Do I have a hostile work eniroment claim?

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Do I have a hostile work eniroment claim?

I was an upper management employee where several other associates came to me about a situation involving our receptionist. They were very uncomfortable about the way she was seductively dressing and behaving and particularly her behavior with our GM. One of them specifically said it made her ill to come to work because she was so bothered by this. I went to my owner, who said he had noticed some of the behavior but not necessarily the attire and for me not to do or say anything since he would take care of it. Nothing changed. In fact the relationship between the GM and receptionist became more overt with more physical interaction openly in front of associates, who again came to me about how uncomfortable this was for them. I again made the owner aware of people telling they felt they were being exposed to a hostile work environment at this point I felt that way also but did not say so. Somewhere between the 2 meetings with the owner about this, his attitude toward me changed and he became more rude, abrupt and started leaving me out of important meetings and not giving me the information that I needed to perform my job. After 10 years with him, I was let go within 3 months of my first meeting of informing him of the other associates complaints. I believe that I was let go because I was a female whistleblower but I’m not sure if I have enough for a claim.

Asked on April 26, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you are not a "whistle blower". In order for you to qualify, you would have had to reported an illegal activity, which this was not. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit absent some for of actionable discrimination. So if your treatment was due to your race, religion, sexual preferance, gender, nationality, age (over 40) or disability you would have a claim. Here, you were just reporting activity that made you and your co-workrs uncomfortable; it had nothing to so with any illegal harrassment. Accordingly, unless your treatment is some way violated the tems of a union agreement or employment contract, you have no claim here.


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