he messes with me.
— Wills Are Not Family
Dear Wills Are Not Family: Where there’s a will, there’s a way for true colors to out. Your stepson seems to be showing his, and they’re not pretty. He has no right to demand to see your will. As you said, it’s not any of his business at the moment. Set boundaries. Stay firm. And if you want to take him out of your will for this bullying behavior, nobody would blame you.