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An employee complained about a person in a leadership

Customer Question
An employee complained about...

An employee complained about a person in a leadership position that is a bully, verbally abusive and creates a hostile work environment and she was told that she over dramatized the situation, appears to be overworked due to poor time management and had qualifications for her position questioned. Doesn't seem right

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

Missouri

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

At will

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
12/8/2017
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,982
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

Was the supervisor treating the person this way based ONLY on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The employee is a female
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

That was not my question though. Please answer the actual question itself, is the supervisor treating the employer that way BASED ONLY ON their age/race/sex/disability/national origin?

I asked this specifically, because the law is very clear on the issue and the employee's rights change depending on the answer to that.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Well my assumption is yes or I would not be sending this email. However, I am not aware of anyone else that has made the same complaint but since I am not in HR, I cannot be sure of that fact.
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Since you truly do not know and do not know if there is any evidence to show that it is being done only because of the employee's gender and not because the supervisor is simply a jerk and treats everyone that way, I will explain on that basis.

The US Supreme Court has been very clear on saying the law on hostile work environment/workplace harassment was written to protect employees from conduct towards them based only on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee AND it was "not intended to create a code of civility in the workplace." See: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998).

This has been held to mean that ordinary workplace bullying is not legally actionable against the employer. Only harassment based only on age/race/sex/disability of the employee is legally actionable. So if she has evidence it is only her and only because of her gender, the first step is to file a complaint with the EEOC, since the employer will not act on her complaint. The EEOC must investigate and issue a right to sue letter if they cannot resolve the issue and then the employee has 90 days to file a civil suit against the employer for the hostile environment.

HOWEVER, if there is no evidence it is only because of her gender, then legally ordinary bullying is solely up to the employer's discretion to investigate and deal with as they see fit.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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