What is my recourse if a co-worker is purposefully making our work environment hostile?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is my recourse if a co-worker is purposefully making our work environment hostile?

A co-worker at a restaurant is making the environment at the restaurant impossible for me to work in. This person has has asked people to make false statements about me and is constantly going to management to complain about me. I have done nothing and the managers of the restaurant have said that I a good worker and I have nothing to worry about, but I feel like I am constantly under a microscope. I like my job and I don’t want to lose it. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on February 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that there really isn't much that you can do unless your co-worker's actions are due to your race, religion, nationality, gender, disability or age. Otherwise, without some form of legally actionable discrimination being the reason for your treatment, while obnoxious and unprofessional, it is legal. Further, if their behavior does not violate the terms of any applicable employment contract or union agreement, you have no legal recourse.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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