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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18789
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Harassment question. I work in a small call center (6

Customer Question

Harassment question. I work in a small call center (6 people) and have been there 8 months. I believe that the manager is nitpicking by email with increasing frequency (1st 1 per week now almost daily). Early on I was browbeaten a bit by various "team members" and nothing was done. Lately, the manager has been using the emails. He never speaks to me directly it is all emails though I walk past his office often and he is only 20 ft from my cubicle. My work is better than average but all emails are negative - no positive or guidance. I have been effectively isolated and feel I am in a hostile environment (no physical threats exist). Is there any grounds or is this just a grey area where the unliked personality can be forced out?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: NJ
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I went to HR and have not heard back yet.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Hostile work environment is a very specific legal term which does not apply to general harassment like you have described here. The ingredient that you are missing is the illegal motivation. Hostile work environment is harassment that is directed at and based on your race, religion, gender, age or disability. You've not mentioned one of these as root of your treatment, and if you can't allege one of them as the root, then the treatment is not actually illegal in employment law.

The employer then would be able to work to terminate you without cause. This is called "at will" employment which is the default employment status in your state.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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