Hostile work environment

One employee has targeted most on our team run to HR to falsely complain about things that never happen. HR always counsels the employee she’s complained about, even when we deny it happened nothing is done about her ongoing harassment. Last week it was announced that I was promoted to supervisor, she has escalated her harassment of me in front of other employees who have reported this to HR. I’m considering filing a complaint for harassment because I’m not able to do my job under these circumstances. What are my options?

Asked on June 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any rights or options unless the harassment of you is aimed at you due to your race, color, national origin, age 40 or over, disability, sex, or religion (i.e. just that you are minority or over 40 and are being harassed, but that you are being harassed *because* you are a minority or over 40). Unless you are being harassed due to one of these few, specifically protected categories or characteristics, there is no protection: you may be harassed at work but for these reasons, and your employer may allow or condone it. (This is all part of "employement at will"--the idea is, you don't have a right to a good work environment; you have the right to seek other employment is you are unhappy.)


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