Can you be fired in retaliation for reporting creating a hostile work environment

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Can you be fired in retaliation for reporting creating a hostile work environment

I complained in writing that my boss and a coworker were creating a hostile work environment to harass and discredit my performance on April 20,2016, in an effort to maintain their personal affair. I cited several instances in a meeting set to resolve the issue, and was fired for my client files being out of order on May 20, 2016. I was a Case manager/housing specialist, with 25 clients with aprx. 25 clients with average of 100 docs in each file. Very thinly veiled retaliation, as noted in company policy.

Asked on June 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A workplace may be hostile, with the one exception outlined below: that is, your co-worker(s) and/or boss(es) may create a hostile environment, may harass you, may discredit your performance and impair you, etc. That is unfair, but perfectly legal, even if their motives are to hide or maintain an affair. So since what was being done is legal, it is not illegal retaliation against you to fire you for reporting it: there is no protection for an employee reporting or criticizing workplace hostility.
The exception is, if the hostility was directed at you because of your race, your sex, your national origin, your age over 40, your religion, or your disability, then this may be illegal retaliation if you were fired for reporting it (and it may be workplace discrimination in the first instance), because the law prohibits discrimination on those bases and bars retaliation against an employee for reporting such discrimination or harassment. If you feel this was the case, speak to the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to discuss filing a complaint.


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