What conditions make for a hostile work enviornoment?

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What conditions make for a hostile work enviornoment?

My wife currently works for a restaurant as a manager and I believe she is victim of a hostile work envirnoment. She currently works with two other female managers that have been employed for many years and they seem to view her as a threat. She has been given no training, no managers handbook on procedures, no HR manual on rules of employment, no formal orientation outlining company guidelines etc. She is being treated to a different standard than the other managers and is being threaten with termination.

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is NO rule against a hostile workplace generally: management may be unfair, the training inadequate, the job expectations unreasonable, and coworkers mean and treacherous. The only times this sort of behavior is illegal is when:

1) There's an employment contract requiring certain behavior or setting out rules for evaluation, discipline, termination;

2) The behavior is discrimination based on a specifically protected characteristics, such as race, religions, sex, age over 40, or disability (but since your wife if getting poor treatment from other female managers, it's less likely you can show this)

3) The behavior is retaliation for filing a protected claim or complaint, such as a wage and hour claim.

Apart from the above, a workplace may be hostile.


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