Thank you for your patience.
In order to have a legal claim for workplace harassment or hostile work environment, the harassment or unfair treatment must be based on discrimination, such as race, religion, age (over 40), sex, disability or national origin. Conduct is considered harassment when it is severe enough to create a hostile work environment. In the case of a supervisor or manager, if their harassing conduct results in a negative change in any employee’s status or benefits, it is considered harassment and a violation of the employees rights under the law.
Unfortunately, there are no federal or Washington state laws in that have been passed outlawing workplace bullying or a “hostile” work environment. Washington was the 4th state to introduce prospective legislation called the Healthy Workplace Bill, which would protect employees from bullying or hostile behavior on the job. The bill has been introduced several times since 2004, however has yet to be passed into law. Should the law pass, workplace behavior would no longer need to meet the high standard of “harassment” in order for a victim to be entitled to legal redress. However, until the law passes, isolated incidents, bullying, or hostile behavior that does not meet the test for full-blown harassment may still go unpunished.
There's not enough facts here to know if this rises to the level of something illegal, or it is just unprofessional, rude treatment/bullying. If it's the former, then you may have a claim under the law. However, if this is a case of a fellow employee just being a bully and nasty, while that shouldn't be tolerated, it's not illegal, and that is something that the employer would have to address.
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