If I report harassment and it is not investigated, does that violate my rights?

What should my employer do legally in an investigation of harassment? I have been told to deal with it myself. I am seriously scared of my direct supervisor as she yells at me in group meetings and tells me to get out of her face and leave her office. I shake at work and can’t sleep but don’t want to lose my job. This has been going on for over 1 year now and I just don’t know what to do besides document, document, document. What can I do without the support of my supervisor?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What do you mean by harassment? If it is that you were being harassed on the bases of your race, your religion, your age over 40, your disability, or your gender/sex, then illegal discrimination or harassment is being committed. If the company won't deal with it, you have other options: you could bring it to the attention of your state labor department, or you could consult with an employment law attorney to explore bringing a lawsuit, or both.

If it's however harassment simply in that a coworker or supervisor doesn't like you and is harassing you, but that harassment is not based on some specifically protected category, like those described above, you might not have any recourse: the law protects against certain defined types of harassment, but does not generally require an employer or supervisor to treat you well or fairly.

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