Employer harrasment against employee


Old 05-31-07, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
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Employer harrasment against employee

Is there a law on the books that protects an employee from be forced to resign by making thier life at work a living h...
I know this is a common tactic (not found in the company handbook) in large organizations to avoid a discrimination law suit, however it is being used to single out people who management just dosent like for non-buisness reasons and are these laws enforcable and able to win in the courts against the organization?
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Old 05-31-07, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Read the company employee policy and tow the line so that there is no reason to fire you. If you keep on doing whatever it is that you're doing will likely result in the boss keeping on doing what he is dong. Make sure you read the fine print about termination.

What you perceive as abuse may be genuine misunderstandings between you and your boss that you can work out. Everyone you go to for help will want to know what you have done to try to resolve the problems and you must be able to report that you have done everything you could. Document. Document.

You can, of course, quit any time you want. If you want to play the game with the mental abuser, you must throw him off his game. The abuser has you playing the game by his rules. Make up some rules of your own like refusing to allow the employer to get to you. Stay cool and calm. If you act the least bit upset or angry in front of the boss, he's got your number. Do not share any emotions with fellow employees. You never know who is really your friend. Get some pointers on how to handle stress by reading some books or talking with a professional. Do absolutely nothing that upsets the abuser's apple cart. You should be the one in charge of the decision about whether you stay or go. In the meantime, start looking for another job. Remember when you refuse to fight, listen to put downs, and get upset, you are on top of the game.

You ask about taking the game outdoors to the legal arena. Keep a log at home and document the date and a description of the events. Should you end up in court you have documentation. Let no one know about this log. If you quit for good reason, you can draw unemployment. If you get too sick and depressed to work, you will need to know what your benefits cover. Tell no one that you are depressed. Some policies do not cover mental illness. Pay off all your credit cards and start saving every dime you can so you have some backup if needed.

Always tell the truth. Do not exaggerate. Be very specific in your log. Do not say, "The boss was rude today." That could many anything. Say, for example, "When I said good morning to Mr. XYZ, he replied, "Drop dead, you dawg!" Do not say he physically abused me. Say, "When Mr. XYZ passed me in the hall today, he purposely bumped up against me and nearly knocked me over. There were no other employees in the hall. He was looking right at me and went out of his way to do this." Make notes of who witnessed events.
Discuss your problems at work with no one. Backstabbers and brown nosers abound at work.

You can do some internet research to learn about Federal & your State's laws about termination. Search words like discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and constructive discharge (when your employer deliberately makes you so miserable you have to quit). You can get a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in labor law. Don't take anything anyone says for granted, including in forum posts.

Employee policy may dictate the steps for filing a grievance. If you get no satisfaction, write letters to the top executives before heading to a court room. If the issue is discrimination, go to Equal Employment Opportunity Office. You can file a complaint with the State Labor Commission. Their investigations may not go as planned, and you can hire the attorney. Cases can be appealed. Note: attorneys are expensive. And, once you get to the court room, it's not about justice. It's about winning and the preponderence of evidence. You will not win if all you can say is my boss is "making my life at work a living h..." You have to be specific, have documentation, and hopefully witnesses.

Here's a good read: http://news.jobsinthemoney.com/ITEM_FR/newsItemId-100038
Old 05-31-07, 06:32 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 526
Good advice.
I think I was somewhat nieve about inside corporate office life.
I have spent the majority of my career outside of the office and when I took a position inside I was unaware of the traps and trouble makers that thrive on destroying people.
I have since moved on and left quietly on good terms but WOW what a bad experienc I had with "company hit men" even after I got the "message" on how to work in an office the "company hit men" just would not go away even ignoring them didn't work. I was clearly in the cross hairs of the higher-ups to be targeted for pain by the company hit men. They DO exist !

Now I know.

Thanks !
Old 05-31-07, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Reality is that if a boss/company/management wants to fire you they can just fire you. As long as they don't step onto legally protected turf (sex/race/religion) they don't need a reason.

As far as I know there is no law against a boss being a jerk or harassing an employee. It happens all the time. If your boss treats you like crap then you may have to make some hard choices. You can stand up for yourself and see what happens, you can quit or you can take it.

I don't know your financial situation, but if I had a boss that was making my life miserable I would have a face to face and if that didn't resolve the problem I would offer him a hearty FU and walk.
Old 06-01-07, 02:14 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 526
Yeah, I stood up for myself and that's what got me in trouble in the first place, then backed off but the damage was done.
A good ol'e hearty fu is a good way to burn your bridges in your industry especialy if you plan to stay in it.
With mergers and aquisitions that are so common today you could be right back under the creep you last told off.......hmmmmm. Been there, done that.
I've learned that it is always better to take the high road and be a gentleman.
Words cannot be taken back once they're out but if you handle situations with class and decorum those little disagreements fade over time.
Bad thoughts about your boss can never be held against you so I keep my mouth shut nowadays.
Remember always keep your friends close and your enimies even closer and avoid making new enimies.
Old 06-01-07, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Unhappy job harrassment

Most states are "at will" states which you probably know means you can be fired for no reason at all. The only limitation would be the discrimination laws.

Some employers try to "induce" an employee to quit by making it rough on them at work. They do this to avoid paying unemployment. Typically, when an employee leaves a job on his own, they can't get unemployment comp because they had a paying job and walked away from it.

If he is fired on the other hand, the employee will typically make a claim for unemployment compensation. The employer is given an opportunity to respond and if a referee found reasonable cause for the firing, unemployment comp can be denied.

I don't think some employers think far enough ahead to worry about a discrimination claim. They are more concerned about the rate of their unemployment insurance going up because of (excessive) claims.

Hire a good employment law lawyer. Find out what side he usually represents. It may sway your decision on who to hire.

Good luck!
Old 06-01-07, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Mr. Wolf, your are soooo terrifying to little old ladies. The problem with drawing unemployment is that you can still do so after a penalty period and still draw against your account. They just go home and lay up and doped up for six weeks. They can get it if they worked enough and enough was paid in by the employer.

The only time I allowed an employ to draw unemployment (wish I never) was I had a guy I had to get rid of. I bought an old company and changed the direction of the company and products offered. I couldn't have a guy with a hangover hanging over my customer service desk. But, I bought an existing business and the guy had been there for 20 years. I felt sorry for him. Actually, he was more financially secure than I. Never knew it at the time. He now owns his own little video rental/tanning bed business. He still looks hung over when I drive by the front of his store and he is sitting on the park bench on our main street in town.

Of course, my unemployment rate went up big time. Of course, that's not the focus of this discussion.

Historically, the best way to get rid of an employee is to make life miserable for them. If it is their decision to leave and no loss of work, then they just went off somewhere.

Many long-standing companies nowadays, simply get rid of the retirement and benefit plans for retired employees. This has forced many of us oldies back into the workforce just to earn enough money to buy health insurance. God knows how we would get the money to cover the deductible?

First of the month, we business owners have to shell out to the Federal and State Governments and Unemployment and Sales Taxes and other fees to everyone else. Older employeed folks on payrolls get higher salaries and these folks have higher payroll deduction that have to be matched by the company. And, unemployment for which employees do not have a deduction is high and even higher for higher paid employees. When its time to start cutting overhead, it's the payroll department because it is the biggest expense for companies. Where do they look to cut overhead?

Your last post revealed your true colors of being a standup and great guy. Consider yourself hugged. Always be a pro. Keep your angst private and build a case if you foresee it. And, don't forget to pray!
Old 02-24-08, 06:57 PM
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suck it up and keep working there or find greener pastures.

In some states, an employee manual is expected to be followed and if there are raise and/or reviews specified, you may be able to hold them to that. It is not so in most states though. Call your states Dept of Labor to check.

Short of that, nothing else you posted is illegal.

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