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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111453
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I live in California. I would like to know what behaviors

Customer Question

I live in California. I would like to know what behaviors rise to the level of hostile work environment. The situation is somewhat reversed because I am dealing with an employee that I supervise who seems to be retailating due to a recent corrective he was presented. During the discussion of the corrective, he attacked me personally. Further, he wrote a lengthy document that he asked me to read, which included the many "injustices" he has experienced from me (this is his third write-up). After I read the document, he took it from me and tore it up saying that he decided to not pursue giving it to my boss. I feel the purpose of the document was to threaten me into not giving him a corrective again. I called my human resources department this morning and spoke with the person who helped me write the original corrective. He was not helpful. Do I have any legal recourse?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The United States Supreme Court has specifically stated that the laws on hostile work environment were enacted to protect employees from conduct towards them that is based SOLELY on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee, or in retaliation for the employee exercising some right under the law (such as a wage claim or workers compensation claim) and they were not intended to create a code of civility in the workplace. See: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998),
Thus, for any conduct towards you, and I mean any conduct, to be deemed creating a hostile work environment, you must prove the only reason for the conduct was based on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin and not for any other reason. Here you have an employee retaliating against you not for taking some action provided for under law, but for you doing your job for the employer. Thus, your only recourse is writing up what occurred about the employee trying to intimidate you with their document and you need to submit it to HR to be documented in their records. That is the only available recourse in this type of situation.

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