At what point does feeling afraid to come forward because people have been fired for less become a hostile work environment?

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At what point does feeling afraid to come forward because people have been fired for less become a hostile work environment?

My wife routinely comes home in tears because of her management and the section she works in. She is routinely told that she must perform duties that are not part of her job to the detriment of her actual job and then reprimanded for not being able to do it all. There is a lot to consider in this particular circumstance in as much as several other employees have been removed from their positions for this same issue. As upper management was made aware of these issues, the phrases,

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A hostile work enviornment has to do with a co-workers's behavior (either words or actions) that makes it difficult for an employee to reasonably perfom their job duites, and is based on that employee's race, religion, disability age (over 40), national origin, gender or the like. You did not indicate such to be the case in your wife's situation. Therefore, while unprofessional, her treatment does not give rise to a legal claim. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. The only exception being if such conditions breached the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Unfortunately her only options are to put up with this treatment, complain but risk termination, or quit.


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