What are my rights if my boss wrongly challenged me regarding the hours that I worked?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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What are my rights if my boss wrongly challenged me regarding the hours that I worked?

My boss made quite a large issue out of me not being at work when I was. He told me he was here looking for me, that I was nowhere to be found and that I was wrongly recording hours when I was not working. I sent him emails I had sent during those hours to prove I was working, and it turns out he wasn’t even here that day. He then apologized and I explained that he really questioned my integrity and I was very upset. This has never happened before. If I had not had those emails, he would have been positive he was right. That is scary. Isn’t that harassment?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, not all harassment is illegal--in fact, most is perfectly legal. An employer may be unfair, unreasonable, unprofessional, rude, abusive (not physically, obviously), etc. to any employee he wishes, except when--

1) The employee has a contract, and the employer's behavior violates some term of the contract;

2) The negative treatment is based on a protected category; e.g. the employee is being harassed because of his or her race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc.

3) The negative treatment is retaliation for having brought a protected claim (such as for overtime; or that you were discriminated against as in 2), above; or for worker's compensation) or for having used a protected benefit (like FMLA leave).

Other than as the above, the employer may question or insult you, and could even fire you, for no good reason or an incorrect reason.

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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