I utilized an open door policy to file a verbal complaint against my manager and am now she goes around badmouthing me to fellow employees, what are my options?

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I utilized an open door policy to file a verbal complaint against my manager and am now she goes around badmouthing me to fellow employees, what are my options?

I live in Wisconsin and work at a retail store where I filed a verbal complaint
with my GM about my manager who was making my work life unbearable. Now my
fellow employees and my assistant manager continuously tell me how she is talking
behind my back and bad-mouthing me. What are my options? If I am fired due to
her bad mouthing what can I do?

Asked on April 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless your treatment violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it is perfectly permissable under the law. In an "at will" work arrangement, an empoyer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form legally actionable discrimination). The fact is that in such employment, a worker can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. That having been said, if your manager's remarks to others about you are untrue and lead to the loss of your job, you could potentially bring suit against her for defamation of character.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything unless you are terminated in violation of a written employment contract. In the absence of a written contract, all employment is employment at will: you may be terminated at any time, for any reason, even unprofessional, unfair, or factually inaccurate reasons. An employee at will has essentially no rights in or to his or her job.


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