What are an employee’s rights regarding workplace harassment?

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What are an employee’s rights regarding workplace harassment?

I was directed by a supervisor to a private room for a discussion related to an article I had posted at work. After the discussion became heated, I attempted to leave the room but my supervisor blocked the door and prevented me from leaving. I stated several times I wanted to leave and he used his hand and foot to keep the door closed. I finally was able to push past him and leave the room. I believe this can be considered workplace harassment, but I am not sure if a supervisor is allowed to do something like this while having a discussion about my action of posting an educational article.

Asked on June 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, a supervisor may never physically restrain or lock-in an employee; you can always leave if you want.

Of course, the supervisor could simply fire you if you try to leave during a discussion--unless you have a written employment contract protecting or guarantying your job and limiting why/how you could be fired, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason. So what your supervisor should have done is tell you that if you left, you'd be terminated.


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