What do I do about my hostile work environment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What do I do about my hostile work environment?

I was screamed at by my bosses today. Not talked to, screamed at. This is a recurring problem with them. I followed a company directive and asked the COO a question and followed his instructions. The Founder and CEO didn’t like his response and said he was wrong and blamed me for asking the question to begin with. I was sent home for the day, without pay. The COO was not reprimanded. They have since called me 3 more times to discuss it after I got home. I am supposed to be an executive and have authority to make decisions about my team, but every time I try, they go insane and scream at me. What can I do here? Side note, I haven’t had a raise in over 2 years and get paid significantly less than my male counterparts at the same

Asked on March 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While seemingly unprofessional treatment, rude or boorish behavior does not automatically give rise to a claim for a hostile work enviornment. A claim of this nature must be based on some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. that based on race, religion, disability, age (over 40), gender, etc.) or retaliation for making such a claim. None of which you indicate to be the case in your situation. Your only other protection here might be if your treatment in some way violates the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise, as an "at will" worker, your employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. For your part, you can either put up with this treatement, continue to complain but risk termination, or quit.

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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