What are my rights regarding hostility in my workplace?

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What are my rights regarding hostility in my workplace?

I was fired from a job after making several complaints to my DM against another manager in a different store. This manager would challenge me on my decision making on how I run my store. She would use other employees to cause problems for me either by making false reports to HR. I would have employees that were meant to work in my store but after training my DM would send them to train with her even after my voicing my concerns to him as to what is going on. One of these trainees heard this manager and our DM talking bad about me and he reported what he heard to HR. After telling my DM that I need the issues resolved right away because it’s affecting my ability to my job.

Asked on January 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In order for a workplace to be considered "hostile" it must be one that prevents an employee from doing their job in a reasonable manner. Therefore, a co-worker (including a manager), by words and/or actions, must create an environment counterproductive to the employee performing theirr work duties. However, these behaviors typically must be discriminatory in nature and not just a result of rude or unprofessional behavior.
By way of explanation, discrimination in the workplace is action taken against an employee because they are a member of a "protected class". So unfavorable treatment must be based an employee's race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, etc.
Bottom line, therefore unless you had a union agreement, employment contract orcompany policy that prohibited this type of action, you have no legal claim here. You were an "at will" employee which means that your employer was free to set the terms and conditions of emplyment much as it saw fit. This included who to fire, when and why.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have a written employment contrat which has been violated, you probably have no rights: without a written employment contract, all employment is "employment at will," which means you can be terminated at any time, for any reason, including conflict with a co-worker or other manager, or because you complained about bad management or unfair actions by another staff member. Another consequence of employment at will is employers don't have to be fair: they can play favorites, treat one employee better than another, etc. In short, as harsh and unfair as this sounds, you have no right to fair treatment or to be heard, and have to put up with bad treatment--or else risk being terminated if you complain.


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