Do I have a case if I recently quit my job due to a hostile work environment that lead to emotional distress?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a case if I recently quit my job due to a hostile work environment that lead to emotional distress?

I made the HR director aware of many conflicts, however nothing further was done except for talking about it. My situation continued to get worse and worse. I went into the HR director’s office who also happened to by my boss may I add crying almost once or twice a week. Still, nothing done except for empathy. I continued to get frustrated until the day I quit. I quit because the person that I had a problem with was my boss’s boss. I overheard her say some nasty things about me and I called her out on it. Only to have a meeting with the executive director, the director of HR and her. In which she lied about saying any of those nasty things because why wouldn’t she lie to the executive director -who is her boss. Things like this situation happened since the day i started, with how I did my job, who I talked to weather it was personal or work related, ect. I worked at this place for almost 2 years but due to the lack of administrative incompetence, I had no other option to leave, because i knew nothing further was going to take place. I have emails to my doctor refilling my anxiety medications twice since I started employment there, I came home crying almost everyday and from that became exhausted and irritable. From this situation I have a hard time wanting to find another job, which I need in order to support my family but I am just not ready. I fear situations like these at other places of employment.

Asked on October 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no claim here. The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it was legal. 

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 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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