If my employer is bullying me and a former employee has heard my boss say that she wants to get me fired, am I protected by any laws?

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If my employer is bullying me and a former employee has heard my boss say that she wants to get me fired, am I protected by any laws?

My employer seems to have a personal vendetta against me. Since she started she has passed me up for promotions and given them to others who are less qualified than myself, she refuses to give me respect and belittles me in front of customers and other employees, my hours are always conspicuously shorter whenever I have had to take a day off to take care of my disabled mother, and she has apparently told other employees, including our store union representative, that she wants to get me fired. I have tried to talk to her about this myself, but she never listens. What can I do?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You say you have a union representative, which implies you have a union contract--if so, you need to review what it says about discpline, hours, termination, etc. The reason is, except as you are protected by a union contact (or a regular employment agreement between you and the employer), the employer IS allowed to bully you, reduce your hours, and make you miserable enough to quite--or, to simply fire you outright--as long as the harassment is not based on a specifically protected characteristic, such as race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability. That's because the only harassment which is illegal is that directed against the specifically protected categories; other than that, employers may harass their employees.  Thus, what your union contract (if any) says on this subject is critical.


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