What grounds make for discrimination in the workplace?

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2012

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What grounds make for discrimination in the workplace?

At my workplace there is a supervisor who is harassing us, abusing her authority, and creating a hostile work environment at the hotel that I work. She comes to our rooms, while we are cleaning, after we tell her that we do not want to talk (to avoid a situation). However, she follows us around trying to provoke us. Our manager will not listen to us because she has made it evident to him that myself and a few others are troublemakers. She comes at us based on looks, marital status and friendship. She gives the ones who have husbands or boyfriends less work than the other workers who are single.

Asked on April 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, an employer is allowed to have a hostile work enviroment, and to discriminate against or among employees, except on certain specifically defined bases. For example, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age ovcer 40, disability, or sex. However, neither federal law nor GA law prohibits discrimination on the basis of family, marital, or relationship status. Therefore, from what you write, while what your supervisor does is unfair, it is legal--she is allowed to discriminate for this reason, and is allowed to be hostile to workers she deems troublemakers. Also, be aware that employees have no right to tell a supervisor they "do want to talk"--if the supervisor wishes to speak with them, she can.

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