What are my options if I feel like I am being discriminated against or harassed at work?

UPDATED: Apr 20, 2011

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What are my options if I feel like I am being discriminated against or harassed at work?

I had a new management company take over at my current job. I was told that I make too much money, and I feel like I am being forced to quit. All my responsibilities have been taken away and I am the only employee being forced to work in 4 different cities, doing 2different jobs. I had to take emergency leave, and feel like I am being harassed for it. I feel as though it is only a matter of time before I lose my job. Also, my new boss lied to my site manager, saying that I turned him into corporate for a DUI, which I didn’t. Now he thinks I did, and I’m really worried about my job now.

Asked on April 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are several different issues here:

1) First, much "discrimination" at work is legal--an employer does not need to treat employees fairly or equally. So unless you are being discriminated against for a  protected reason--e.g. because of race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability--your employer may treat you badly or harass you. On the other hand, if you feel the behavior is because of your membership in a protected category, then you may have a legal claim and might speak with an employment attorney.

2) If you have an employment contract, its terms must be honored; if not, you are an employee at will and can be given extra responsibilities, be disciplined, be transferred, be terminated, etc. at will, for any reason (as long as it's not illegal discrimination, per (1) above).

3) If someone has made public (even to one other person) untrue factual statements about you (not opinions, not matter how negative; it must be a factual statement), then that may be defamation and you may have a cause of action.

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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