Could I sue for workplace harrassment?

An assistant manager picked on me about not having any teeth at my age and said that he’s been having sexual intercourse with my mother. He called me names and really made me feel uncomfortable in my own workplace. This led me to getting fired because I never wanted to go to work.

Asked on August 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes allowing the rude and unprofessional behavior that you were unfortunately subjected to. That is unless your treatment was due to your race, religion, disability, nationality, age (over 40), gender, etc.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Generally, an assistant manager can pick on or harass you and say frankly crude, disgusting, etc. things to you. The only time they cannot would be if they are doing so because:
1) Of your race, color, or national origin;
2) Because you are 40 or over;
3) Because of your sex;
4) Because of your religion;
5) Because you are disabled.
If this person is doing/saying this because of one of these factors, you may have an employment discrimination or harassment claim and should contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint. Otherwise, however, it would be legal for them to do this, and you would have no recourse.


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