If I’m a school counselor being harassed at work by the principal, what are my options?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m a school counselor being harassed at work by the principal, what are my options?

The principal came 3 years ago and stated she didn’t want anyone on the campus she didn’t hire. She then targets and bullies people she doesn’t want to leave. The other counselor and I are the last 2 people left in the office. After 22 years of great appraisals she has given me 2 reprimands in the past 5 months over something I said nothing about me not doing my job. I have reported her to the district as well as what I believe to be retaliation from me reporting her behavior to the district. I have been looking for a job but they are scarce this year. I would like to wait her because she said she was leaving after 3 years, however now she’s changed it to 5. The stress is unbearable. I’ve literally been yelled at and regularly accused of things didn’t do and accused of not being loyal.

Asked on July 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally actionable harassment in the workplace is disfavorable treatment based on an employee's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, etc. Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity, such a reporting actionable harrassment. Unfortunately, in your case, your principal's unwelcomed conduct is not based on any of the above criteria; it is solely based on her wanting her own hires. Accordingly, unless her actions violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, they are legal and you have no cause of action.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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