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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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