What are my rights against my employer for discriminatory and harassing remarks and behavior?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2010

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What are my rights against my employer for discriminatory and harassing remarks and behavior?

I have worked for my employer for 8 years. In 2008y boss gave me a lower raise for not following a rule that I didn’t know about. When I questioned it she told me to just live with it and get used to it. When I refused she replied, “Men”. She treats me like a child, giving smart remarks, screaming and crying. Also, I have FMLA and have been told many times about using it to much, until she finally threatened me with a write-up if I didn’t stop taking it. This boss spies around corners at me asking workers that I talk to what we were talking about and to not let someone like me ruin their rate.

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) A boss can "spy around corners" at a worker, asking other employees about conversations, scream, make smart remarks, etc.--it may be unfair and it certainly is unprofessional, but employers are under no obligation to treat employees fairly, respectully, or well.

2) However, what employers cannot due is discriminate against employees on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as race, sex, religion, age (over 40), or disability. If you believe you are being harassed at work because of, say, your sex, or receiving less pay than workers of the other sex, you may have an employment discrimination claim. If you think this might be the case, you should consult with an employment attorney to see if you do have  a case, what it might be worth, and what might be involved in pursuing it. Good luck. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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