My boss is harassing me at work. She has had the position of branch manager of the bank I work at for approxiamately 1 month. It has been one derogatory statement after another. Today she told me I am sick of babysitting your ass. I am 53 years old and have worked for the bank for 25 years. I know my job and I am a steady worker. I always balance, never miss work and for the last 19 years worked at the same branch for the old manager with no problems. What should I do? I have contacted Human Resources and met with them. I have e-mailed them and made them aware of my bosses snide remarks. They offered me a different position which I would rather not take. I like my job and I like the branch I work at. I would like to know my rights.
State/Country relating to question: New York
E-mailed Human Resources,met with them, talked to my boss, went to the emergency room for stress. I've tried to cope but she is driving me nuts.
Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
Are you an At Will employee?
Is their a company policy regarding behaviour among employees?
I am not sure, I've work there for 25 yrs.
Are you paid a salary?
Or are you paid by the hour?
There should be a policy but I have never seen it
How old is the branch manager?
Do you think the remarks are because of your age, gender or race?
Maybe my age, they may want younger employees that would make less
In your situation, you have done the correct thing by writing letters to HR
If the actions do not stop, you should send a letter to the HR stating that you believe that the managers actions are based on your age.
At that point they will take your complaint more serioulsy, as if it is age discrimination you can sue the bank.
If you see other older workers being treated this way or terminated for younger workers, you would have a valid age discrimination case, and could file an EEOC complaint.
It does'nt seem that they want to do anything about it except offer me another position in a different branch in a different town.
That is because they know that you have little legal action you can take, unless you claim a violation of your civil rights.
That is why the raising of the Age discrimination issue will help you.
I don't think it is the age , there are only the manager and myself in the branch . It would be her word against mine. I was told I am already at top salary scale for my position as a teller.
It is mainly harassment from the manager.
You could claim in a letter that her statements to you are because of your age, and that they are trying to force out higher paid older workers.
If the manager is behaving this way, and you do not claim a civil rights violation, you are limited in what legal action you can take.
If their is a company policy regarding behaviour, that should be examined and you then should complain against the manager,
I know we have a sexual harrassment policy but this is mental cruelty and is effecting my health.
Legally, if behaviour is not mentioned in the company policy the manager is allowed to treat you in such a way.
Can I harass her back?
Their is nothing you can do legally, except what you have done already, which will protect you if you are ever terminated.
If she is your boss, that would be Insubordination.
Can I tape record what she says?
What I would do is examine the employee handbook, and see if the manager has violated the company policy, and if so have an attorney write a formal complaint letter.
What would be the reason for the tape recording?
You would have a problem if you tape her without company permission.
Can i use this service for a month?
Yes, if you have the monthly plan you can ask as many questions as you want.
so i can prove to Human Resources that her words are very demeaning and hurtful
A tape recording can be made but I would have HR approve it,
It could lead you to be terminated.
The best is to document the statements in writing, and send them to the HR everytime a comment is made.
I would allege a hostile environment case due to your age, even if you do not think it is
This will then be taken seriously, and possibly lead to the managers Termination.
Do you have any other advice for me..What rights to I have if they terminate me because of this.
If they terminate you,
you could either sue the employer for a wrongfull discharge, if their is a company policy outlining your legal rights.
You would also be able to claim at that point that they violated their company policy by allowing harrasment.
Also, your letters would offer you proof that the working conditions and your complaints were the real reason for your termination, and you could obtain Unemployment Benefits.
Thank you for your time and answers.
If you are terminated because you raise the AGE issue, than you could sue them for Retaliation as well.
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I will check the employee handbook tomorrow at work.
Your first step is review the handbook, that is key as it may provide you with significant legal rights.
Thanks , I guess that is all I have for now.
13 years experience, Union NYSUT lawyer
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