If my manager/co-worker intentionally poured a drink in my chair for me to sit in, what can I do about their continued harassment me?

This is not the first time along with several other acts of harassment. My employer watched a video of the act and refused to provide any punishment to him. I am being moved to another department. The owner of the company placed blame on me for his actions because we did not get along and was advised if I wanted to remain employed here that I needed to get over it. I would like to take action against the employee and possibly the company. Do I have a case?

Asked on November 13, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on why the manager/co-worker did this: the law prohibits harassment of people due to their race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, (or in your state, also) national origin or because you are a smoker. However, other types of harassment are legal: a co-worker or manager can legally harass an employee because, for example, they just don't like him or  her, and a company is not required to take action over such harassment. Furthermore, unless this was one of those specificly illegal forms of harassment (e.g. based on race, sex, etc.), the employer can legally take the harasser's side and expect the victim to "get over it."
If you feel this was one of those forms of illegal harassment, then you may have a legal claim because your employer has evidently refused to take reasonable action against it. You could, in this case, contact the federal EEOC or your state equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint, or speak with an employment law attorney about possibly suing.


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