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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12624
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work at a pharmaceutical company as a Chemist in the state

Customer Question

I work at a pharmaceutical company as a Chemist in the state of Georgia. I have been treated very unfairly and extremely rudely since I started here last August. Several people including myself have taken some members of quality control management to human resources to complain of this.
Human Resources has instigated some training and team building to mitigate this. However, last week I was written up by my manager and the Sr. Manager of HR for either frivolous reasons such as searching the internet and down-right lies such as my manager saying that I take 45 minute breaks and two hour lunches which is extremely untrue.
I have gone to a lawyer in Athens, Georgia and the lawyer told me that in the state of Georgia, companies can have a hostile work environment as long as they aren't hostile by discriminating against you for your race, religion, age, sexual orientation, handicap, or gender.
The lawyer also told me that since I complained to HR for reasons other that the ones mentioned above, HR and management can retaliate against me and it would be perfectly legal!!!!
I find this very hard to believe. I would appreciate it if you could enlighten me on this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about this hostile work enlvironment and completely understand your frustration. Unfortunately, however,the attorney you spoke to is correct. Harassment is not illegal unless motivated by a legally protected trait such as race or religion, in which case it becomes a civil rights issue. Likewise, retaliation is not actionable unless the retaliation is occurring because an employee has engaged in legally protected conduct. Complaining about an actionable hostile work environment is protected, but complaining about a lawful hostile work environment is not.
Thus I am afraid your recourse is limited to continuing to lodge complaints with HR or leaving for employment where you are treated with the respect and appreciation you deserve. I am very sorry.
Please let me know if I can provide any clarification.