Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about the mistreatment you endured at work. I have been there myself with unpleasant supervisors, so I can relate to what you are going through.
Regrettably, and contrary to what most people believe, there is no requirement of civility in the workplace and no law that prevents employers or co-workers from being rude, verbally aggressive, or even downright nasty. This behavior is only prohibited if it relates to an employee's race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation. In that case, the law does recognize a claim for "hostile
However, rude or hostile treatment for any other reason, despite being unprofessional and uncalled for, is not in violation of any law. Similarly, there is no law against "unfairness" unless the basis for such treatment is a legally protected trait. Supervisors can neglect to train and otherwise "set you up" for failure and, despite being extremely unfair and bordeline unethical, the law simply does not prohibit this sort of behavior.
Although the harassment you describe would not be legally actionable on a hostile work environment theory, a workers compensation
claim is potentially viable. This is because in order to prevail on a workers compensation claim, the claimant need not demonstrate "fault" or that a legal violation was the cause of their harm. All a workers comp claimant needs to demonstrate is that they have suffered an injury that was inflicted from their work.
Be advised, however, that if your worker's comp claim is alleging a present inability to work resulting in loss of income, that will be contrary to what you need to show in order to collect unemployment benefits. Thus, your options are either to claim a present inability to work due to the emotional distress and anxiety caused by your previous position and forego unemployment benefits, or to collect benefits and limit your workers comp claim to past loss of income while an employee and any mental health treatment expenses you have incurred.
Aside from workers comp, the only other conceivable legal theory upon which you could recover damages is intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, historically these claims have faired rather poorly in the employment context, as they require the claimant to prove the employer's behavior "shocked the conscience" and "exceeded all bounds of human decency."
If you think you can convince a jury that the treatment you endured rose to this level, then perhaps this is an option worth exploring with a local attorney (See here to locate one: http://www.cela.org/?page=4
). As I noted above, however, "IIED" claims traditionally do not fair well in the employment context and so this may not be litigation that is worth your time and money to pursue. It is, nonetheless, the only other potentially viable option under the circumstances.
In summary, there is no general law against harassment or unfair treatment
in the workplace. These things are prohibited only if the basis for such treatment is a legally protected trait, such as your race or religion.
Aside from harassment/discrimination, your options are to file a workers comp claim (be careful not to make a claim that conflicts with your unemployment benefits, though) and to file for damages on the theory of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The latter cause of action requires you to show conduct that "exceeds all bounds of human decency," and that is a very difficult standard to meet.
Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.