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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I wanted to know if there was any recourse for someone being

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I wanted to know if there was any recourse for someone being pyschologically harassed at work. Here is my dilemma. I feel like my coworkers are spreading malicious gossip about me. I have noticed recently that some of my coworkers behavior differently towards me than they did before and some coworkers are avoiding me. I feel like there has to be some sort of gossip to account for the change. But I cannot prove anything because no one has said anything directly to me. It is more of a uncomfortable vibe that I feel. I wanted to ask one of my coworkers but I wasn't sure I would get a straight answer. I feel depressed about the situation. Because how can I fight for my reputation when others are not fighting fairly?

Thank you for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about your situation at work. I'm bound by my legal duty to tell you the correct answer about your situation above, and sometimes that is hard when the answer is that you most likely do not have any legal recourse.

Harassment at work is only illegal when the harassment is based on discrimination regarding age, disability, race, national origin, religion and/or gender. The law allows for your co-workers to be mean and hostile to you (as long as they do not assault you). So, unless you can show that the harassment is based on illegal discrimination, it is not illegal.

The other problem is that you said you cannot prove anything and that you have never heard anything directly said to you. If you find out that a person is spreading untrue statements of fact about you which tend to hurt your reputation, then you can sue that person directly for defamation. However, you need to know exactly what they said and who they said it to, otherwise, you would be unable to prove your case.

I know that hearing this is not encouraging (unless you fit into one of the categories above). Please don't "shoot the messenger" and consider kindly rating my answer positively. Please also feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Best Regards,
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