Do I have a legal case for workplace harassment/bullying?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a legal case for workplace harassment/bullying?

I was forced to resign or be fired at a major state university in April due to
me and my supervisor not getting along, and mistakes that I was making. Keep
in mind that I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression,
Anxiety, High Blood Pressure, Congenital Heart Disease. I am also homosexual.
My supervisors all knew my health issues. It all began with me stepping on my
immediate supervisor’s toes. I ended up writing her a long letter explaining
the situation and told her story. She is a new supervisor. She is a micro
manager. She is also narcissistic. She would give me the silent treatment. She
would ignore me. She would ignore my emails. She would find mistakes that I did
when I took off sick. I took off work for 2 days for depression. I came back
to work on a Friday. She started to sing ‘Manic Monday’ out loud in front of
the co-workers and in front of me. It was a slow Friday. She would treat me
different. She would write me up for mistakes and never get onto others for the
same issue. I wrote letters to upper management all the time pleading for
assistance. I would provide evidence to back me up. She would never get my side
of the story before writing me up. The list goes on.

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally, bullying in the workplace is allowed--that is a consequence of "employment at will," which is the law in this country except when (and only to the extent) changed by a written employment contract. However, certain things are still disallowed, which include bullying, harassing, or discriminating against employees due to medical conditions or disabilities, including mental conditions like the ones you describe. Her conduct, including singing "Manic Monday," implies she was aware of your condition(s) and targeted you due to them; that may make this illegal disabilty-related discrimination. You should contact the federal EEOC about filing a complaint and/or speak with an employment law attorney about legal action. Before doing either, if you have any proof the employer know of your conditions (e.g. any emails, texts, letters, etc. you sent them informing them of the conditions, or from them acknowledging them), make copies of said proof and organize it (e.g. chronologically); it will help you discuss the matter with the EEOC or a lawyer. Good luck.

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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