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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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. 


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