What can I do about a supervisor who plays favorites and penalizes the others?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do about a supervisor who plays favorites and penalizes the others?

The collision repair shop I work at pays based on a per job basis. If I get a job that the insurance company will pay 10 hours labor, and I can get it done in 5, I still get 10 hours pay. Although I am employed by the company, paid by the company, receive benefits I am still considered a sub-contractor. We call it flat rate. Work is assigned to technicians to complete. When the supervisor has it out for someone instead of firing them, he stops giving them work. In effect keeping them from earning money and forcing them to seek other employment. My supervisor is proud that he has no lay offs and no one that I know has ever received any unemployment compensation. Who will speak for me and the countless others subjected to this?

Asked on January 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There is something in the law known as a "hostile work enviornment". This is a cause of action that an employee can file in instances of unfair treatment in the workplace. However, such treatment must be based on discrimination against an employee due to their being a member of a legally "protected class". In other words, a person's treatment must be based on their race, religion, nationality, gender, age or disability (and in some states sexual orientation). Otherwise, while the actions you discuss are highly unprofessional, they are not illegal. The fact is that employers do not have to treat all of their employees equally or evenly fairly (absent illegal discrimination as described above). In "at will" employment arrangements, companies can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as they see fit.  
Note: If your treatment violates company policy or the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, then you would have an a valid claim.

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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