What are my rights if I have not been given the chance to defend myself in a hostile work environment?

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What are my rights if I have not been given the chance to defend myself in a hostile work environment?

The manager has told everyone, except for me, that I would be fired. How do I know? I can hear them in their cubiles. They still haven’t told me what I’ve done and so far I have had no right to defend myself before any discplinary actions. I also overheard the manager telling an employee to write up the disciplinary actions for me. Why is he letting everyone know my business? I also told the manager that my ex-husband is in jail and I would like to keep that confidential because its a private matter and the victim’s family works at the same company we do. I also wanted to warn him that the police may stop by to question me.I only asked that he only divulge that information to his superiors. The other day, I asked my manager not to tell this particular employee anything about me it was confidential because she knows the entire family and is telling them everything about me. You know what the manager did said something anyway. Why isn’t the manager keeping the confidentiality?

Asked on February 3, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, none of what you have written is actionable. In order to have a cause of action here, the hostile work enviornment would have to be one based on your race, religion, disability, age (over 40), nationality, gender, etc. None of which are apparent here. Accordingly, unless your treatment violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, your company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes when and why to terminate a worker. In fact, in an "at will" employment arrangemnt, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Addtionally, there is no right to confidentiality in the workplace; an employer can disclose whatever personal information that it wants regarding an employee. Bottom line, while highly unprofessional, no laws have been violated in this situation.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, none of what you have written is actionable. In order to have a cause of action here, the hostile work enviornment would have to be one based on your race, religion, disability, age (over 40), nationality, gender, etc. None of which are apparent here. Accordingly, unless your treatment violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, your company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes when and why to terminate a worker. In fact, in an "at will" employment arrangemnt, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Addtionally, there is no right to confidentiality in the workplace; an employer can disclose whatever personal information that it wants regarding an employee. Bottom line, while highly unprofessional, no laws have been violated in this situation.


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