What should I do if I am being treated unfairly and talked down to at work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What should I do if I am being treated unfairly and talked down to at work?

I have been working at this job for just over 7 months. I have a new store manager and I have noticed that she doesn’t communicate with her employees and treats us unfairly. She has called us truck drivers 7 year olds, calls us names, says she doesn’t care what we have to say about anything we bring to her attention. She has been nothing but controlling and disrespectful. There is no reasoning with her and she is always on someone’s case about something but can’t take responsibility for herself. She has been late multiple times and I have lost hours because of that. If the store is not open because she didn’t show up or whatever reason then I can’t clock in when I am scheduled. She then turns around and either wants me to do stuff for her when I do finally get clocked on but I have my own truck schedule to follow or shes mad talking down to me or other employees because we’re not keeping up with the truck schedule when it wasn’t our fault to begin with. I love my job and it was great before. I don’t know if any of this is against the law but its not right and I’m looking for answers.

Asked on March 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, while unprofessional, this behavior is not legally actionable. Harsh and rude language and/or actions at work are not illegal. The only time hostile or harrassing behavior gives rise to a claim is if it constitutes some form of legal discrimnation. In other words, it must be based on an employee's nationality, religion, race, gender, age (over 40) disability or, in some states, sexual orientation. And such does not appear to be the case here. That having been said, if this treatment violates company ploicy or the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, then that would give rise to a claim. Otherswise, in an "at will" employment arrangement, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. And this includes the actions that you have described.

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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