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Len
Len, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience:  15 years experience in employment and criminal Law.
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I live in Houston, TX and have complained to my managers at

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I live in Houston, TX and have complained to my managers at the retail store I work at several times about being spoken to disrespectfully XXXXX XXXXX associates and supervisors both in the break room and in front of customers. After several months of the issue not being corrected I went to my managers boss and the situation has continued. I went back to my managers boss again and have been told to "get a thicker skin". It has now been about four months and I have resorted to responding to my coworkers rudeness and disrepect by saying, "Please do not speak to me in that manner" and now I am being told by my supervisors and managers that if I do not stop I will no longer have a job. I know that Texas is an at will state, but is there nothing I can do to protect my jo

Tex,

 

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?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Len

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, I do not think race is an issue. One example is a front end supervisor, who is in no way a supervisor over me and is fact on the same pay scale in a different department coming into the break room and announcing that I had been on my break too long, could not tell time and that I needed to "get back on the floor now". I was on a fifteen minute break and had only been on break for 10 minutes at the time. When I came back from break he got on the radio and told me to do part of my job he has no authority to tell me to do and when I simply replied that I had just returned from break and would be doing it as soon as I had the chance (more for the benefit of the managers listening because he was doing it on the radio to make it look like I wasn't working) he said over the radio "Oh, now that you decided to come back from your extended break". The behavior is rude, disrepsectful and unnecessary in the work environment. That is just a mild example.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Also, after complaining about managers speaking to me in a similar manner and even raising their voice at me, I had to go back to the store manager and even the district manager because of retaliation by the department managers. I was being followed in the store by the department managers even when I was off the clock. While this has stopped by the department managers, it is still coninuing behavior by the superviors (not mine) and other employees.

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.

 

Len

 

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