If I was verbally assulted and harassed by a supervisor, what should my next step be?

I would like to get a lawyer but should I call my company’s hr department first?

Asked on March 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Was the harassment based on your race, sex, age over 40, disability (if any), or religion, or possibly some similar "group" or "class" characteristic. In that case, you may have a legal claim, but would first be expected or required to notify HR and/or that supervisor's supervisor and pursue an internal resolution.

If the harassment was based on simple personal dislike for you, on a personality conflict or past history between you and the supervisor, or based on non-religious opinions or views of yours, you would not have any recourse (unless the company voluntarily chooses to afford you one): the law does not require employers to treat employees well or with respect, does not bar harassment not directed against certain protected classes (such as against a woman because she is a woman, or an African American because he is African American), and does not bar harassment based on different opinions or political views, as long as religion is not involved.


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