Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Can I get a little more information?
1. Do you suspect race might be an issue?
2. Could you give me a couple of examples of the disrespectful remarks?
OK, thx for the additional information.
First, you are correct about Texas being an "at will" employment state, but that is just part of it. Texas is notorious as a state that is strictly employer orientated.
Second, the other over-riding factor here is the economy. I have noticed over the last two years a steady increase of employers becoming more abusive. Of course, they simply feel empowered and that the employee will put up with it.
Over the years, I have handled many employment discrimination cases in Texas. The source for protections comes from federal law, Title VII, (discrimination protection). The state seems to just continue along with disregard for employees.
The situation you have described presents two equally important problems. Title VII does protect against discrimination and hostile work environments based upon race, national origin, sex, age, etc, however, when the hostile attitudes are those of a manager being a jerk, there is no protection. Another problem is that unless you become seriously sick attributed to the abuse, you probably will not prevail in obtaining unemploymentbenefits. In other words, the environment would have to become so adverse and hostile that you are "constructively discharged".
For now, the best thing you can do is keep track of the abuse at home. Do not try to write down each instance on the job, or you will be shown the door. I am also concerned that you have already tried going up the chain of command. From their responses, it seems relatively clear that management is just not going to repond to your complaints.
All of this leads to one conclusion. As bad as the job market might be, it would appear time to search for another job now. It is absolutely true that it is easier to find a job while you have a job. When you do apply at other places make certain that you simply say you are looking for more advancement opportunity, or something similar. DO NOT say that the current managers are abusive.
Finally, you should not stop with just this brief assessment. There is no substitute for sitting down with a good employment lawyer in person.
I know that this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive.
I do wish you the best.
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