If you knew your boss before employment, is it harassment if he tells you that you are a bad mother?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If you knew your boss before employment, is it harassment if he tells you that you are a bad mother?

While being told that text messaging is not appropriate communication amongst adults

managers in the workplace we use texting all the time I was then told that I was a bad

mother. That I needed to start spending more time at home instead of having my parents watch my daughter. I was also told I drink too much. I have never been late to work. I took 2 days off since I started 8 months ago; 1 was for a funeral and 1 was for when I was in the hospital and provided the proper documentation. I am a salaried part time employee and required to work 24 hours a week. I often work much more than this and I am required to travel in addition to these hours. Sometimes I am paid $100 cash for these trips sometimes at the owners discretion he decides he is not going to compensate me. It is a small company with right around 50 employees. Is the personal life commentary considered harrassment? I have known the man about 20 years prior to working for him.

Asked on December 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While competely unprofessional, this behavior is most likely legal. The fact is that an empoyer can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit. That is unless such action violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. Also, it must not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (in other words, it must not be due to a person's race, religion, nationality, disability, age (over 40) or the like - which you did not indicate to be the case in your situation). However, you may have a claim for not being paid for all hours that you work...that is against the law. Traveling for a business purpose is compensable...that means that you need to be paid for such time. If you are not, then you can file a wage claim with your state's department of labor and/or sue for wages owed in small claims court.

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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