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My wife has a bad work environment. What are her rights?

Customer's question: My wife's supervisor is mean to her. What can be done?

Lawyer's answer: Being mean is not illegal unless your wife is specifically targeted for her minority/gender/etc status. Hostile work environment does not include "mean.".

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My wife has a "hostile work environment" complaint from a co-worker. It came from that person demanding work be performed without first running it through her Supervisor. which couldn't be done as he was on vacation; so they came to her directly. and were actually hostile to her. Beating my wife to the punch, they proffered a complaint to HR putting her on the defensive. A meeting was et which the complaintqant could not make it A second meeting my wife was a doctors appointment. Now, knowing my wife will be out of town on her birthday,( she sent itinerary showing it had been planned since September) the complainant set up mediation that day and HR, who has been hostile to my wife, says they will simply hold the meeting with ut her. Does she have any recourse?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Full time

Submitted: 7 months ago.
Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/7/2017
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me, do you believe this happened due to the fact that your wife is female, Black, Hispanic, Asian, of certain national origin, etc? Or, that does not apply.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No, I believe it a personnel issue where 2 women in different Departments simply don't get along. Both ar Exec Secrataries; one for the school and one for the Church. The school Secretary demands my wife get her stuff without going through her Supervisor and demands due dates she cannot meet without dropping her priorities for the Church.

Thank you. Unfortunately, this is legal. Allow me to explain why.

An employer generally has the right to terminate an employee FOR ANY REASON.

The only reasons one cannot be fired for are:

-PUBLIC POLICY (discrimination based on race, religion, creed, etc; or, a retaliatory termination due to a claim made by an employee); or
-CONTRACT POLICY (if one has a contract that disallows such a termination)
-COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH (firing an employee to avoid paying a benefit, for example)

Otherwise, an employer can terminate for any reason, without notice. It can be based on a mistaken rumor, or, just the fact that they do not like your shoes one day. You will hear "right to work" a lot. However, that does not mean what people think it means. All this means is that at time of being employed, the employee has a choice whether or not to join a union as a condition of employment.

Now, you mention hostile work environment. But for legal terms, this means someone actually sexually harassing her or physically hitting her, in many cases. Underhanded moves and office politics does not mean hostile work environment. I am sorry.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved rudeness or wrong information. Please be kind!

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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
Verified
Ely and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I thank you for your candor. In as much as HR, seems to have taken sides, does it really matter whether my wife goes to this seemingly rigged mediation?

My pleasure. Well, HR will always be on the side of the employer. Regardless of what they claim. But it is worth a try to see if they will at least hire her back, or, provide a severance. She loses nothing by trying, right?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I don’t believe it’s a fireable issue as it seems no one is fired from the Church except in sex harassment/theft issues. It’s simlpy a hostility complaint that is mentally and physically hard

It does not sound like a very strong case, then. I am sorry.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Happy Holiday!

You as well.

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