How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Allen M., Esq. Your Own Question
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19179
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Allen M., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm a dental hygienist who worked local dentist

Customer Question

I'm a dental hygienist who worked for a local dentist for about 5 months. During the end of my first month of employment, two long time employees explained that I should not say anything about my home life, no matter how much the Doctor and manager talk about their own because they'll hold it against you. They also stated the dr. Although kind hearted, is bipolar and picks on each employee (one at a time) for a week or two. The Dr. And manager already knew my teenage son had left home, but I didn't think anything of it other than their being concerned until myself and my patient were discussing our families. The units are open with little privacy, with the dr. Over hearing our conversation, she blatantly blurted my son way a brat. I was shocked. As time went by I was being yelled at in front of pts some for things I hadn't been involved with or known about. The last month I was there, the dr displayed a condescending manner for 3 week which actually had me in years at one point. With a close friend of mine passing and dealing with a patronizing environment, I left,
I have not relayed anything to anyone other than very close friends about my experience. However, recently the other hygienist who still works at the facility in question, told me that the Dr. Has been asking questions about me to other hygienists I'd gone to school with that briefly worked there after me. I contacted one of the hygienists yesterday and thanked her for not saying anything. Not that there is anything to say, I'm 20 + years older than my class mates and kept myself to myself and did my work. Anyway as the texting went on, I was asked why did I leave, I explained what had been stated in regards ***** ***** told about the dr. Being bipolar and I couldn't take it. Today I receive a phone call from the long time hygienist stating that the person I was texting about the Dr and the environment took it upon herself to forward my message to the dr. This has left me extremely upset and want to know if the dr. Can use the text message to ruin my career or hurt her employees I talked about in my message? Can she sue me for deformation of character? And what about my feelings?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.
She can use the text for whatever legal purpose there may be. You sent it and so it is legally out of your hands now. She can show it to the other employees you spoke of in the text. There is no longer any right to privacy in those comments, because you sent them.
Defamation of character requires that you make false statements of fact to a third party about someone else. I don't see that here. It seems that you were venting your issues there, which isn't defamation of character unless you made FALSE statements of fact (like saying that the Dr. shot your dog or something).
As for your feelings, unfortunately unless you can allege that the basis for your negative treatment here was race, religion, gender, age or disability, the treatment itself is not illegal. General harassment is not illegal in our country's employment law system at this time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The hygienist I was texting only worked in this office for a week and moved 2 states away. She only forwarded the text that pertained to the two long time employees who had warned me about the dr. Being bipolar. As for harassment, I'm originally from England with a heavy English accent. The dr. Would tell the patients, in not going anywhere and basically I work for her with no pay. I cannot remember the term she used, but it was ongoing until I got tired of it.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I'm just seeing this additional information as I went to bed before hearing back from you.
Unfortunately, the additional information doesn't really change the answer, as far as the legality of the treatment. I'm not seeing that as a form of discrimination that I mentioned. Perhaps I'm not understanding your point.
If you feel that her comments were directed at your nationality, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in your state, as that entity investigates nationality discrimination.
Otherwise, you have to understand that employment laws are very different and much less employee favorable here in this country.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I understand. One thing that concerns me is, can the dr try and hurt my career or the career of those who still work there that warned me about the dr. I don't understand why a person I thought was a friend would relay my personal conversation to someone she barely knows. I'm extremely upset.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
They can't defame you by making false statements, but they can certainly state that they don't like you. Whether or not that hurts your career depends on whether or not the person being told cares about the opinion of the Dr.