What to do about a hostile work environment?

I dated a co-worker (she initiated, documented) and we had a very messy and painful breakup. Upon which I asked my management to be transfered, and was told no. I was able to find an equally ranked co-worker in another area willing to switch with me, and asked them to switch us because the workplace was beginning to impact my mental health. I was told that this isn’t done, however there are several well known instances in which this has been the case. I feel like my only option is to quit at this point because I’m beginning to have panic attacks, is there anything I can do?

Asked on July 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can from what you write. A workplace may be hostile; an employer does not need to take your mental health or happiness into account; and employers do not need any reason to make a decision antithetical to your well-being. Employers may not discriminate against a person due to certain protected characteristics, such as his/her race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability; however, apart from that, the employer may be as hostile or unfair to an employee as  it likes.

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