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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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What do you do if your manager is creating a hostile work

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What do you do if your manager is creating a hostile work environment?
Hello and welcome,

Please tell me more about the situation. Is the manager engaging in sexual harassment or discriminating against you on some basis, such as race, gender, age, disability, or other protected status?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Personally, to date at least, she has not targeted me. But she consistently questions the capablities of one of my workmates. At one point she asked me if I thought he was stupid. This and many many other things creates a very uncomfortable situation with all my other co workers. Our director either seems not to notice, or believes her behavior is appropriate, but I am to the point of quitting my job, but I think something needs to really happen to put her on notice that her actions are creating a very devisive work situation.


I am not sure there is anything I can legally do, but I would love it if there was something I could do.

Thank you for the additional information.

Is there any evidence that you know of suggesting she is discriminating against the other employee based on their race, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or other protected status? If the employee is disabled, has a mental disability or something, that could give rise to liability by the employer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He is not in a protected status as he is a white male approximately 30 years old. I am not really sure what is going on with her attitude towards him, but it is making the rest of us uncomfortable and creating an incredibly negative atmosphere.


She does have one of her old employees working as a contractor with us, I think she means for him to replace the other employee. I have stood in the harassed employees corner a few time and feel I might be the next person on her list.

I see.

Well, I sure don't see any legal basis for pursuing a claim against the employer or using it as leverage to get her to act more reasonably.

Under the employment at will doctrine, the employer is permitted to set the terms of employment, even if they are unreasonable unfortunately, as long as they do not violate specific laws (such as anti-discrimination laws) and they are not violating an employee contract.

While the conduct by the employer does appear to be severely damaging employee morale, it is likely not to the benefit of the company in the long-term, there would not typically be a legal violation here.

Having said that, employers often do become more reasonable if an employee retains an attorney, to prevent the possibility of a lawsuit being filed. So if you are serious about trying to get the work environment improved, I would consult further with a local attorney about communicating with the employer.

They do run the risk of a lawsuit being filed for defamation or other possible claims if they make false statements against employees, so that could form the basis of a warning/demand from the attorney, if the employer is making false statements about employees to others.

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Thank you and all the best to you,


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