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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118750
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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My probationary period of 6 months was extended month. My

Customer Question

My probationary period of 6 months was extended for another month. My supervisor who recommended this extension is not helping me with duties I need help with because she is too busy. I asked her to deliver a check to one of our bosses as she was going upstairs to the same department on another matter. She replied, "Boy, you don't go out of your way for anybody, do you?" I asked what she meant and she replied, "When I did that job I delivered those checks personally." I replied, our boss came down looking for the check but I just got these within the past half hour and have not had a chance to put these together yet." Since she determines whether or not I pass the extended probationary period I feel she is creating an uncomfortable if not hostile work environment. Under our contract the probationary period is not grievable. Do I have any recourse under these conditions. Another employee was present when she said this but our boss was there but not within earshot. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Probation periods are not governed by MA or federal employment laws, they are up to the employer's rules and discretion. In general, employment in MA is considered at will, which means the employer makes the rules and sets their rules (in accordance with any laws if they exist) and the employer can direct the employee as they see fit AS LONG AS THE EMPLOYER IS NOT DOING SO FOR ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATORY REASONS.
So, in order to have a case, you need to prove she is treating you this way solely based on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee. If you can prove that she is discriminating against you based on one of those reasons, then you can file a complaint with the MA Commission on Discrimination.
The term "Hostile Work Environment" in the law means that an employer is harassing an employee based solely on the employee's age (over 40)/race/sex/disability/national origin and for no other reasons and the laws were not intended to create a code of civility in the workplace (see: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore, 523 U.S. 75 (1998)).
So, if your employer is doing this based solely on one of the above reasons you have a complaint to file. If they are not doing this based on one of those reasons, then you have to set out your facts as to why you should not be on probation any longer and present that to your boss directly and make your argument as to why your supervisor is not treating you fairly.