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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19312
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Not sure. There is a situation that has arisen at work that

Customer Question

Not sure. There is a situation that has arisen at work that is very disturbing. My boss made a formal complaint about my behavior and that of a co-worker that is completely untrue, however, the accusation itself is damaging and I don't know if I need a lawyer. I can provide background if necessary.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over

In a workplace context, you can't really count on being able to use an attorney. Employers are not courts, so they don't have to entertain the arguments of an attorney. In employment law, if you do not have a contract of employment that expressly states you can only be terminated for cause, your employment is "at will" and can legally be terminated at any time. I know you have not mentioned termination, but your employment status is instructive concerning the "due process" you might be afforded too. An "at will" employee is entitled to no due process, so an attorney can't really help in the workplace.

Where an attorney could assist is in a personal injury context, with you alleging defamation of character against the person making the false statements against you. You'd sue the individual, outside of the workplace, in state court and handle that as a personal matter. The employer wouldn't be involved.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Thank you for the response. There is no indication that either myself or the other person involved is being let go. They are investigating the alleged allegations. I am wondering if anything can be done when I am cleared to the accuser? Doesn't the fact that he is continually trying to cause problems (this isn't the first time he's tried to do something like this but it is escalating) create a hostile work environment?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hostile work environment is a very specific legal claim. While it certainly sounds like it would fit many situations, it really only refers to harassment that is based on discrimination due to race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent FMLA use.

So unless you are able to allege that one of those is the underlying basis, you wouldn't have a hostile work environment claim and your only recourse would be through personal injury defamation claims against the individual.