What can I do about a hostile work environment?

I am on disability for an anxiety disorder, bi-polar and borderline personality disorder. I got a job at a restaurant as a server and the management talked to other people about me. The management talked with other employees and have even yelled at me in front of customers. I have had panic attacks and severe depression based on what I feel has become a hostile work environment. Completely doing the opposite of what a manger should be doing to me. No manager should ever share my situation with other employees. I recently spoke with the general manager about the working conditions and how it is not only not helping, but making me feel worse about myself. What can I do legally? It’s been a horrific year.

Asked on December 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. That having been said, an employers treatment of an employee is illegal if is constitutes actionable discrimination. Accordingly, an employee cannot be treated differently due to their being a member of what is knowbnas a "proptected class". What this means is that you cannot be given differing treatment based on your race ,religion, gender, age, nationality or disability. And your condition most probabaly constitutes such a disability. Therefore, based on the facts presented, you may well have a valid claim.
At this point, you should contact an employment law attorney and/or your state's department of labor.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against--which includes harass (belittle, yell at, humiliate, etc.)--persons due to their disabilities. What you describe therefore sounds as if it might be illegal disability-based discrimination and you may have a legal claim. You should contact the federal EEOC or your state equal/civil rights agency to discuss filing a complaint.

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