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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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A previous supervisor and I didn't get along well because

Customer Question

A previous supervisor and I didn't get along well because she was jealous. She retired but all her recommendations were implemented, which means all who were part of her cliché are now in higher positions, one being my current supervisor.
This supervisor is making the work environment difficult for me. From our initial face to face regarding a situation she stated I am always angry and when I replying to emails my responses are offensive.
I have been written up and sent to HR three times within the past 5 months, with another occurring this Monday.
She is painting me out to be this angry employee who is insubordinate.
I created a successful event for the agency and removed me as chair - telling me because of my health. But told She told a co-worker that I cursed out another employee and she was not even my supervisor at the time of this incident (I never cursed anyone out in my entire life).
I have 30 years of experience and she is just learning this work.
HR tells me emails that are to and from her are not relevant in HR hearings. But its the only time the supervisor and I communicate.
I am only called to her office to sign HR hearing Notices only.
The director of our department is her friend.
I feel if I can just find an employment attorney who will get the agency to get her off my back it will help me. because this agency never seems to take anything serious until a lawyer is brought into the fold.
I am tired of going home in tears and even offered to quit. But I believe I am being retaliated against as well as harassed for not getting along with previous supervisor.
Can someone help me!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, that is not an illegal form of discrimination or retaliation.

In employment law, if you do not have an employment contract which specifically states you can only be terminated for cause, you are an "at will" employee. I know you haven't mentioned termination at this point, but it is still important to understand your employment status, because it determines your rights to your job. At will employees don't maintain a legal right to their job. As such, generalized harassment is not illegal. The Supreme Court stated as much when it defined hostile work environment. The Court stated that our laws are not meant to be a civility code for the workplace.

This is why harassment that is not based on race, religion, gender, age or disability is not illegal.

Retaliation also have a very specific and narrow claim. It only refers to retaliation following a complaint by you related to race, religion, gender, age, disability of FMLA use discrimination, workers compensation, OSHA or wage and hour complaints.

Your complaint about a supervisor (at least from the facts outlined in your question) did not related to one of those narrow focuses and so it was not a protected complaint. The employer could legally retaliate against you for making it.

I wish I could tell you differently here, but the facts as you've stated them do not suggest any sort of legal action you could take.