Can a manager retaliate after you filed a complaint against him or her for hostility in the workplace?

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Can a manager retaliate after you filed a complaint against him or her for hostility in the workplace?

I filed a complaint against my manager for creating a hostile workplace; my manager went on a witch hunt. I was demoted in the process, was transferred 45 miles away from my home, and lost 10% of my wages. My director admitted that they had screwed up by sending a inexperienced manager without training and supervision. They decided not to hear my complaint or answer any my rebuttals or e-mails.

Asked on August 4, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A manager is not allowed to retaliate against you if you file a legally protected claim--such as one for being discriminated against on the basis of a legally protected characteristic (e.g. race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability), for not being paid overtime, for for reporting certain safety violations. So if you complaint had to deal with one of these areas, you should consult with an employment attorney--you may have a claim. However, there is no right to a non-hostile workplace; and as long as the witchhunt is not aimed at a protected category, a manager can conduct one. In short, if it was simply a bad manager creating a hostile workplace, there is no protection against it, or for raising a complaint, and your employer may (as long as you don't have a contract to the contrary) retaliate against you.


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