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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19319
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Retaliation - my supervisor consistently pressured me to

Customer Question

Retaliation - my supervisor consistently pressured me to fire my employee. I did not agree and went to HR on my supervisor to be sure I was not being insubordinate by not agreeing with her. A week later I was told I was being reassigned to another unit in another location further from my home. They placed me on forced leave and escorted me out of the building. I was told by HR I was not being disciplined but they never escort reassigned employees out of the building.
Hostile work environment - The Appointing Authority creates a hostile work environment and I avoid working with him. If I ask a question in front of other employees he yells at me to the top of his voice but speak nicely to others. Amother incident, I walked into a meeting and he turns to me very intimidating and says "why are you here"!. I was the only black employee in both of these instances.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

You mentioned that you were the only black employee. While this is a useful fact, it is only legally relevant if you have some evidence to suggest that your race was actually the basis for this treatment.

The EEOC can't make claims anymore based solely on statistical evidence. There needs to be evidence of some sort to suggest a causal connection between your race and the treatment.

In this instance, you're fighting against a basis for the treatment that isn't racism....the issue of you disagreeing with your supervisor's opinion on terminating an employee. While you certainly have that right to disagree, such disagreements on staffing issues are not legally protected and an employer absolutely can hold what they consider to be an incorrect staffing choice against you. It's part of everyday business, to decide who does and does not belong in the workplace, and if that supervisor says that they do not trust your judgment based on the disagreement that can be argued to be a legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for the demotion.

Now, on the issue of hostile work environment, that claim only works if based on an illegal factor. Here though, your claim seems to have more merit as you note that you are the only one yelled at in this way. That is called disparate treatment and can force the basis for a claim.

I would contact the EEOC in your state to have them start an investigation of the treatment by the Appointing Authority.