how to deal with coworker

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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how to deal with coworker

Hello. I work in a facility and it is pretty laid back and
‘liberal’ as some might call it. I am not certain of how
to bring this to the attention of supervisors. So here
is the thing I have a coworker who is vegan and does
a ton of activism type of stuff. It doesn’t bother me
because to each their own but it bothers me as to
whenever I am on lunch break this person will
constantly discuss my food with me, etc to the point
where I find another place to each my lunch in the
building. This person does it to other coworkers and
it is constant. I am not certain if or how to bring it up
and is this classified as harassment in a sense? I
can see if I ask but I’m not thanks in advance

Asked on September 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In order for a workplace to be considered a harrassing or "hostile work enviornment", it must be one that prevents you from performing your job in a reasonable manner. A co-worker, by words and/or actions, must create an environment that is counterproductive accomplishing your work duties. That having been said, these behaviors must be legally discriminatory and not just unprofessional or rude. In other words, workplace discrimination is action taken against a worker due to their membership in a "protected class" (i.e. based on their race, religion, age (over 40), disability, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, etc. Given the facts presented, it's does not appear that there exists an actionable claim. While this co-workers behvior is annoying is not illegal. That having been said, you can still speak to your HR department about this.

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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