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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
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what defines harrasment in the work place

Resolved Question:

what defines harrasment in the work place?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer!


Can you please describe some of the conduct that's occuring which is the subject of your question?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

its kinda hard for me to say because in alot of casses he inforces rules on me and holds me accountable for things that he over looks for other pple

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.
And why do you believe that he treats you differently than the others?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

today when we had a potluck a girl walked out with food and he didnt say anything to her for taking food back to her desk, but when i walked out he said "come on man u know better then that where are u going with that" and i was just going to get my wallet from my desk for lunch and i had my plate covered when she was eating off of her plate while she walked by him and he even said hi to her. this was the second time he made a point to tell me i couldnt even keep a coverd plate of food on my desk when other pple were eating at their desk.


another instance would be that he gave me a final written warning for just pulling my cell phone out of my pocket for 2 seconds when 2 days before that he just told another guy to put his phone away so he didnt get in trouble and that guy had his phone sitting on his desk .


a couple weeks ago he had a ticket for my friend for a golf tournament and i was supposed to get it from him for my friend, so he said "make sure i give u chris's ticket" i said " yea cuz if u didnt he would prolly kill me cuz he wouldnt get to go" and he said " well maybe i wont give it to you then so he can kill you" a girl that was sitting there said "hugo u cant say that there are witnesses here" and he said" well i didnt say i was going to kill him i just said i was going to let chris kill him"



Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 7 years ago.

Unfortunately, not all forms of harassment or unequal treatment in the workplace are against the law. State and federal laws do not create a code of civility in the workplace. Rather, the laws are only concerned about when a person is harassed or discriminated against because of their membership in certain protected groups. What are those groups? It's against the law to harass or treat someone differently because of their race, gender, disability, national origin, military veteran status, or age (over 40 in most states). In those situations a person would have to show/link up the fact that they're being treated differently because of their protected group.


In other words, it's not against the law for the boss to be a jerk just for the sake of being a jerk. It is against the law -- it is illegal harassment -- if one is a jerk because of another person's race, gender, disability, etc.


Now, those are the law restrictions.


A workplace is entirely free to set up internal rules which more closely monitors employee conduct and says that certain "jerk-like" conduct is not acceptable and can result in discipline. However, those rules and that discipline are totally self-regulating to such a company. There's nothing that the law can do to enforce it.


From the facts you've described, this person is not breaking the law. So, your only option was to contact HR and see what they'll do. They have the discretion to do something -- but the law does not require it.


Good luck and best wishes for better days ahead. I hope that you find this information to be helpful in better understanding where you stand and why. I also hope that you find this answer to be ACCEPTable!

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