Am I being harassed on the job? How can I protect myself?

I have been employed with my company for the past 2yrs. Its basically a corporation, they are in all 50 states. Recently, there has been a shake up and all management has been replaced or renewed in our region from supervisors to plant managers all the way up to regional management. It also seems they are weeding out certain employees as well. I feel I am one of those targeted employees, only they haven’t found a legitimate reason to terminate my employment. Long story short I am a licensed CDL driver for this company and lately I have been followed around in what I assume is hopes I get caught doing something other than my job. Next I have been given what I call shit work, and some of it doesn’t fit my job description. I guess they hope I might quit. Most recently I have been put in a compromised position where I was offered cash from a stranger for doing something I’m not supposed to do. This stranger was very convincing almost insisting I take the money. I will say it was tempting but I refused. What can I do to protect myself? I have a family to support and cannot afford to loose my job.

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In over 90% of cases, you *can't* protect yourself: that's because employment in this country is "employment at will" and under employment at will, an employer may terminate, discipline, demote, change the jobs of, or simply harass employees (making their job unpleasant in the hopes they will quit, for example) at will--at any time, for any reason.
The only times you can protect yourself:
1) If you have a written employment contract for a definite term, like a one-year, two-year, etc. agreement (or are under a union/collective bargaining agreement) which gives you protections or rights. A contract modifies employment at will: you will have whatever rights the contract gives you. If you have such a contract, you can enforce its rights in court (e.g. by a "breach of contract" lawsuit) if necessary.
2) If you are being targeted due to a protected characteristic, the main ones of which are race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or age over 40. If you believe you are being harassed due to (or because of) your race, say, or that you are over 40 (e.g. they are trying get rid of older, more senior employees), contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about filing a complaint.

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