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Do I have a case?
Hi. I am being bullied at work by another
female coworker. She constantly manipulates
situations to appear that its my fault. She
criticizes everything I do and finds a reason to
blame me for everything. She is not a manager
she is a peer. She only thinks things are right if
done her way and says negative things about
me to others. She also tries to exclude me from
social situations such as ordering lunch for the
whole office without asking me. I did interview
and receive a job offer someplace else but the
partners who own my company made promises
of significant salary increase and moving to
management if I stay so I did. This woman has
opened my paycheck and given me a hard time
that I make more than her and shared my
salary to other staff. She also told me I wouldnt
have been hired if I they knew my ethnicity I
am half black, however she is Hispanic. I
could go on but I need to know if I have any
case to sue her.
Asked on March 27, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
You may have a case about one thing: her ethnicity comment. If you reported her for that comment and your employer did not look into the matter and take appropriate steps to stop her from doing that or anything else ethnicity-based again, that would be illegal racial discrimination in employment. Employers have an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, or color once they are made aware of the situation. If this women continues to make ethnically harassing comments after you tell your employer about them, you could contact the state Division on Civil Rights to file a racial discrimination complaint.
Otherwise, however, one employee is allowed to bully or harass another: employment in this nation is "employment at will" and that means, among other things, that there is no right to a fair, professional, or reasonable place to work, and employers or co-workers can harass or bully employees--so long as they are not engaging in illegal discrimination while doing so.
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