What are my rights if my supervisor has been extreamly insensitive about my taking a personal day because I was in need of medical attention?

My supervisor spoke in front of all my co-workers about my absence and his doubts for the reason of my absence. My supervisor had been persistant about me and my reason to leave. This is not the first time they have been insensitive about things. Should I take legal action. If so, what would I need to do? Would this be an expensive option? Could it create problems with finding future employers?

Asked on November 30, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This may constitute illegal disability-based employment discrimination: employers may not retaliate against, harass, or create unpleasant working conditions for employees because of their medical conditions or disabilities. 
The first issue is, though, what is the claim worth? While it is illegal to harass you due to a medical condition, compensation is based on the injury you've suffered. If you haven't suffered an economic injury (e.g. loss of a job or demotion), it's not clear whether you could get any significant amount of compensation, meaning that filing a lawsuit could be a very expensive option: you could spend alot of money to get very little back. A much less expensive option is to contact the federal EEOC and/or the state equal/civil rights agency, to file a complaint: if they think there is merit to the complaint, those agencies may investigage it for you without you having to pay for it.
First, though, have you spoken to HR or higher-level managment about the situation? If there is higher-level management or an HR person/department, you are expected to speak to them first and give them a chance to take action.


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