What are my rights if I was being harassed by another employee but I was the one who got fired?

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What are my rights if I was being harassed by another employee but I was the one who got fired?

I would let my managers know they never did anything about. Over a 6 month period it only got worse. I finally talked to my area director about it and he said he would take care of it. About a week later the employee and her best friend started a verbal argument with me; it got pretty bad. The next day when I came into work they told me that I was fired and gave me my final check. I’ve worked with the company for over 7 years. I tried avoiding the situation plenty of times but all my manager would say is if you don’t like it then quit.

Asked on October 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you my not have any rights here. If by harrassment you are claiming tht there was a hostile work enviornment, you really didn't demonstrate that you have an actionable claim.
In order to have been be considered "hostile", your workplace must have been one that prevented you from doing your job in a reasonable manner. A co-worker (including a superior), either by words and/or actions, must have created an atomoshpere that was counterproductive to your performing your work duties.
Additionally, these behaviors must have been "discriminatory" in nature and not just a result of rude or unprofessional behavior. So you must have been harassed due to your religion or race (or gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or nationality). And there is nothing in your statement indicating this to be the case.
The fact is that in an "at will" work arrangement, an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplave much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire and when. In fact, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. So unless your firing had to do with actionable discrimination or retaliation, or the terms of company policy, an employment agreement or union contract were violated, you have no case here.
At this point you can consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area or with your state's department of labor for further information.


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