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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 112681
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I AM CURRENTLY ENCOUNTERING RETAILATION AT WORK

Customer Question

I AM CURRENTLY ENCOUNTERING RETAILATION AT WORK FOR FILING A COMPLIANT WITH MY HR (IT APPEARS). WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PROVE MY CASE? WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PRESERVE MY RIGHTS? I AM NOT SURE WHAT DETAILS ARE NEEDED BUT PLEASE ASK.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 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.
Have you notified HR about the retaliation? Was this complaint regarding conduct towards you based only on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin?
Are you documenting the retaliatory conduct? Are they making false statements about you regarding your work to try to terminate you?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It appears the initial issue derived from personal dislike, bu the misconduct created a hostile environment and it was getting increasingly worse. I am not sure if the reason for the dislike was because I am from a minority group (AA), but after it was filed my superior (a very good friend of one of the aggressor) began to exhibit blatant disrespect, finger pointing, made false allegations regarding my work with what appears to be the intention to terminate me. I filed the complaint less than a month ago.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He has ridiculed me in front of others. He has a history of victimizing individuals and once they complain they are terminated. I have not received anything in writing as to the findings of the HR investigation, it's almost as though everything is being swept under the rug. This has even landed me in the hospital with severe chest pains, from stress/anxiety.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately, the term "hostile environment" has a much different meaning to the courts than it does to most employees. The US Supreme Court has held that the laws on workplace harassment/hostile environment were enacted to protect people from conduct based only on age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee 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).
What this means is that the laws do not really protect employees from personal dislikes or personality conflicts in the workplace. There are no anti bullying laws in the US I am afraid.
So, if you are being bullied by their conduct and it has led to medical issues, you would have to prove their conduct is "so outrageous to shock the conscience of the reasonable person" and if you can do that, you can sue the individuals involved for infliction of emotional distress and seek damages from them personally for their conduct towards you.
If you can show they dislike you only because you are AA, then that would be grounds to file a complaint now with the EEOC and the EEOC would investigate the harassment based only on your race and the retaliation you are receiving for reporting that discrimination and will issue you a right to sue letter if they find sufficient evidence supporting that claim.
The fact is that even if you cannot prove your race was the reason for the conduct, RETALIATION is a separate claim and you could sue them for retaliation for your making a complaint about racial discrimination in addition to your emotional distress claim and still have a legitimate legal basis for your claims.

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