Can you sue your employer for allowing/contributing to a hostile workenvironment, ignoring workplace incivility and causing an employee emotional dist

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Can you sue your employer for allowing/contributing to a hostile workenvironment, ignoring workplace incivility and causing an employee emotional dist

Is it possible to sue an individual co-worker and (more critically) your place of employment for creating a hostile work environment, workplace inclvility and the emotional distress it causes? Can you sue for all three? Also if what is happening is an attack on one individual (affecting one’s reputation and work record) and not others–can you site a form of discriminatory profiling, as the individual is does not target others in a department. The behavior is harmful, damaging, and can get the indiviual fired for no reason, other than the attacker is highly passive aggressive and hostile.

Asked on June 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Jonathan Pollard / Pollard LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The problem here is that the vast majority of employment claims are based on mistreatment tied to a protected class.  In other words, they involve a workplace that is hostile to an employee because of that employee's race, religion, age, gender, or sexual orientation.  When you step outside of that realm, and instead, you are simply dealing with other employees who are rude, passive aggressive, etc----  that rarely gives rise to any actionable claim. 

The short answer being no, I do not believe you can sue given the facts you laid out above.


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