No unfair concept

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ACTIONABLE WORKPLACE HARRASSMENT?

December 17th, 2014 Posted by

The fact that a manager yells at, or is abusive towards, his/her employee(s) does not necessarily give rise to an actionable legal claim of workplace harassment or hostile work environment.   Under the law, your manager is, unfortunately, allowed to be abusive either to some or all his subordinates so long as such behavior is not motivated by a discriminatory bias.  That is, unless you are being harassed because of your race, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, religious belief, etc., there is no violation of law.

This does not mean you should ignore the abusive behavior if it is affecting your work environment and/or your health.  You have the right to bring the problem to the attention of Human Resources or senior management to try and remedy the situation.  However, any such complaint should be done in writing.

Be mindful that unless discriminatory bias based on a protected category is the motivation for the abusive environment your manager is creating, you will not be protected from retaliation if you complain.  Your employer may do nothing to remedy the matter.   Indeed, employers, absent some real physical threat of harm to its employees, are free to allow such behavior no matter how detrimental to office morale, productivity and emotional health it may be.

Under all circumstances, if you do feel you need to report the matter to HR or senior management, make sure you put your complaint in writing either initially or as a follow-up to the conversation.