my manager is trying to get rid of me but because I am a good worker has not been able to do that yet. He is always looking for ways to write me up and hounding me. what can I do? I want to keep woring for this company. But it is becoming very stressful to go to work every day.
State/Country relating to question: Arizona
Meetings with HR and we both had counselling by HR
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.Do you believe that he is targeting you based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use?Do you have an Employment Contract stating that you can only be terminated for cause?
Basically I had a very good relation with him in the beginning and he was extremely friendly and flirtacious with me as he is with some other employees as well. However I am more qualified than him and have worked in this dept. longer and he probably began to feel uncomfortable about my intelligence at some point of time. There was an occasion when he chose another person for a kind of Promotion in the dept. and I questioned him because he is personal friends with this lady and she had introduced him to his current girlfriend. He was very angry at being questioned and took me to HR. He wanted me fired.When HR heard my side they retained me but gave me a warning for yelling at the boss (unprofessional conduct) and told me that they would address some issues with him too and asked both of us to attend counselling. He has been hounding me ever since with hostile behavior and trying to find faults and write me up. I had very good appraisals all these years and he suddenly gave me a loww rating this year. Today he took me to HR for another flimsy cause which could have been solved thru email . I think he wanted me to get another HR warning so that it would be easier for him to get rid of me. But HR heard my side and I told them that I was considering this harassment.
Ok. The problem here is that in Employment Law, generalized harassment is not illegal.If you have no employment contract specifically stating that you can only be terminated for cause, you are an "At Will" employee and that means that you don't have a legal right to your job.The employer and supervisors can work to take it away from you with that being illegal. Certainly, it is illegal to discriminate/harass based on someone's race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use, but that is because there are specific laws making that illegal.Here though, you've described a situation where this person feels threatened by your qualifications and chose a personal friend over you. These are truly petty and terrible reasons to harass someone, but neither is actually illegal.Your recourse is to continue to work with HR on this issue, because any resolution that is going to happen is going to have to be internal with the company. No court will hear this issue, unfortunately.
Well, I do have acontract with the company and I cannot be terminated if I don't go against their policy. I have to break their rules to be terminated. I work for a reputed organization and they have a good image. That is why they are trying to settle it by counselling. Can I go to EEOC?
Ok. That is why, in my first post, I asked if you had a contract of employment stating that you could only be terminated for cause.You must have missed that.You can't go the EEOC unless you are claiming discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age or disability discrimination. From your posts, you are not.With the contract though, you still have to work with HR until they have resolved this issue or they definitively decide not to. Then you'd have to actually sue in state court for breach of your contract. Part of being a contracted employee is that you have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your position and the employer can't allowed harassment to build up, acting as a sort of constructive discharge of your job (by making it impossible for you to stay there),.
He had once emailed me a picture of Hitler as a female with long black hair saying that it was me - he probably meant it as a joke but I have already told HR that I was offended by that picture because to me it was both a racist and sexist joke.
Also, if I am more qualified for a job and he gives it to someone else who is less qualified for it - isn't that discrimination? It is a very white hierarchy in my dept. and I am an immigrant.
Not be insulting, but that's pretty flimsy.There have been a number of cases where one time an African American employee was called a racial slur by someone and that, alone, was not enough to establish a full blown discrimination case.You'd probably need something more consistent or direct to show discrimination based on your gender or your race.As for your being more qualified, the rule isn't simply whether or not you are more qualified. The employer gets a chance to put forward a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for preferring the other person.For instance, if I own a company and give my brother a job over you (even though you are more qualified), that's almost never going to be considered illegal discrimination. It's not illegal for me to prefer my family to non-family, and given the facts, that is almost certainly the reason I chose him over you.Here, you've already stated that the person he chose was a personal friend that introduced him to his significant other. That right there establishes a relationship between them that is going to appear to be his motivation much more than anything else that could be suggested.It's your burden to show that you were actually not picked specifically because of your race.
I just have one more question - is working with HR is my only option here? Or can you suggest anything else? If I have to keep working with HR, should I ask for another counselor or go to the HR director - because I am not fully satisfied with the counselor I have right now because the problem is not getting resolved and I don't know whether they are counseling him to make the situation better or not to subject me to a hostile environment.
You can go the EEOC if you want, but as I've tried to point out, the facts don't really suggest discrimination on a basis that they will investigated. You don't have to continue working with HR, but not finishing the process with them actually harms any breach of contract claim you might try to bring. There is generally a requirement that you "exhaust you administrative remedies" before suing.So, jumping passed HR without them giving you an answer harms you, unless they stall an unreasonable amount of time. You work with HR for a couple of months to get your complaints into their records, to create a paper trail. Then you hire a local employment law attorney to sue for breach of contract.What you have to remember about HR is their job is not actually to help you. That is a myth. Their job is to protect the company, one way or the other. That can be helping you, in some instances. In other instances, that can mean throwing you under the bus.Regardless, you need to establish that you made every effort to work with them.
Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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