Hello again and thank you for your reply. I asked that question, because "hostile work environment" is actually a legal term of art that only applies in cases of unlawful discrimination
based on the reasons I asked about. In other words, there is no legally actionable harassment in the workplace outside of the discrimination arena. So, unless you are being targeted for one of those reasons, although it would be unprofessional and unacceptable, as well as poor management, it would not be illegal. That means that your employer would technically not have to stop it and you would not have any basis for a law suit. Again, not fair or good management, but the law.
That leads to the issue of termination
. First, no one can make you quit your job. If they want to let you go, that is their prerogative, but they can't tell you that you have to quit. Maryland, like most states, though is an employment "at will
" state. That means that an employer may terminate an employee for any, or no, reason and with no notice or warning unless the termination would violate an employment contract
, company policy, or employment discrimination law (like what I discussed above.) So, unless your employer has a rule about having to issue a certain number of warnings before termination, or you believe you are being terminated because of the reasons I identified above, your employer could let you go even if the reason is unfair and misguided. Again, the law favors employers.
If you believe that you are being targeted because of the reasons I mentioned above, then you can file a complaint with the EEOC
and would want to speak to a local employment law
attorney about the possibility of filing suit.
As for unemployment, if you quit, then you have a much harder, if not impossible, chance at getting benefits. That is because you will have to prove that you quit for "good cause" attributable to the employer. That is very hard to do and basically would require that you show that were breaking the law. If they cut your hours drastically though, that might be good cause. On the other hand, if you wait and they terminate you, then you have a much better chance, since it is the employer that carries the burden of proof to show that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, violated a company policy, standard, etc. It sounds like they could not do so and therefore, you would be eligible for unemployment.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.