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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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My co-workers are making work unbearable so that I will quit.

Resolved Question:

My co-workers are making work unbearable so that I will quit. I know they are using Facebook. I work as an account executive for group benefits. I know they are contacting my clients (probably by phone) and telling them lies. I am ready to quit as the pressure is inside and out. My boss is good friends with my coworkers, so she denies knowing anything. Contacting HR is "the kiss of death" so I have not done that. When I ask my boss and the VP is everything ok they say, "yes" - I'm sure to remain above the fray.

I have gotten good reviews, and my clients liked me untill the sales people started telling them lies. I make good money and have good benefits, and jobs at this level are hard to fing these days. I am ready to quit. Any advice?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.

In order to assist you I will need a little bit more detail. Can you tell me why you are being targeted versus some other employee? In other words, what makes you different that would want to make your co-workers target you? How do you "know" they are using Facebook or contacting your clients? Finally, has anyone said or done anything directly to you, either face to face or via the internet?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am an Account Exec 2, a grade higher than those that I work with. This is because I had the industry background and a college degree. The other account Execs are grade 1 and make less money and have no degree. They are also younger resulting in a major "generation gap". When I took the job, I had worked with someone at my previous job that did not like me, Job1 girl, for whatever reason (female thing). This person had a good friend at my current job, Job2 girl, who made it her job to make my life uncomfortable by getting others in our group to ingore me (I know, sounds silly on my part), but it really bothered me. I told my boss then that there was a bad situation, but she just blew it off. I really have no expalianation other than they find it amusing to take peolpe down. Then, Job2 girl got the 2 sales people that I support on her side and they I'm sure have talked to their clients to put me in a bad light. I fear that they will start making up complaints.


I am doing the work of 2 account execs as we went through downsizing and I had to take on the work of one that was let go and not replaced. I have been doing a good job with good reveiews, so I think they are trying to pile on the work to the point that no one could do all the work and eventually get me on a minor error.


I also thinkg they have talked to some of the carriers that I work with.


I know they talk on Facebook because I told one of my "friends" that I thought that was the situation. I know she told one of the sales reps because he made the comment about Facebook, not outright that they were doing that - but enough to let me know that was the case.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.
Hello again,

I asked you the questions that I did in order to determine whether or not there was any unlawful discrimination or a violation of any harassment laws. Based solely on the information that you provided to me, I don't see either legal issue. Right now, in Colorado there is no "cyber-bullying" law, so even if you could establish some facts that show that you were the object of bullying, there really isn't a law that would cover that. In addition, the facts that you describe do not meet the definition of "harassment" for criminal purposes, since you are not on the receiving end. You may be the subject, but you aren't directly receiving threats or constant harassing communication. The only other issue from a non-employee/employer perspective with these other workers, is whether or not they are telling a third party something that is false. If that is the case, then you might have a cause of action against them for defamation of character. You would want to speak to a local personal injury attorney who handles defamation cases about your facts and any evidence that you might have.

As I indicate at the beginning of my response, there is nothing workplace wise that I see as unlawful. There is no general "harassment" prohibition. In other words, in order to have a claim for "hostile work environment" you must allege and present facts that support discriminatory intent against you because you are a member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws. For example, you are being target and subjected to severe and continuous harassment because you are over 40 years old (and the harassers aren't), you are disabled, etc.

So, unless there is more here then what you have said, it doesn't look like you have any workplace harassment that you could pursue legally. That isn't to say that this is not unprofessional conduct, it most certainly is and you might want to consider trying to get in resolved in your workplace. But, unfortunately, not all unfair or unprofessional conduct is unlawful. Again though, if you have a defamation issue, you should speak to an attorney about that.
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