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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was pulled into the office yesterday and told I had two

Customer Question

I was pulled into the office yesterday and told I had two choices: take 4 weeks severance pay and leave now or work the next 60 days and look for a job. I told my boss I needed to think about it over the weekend.
The history leading up to this situation. I was the manufacturing manager at a company for over a year. I have been working at this company for over four years, started out as assembly manager. When I was giving the manufacturing manager job, the assembly manager position was not back filled. We had two supervisors. The molding department that reported to me had a manager and three supervisors. A few months ago I lost one assembly supervisor to FMLA. A month ago, I lost the second assembly supervisor. She quit. A month ago we were asked to reduce 23 heads. I was told we were not replacing supervisors. I was expected to run the largest department in the building on my own, 100 direct employees just in assembly. I was already burnt out at this point and had approached my boss about needing help. I also approached him about family members being allowed to work for family members in some departments and not others. I had someone I wanted to bring to assembly to help me out. It would have been an internal lateral move from department to another. I was told no. Two weeks ago i was approached by my boss stating someone told him I was looking for employment elsewhere and he needed to know what my plans were and when I was leaving. I said I'm always looking and so are other people. I reiterated I was burnt out and needed his help. The next day I asked to be demoted to assembly manager. A week and a half later he brought me into his office and stated he needed to do what was best for the company and gave me my two choices that I told you above.
Do I have some kind of case here against him and this company? I honestly don't want to stay working there due to the hostile work environment but it seems what he is doing is wrong.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hostile work environment is actually a very specific claim under the law, as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Though it sounds like it could apply in situations like yours, it actually only concerns situations where a person is facing constant harassment in the workplace AND that harassment is based on the individual's race, religion, gender, age or disability. The Supreme Court stated that all other matters of workplace harassment are not covered, because our employment laws are not meant to be a civility code, but rather, are narrowly focused on discrimination made illegal by statute.

On the facts you've outlined, your situation does not fall under the hostile work environment category, because you've not identified any protected category that you are in, and which forms the basis for the harassment you are feeling.

Regrettably, without something else, like a contract of employment that you are under, stating that you can only be terminated or demoted for cause, your facts don't reveal or suggest any legal action you could take here.