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Questions about Open Door Policy at Work

Open door policy is usually put into place at work by the employer to allow employees an opportunity to discuss issues or problems in-house without a fear of workplace retaliation. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any legal questions that you may have about open door policy at your workplace. Below are five of the top questions answered by the Experts.

What can an employee do if they experience retaliation from superiors after using the open door policy?

The first thing that you should consider doing is writing a letter to the CEO of the company detailing everything that has happened since you have used the open door policy. The letter should be sent by certified mail with a copy sent to HR as well. You should add that since the company has the open door policy, that you didn’t realize that you would be retaliated against for discussing your concerns. You should also state that you would like to have any harassment or retaliation to cease. Make sure you express your desire to handle the situation within the company but if nothing changes and the retaliation continues, you will be forced to seek a legal remedy.

What should an employee do if they are suspended after using the open door policy?

If an employee is suspended after using the company’s open door policy, they should first file a complaint with the HR department within the company. If you live in an employment at will state, the employer can terminate your employment for no reason. However, if the employer violates their company policies while terminating you, you may have a chance for a wrongful termination claim. Usually, these problems can be repaired internally without the need of legal assistance.

Can an employer bully an employee after the employee uses the open door policy?

While some states are currently considering work place dignity laws, there is no law against general harassment or workplace bullying. The exception to this would be if the bullying involved race, sex, age, or disability discrimination. Usually the employee would file a complaint with the HR and try to resolve the situation within the company. In many cases, the employer will hold the person involved accountable for their actions, but they are not legally required to do so.

Can an employer use unprofessional conduct towards an employee who uses the open door policy?

An employer in an ‘at will’ employment state has every right to discipline or terminate any employee any time and for any reason. As long as an employer doesn’t discriminate between employees based on race, sex, age, or disability, they can usually curse at and act in an unprofessional manner. Of course, certain comments could result in sexual harassment or illegal discrimination but aside from this, the employer’s poor conduct is unlikely to be considered unlawful.

If an employer is harassing employees after they talked about him in a meeting, would this be retaliation?

In certain situations, this could be considered retaliation. An employer is within their rights to discipline an employee as long as race, sex, age and disability isn’t involved. General harassment from an employer is not uncommon and it is not unlawful. You should take your concerns to HR and file a complaint if the harassment continues. Usually this step will correct the problem and no further action will be needed.

Having an open door policy at work can be a blessing or a nightmare. If you find yourself in a situation where you need experienced legal insight regarding open door policies, ask an Employment Lawyer on JustAnswer. The Experts can answer any question on open door policy that you may have in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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