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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20029
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I have an individual at my place of employment that continues

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I have an individual at my place of employment that continues to belittle, confront and jsut acts nasty to me and other employees. She recently has threatened me by saying to me that if I don't like her I can work someplace else. She has a higher ranking job than I do but she is not my direct supervisor. What can I do to make her stop?

Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me what you think might be motivating this employee? In other words, is she targeting everyone or just certain employees and if so, what makes them different from the ones she doesn't pick on? What has your Exec. Dir. said about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is generally a pushy overberring individual. She is not everyone's superior but she acts like she is. She does seem to target those individuals that do not put up with her BS and go above her head to seek direction.


The director has spoken with her, I am told, but she still thinks she is in chagre of everthing and every body.

Hello again and thank you for the additional information. Unfortunately, not all workplace bullying and harassing sort of behavior is unlawful. The only illegal harassment is "hostile workplace harassment" which is a legal term of art for a specific type of discriminatory behavior. In other words, unless there is unlawful discrimination that is involved with "severe and pervasive" harassment, there is no violation of the law. So, unless people are being targeted only because of their race, national origin, gender, age (over 40), disability, religion, pregnancy, or AIDS/hiv status, the harassing behavior is not illegal.

That is not to say, it isn't unprofessional and shouldn't be addressed by management. It just means that if management decides not to do anything about it, there is no legal option after that to end the behavior.

If this is motivated by unlawful discrimination, then you can file a formal complaint with your employer's HR or EO department. Then, if they don't resolve it, you can file a complaint with the EEOC.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if this employee is trying to push me into reacting in a manner that she feels she can then have me terminated. I'm afraid that is what is really happening here.

Thank you for your reply. Well, from a legal perspective, it doesn't change anything. In other words, unless her motivation is based on unlawful discrimination, she can behave this way despite her other motivations. It, unfortunately, is up to you and your bosses, to try to work through this and deal with this difficult employee in the best way that you can.
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