What are my options for being unjustly fired after a long period of harassment and bullying?

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What are my options for being unjustly fired after a long period of harassment and bullying?

I worked for this company for around 6 years. After the first year, I noticed a trend that made me cautious with my boss. I’ve been disciplined for correcting a coworker on rudeness. I’ve asked my boss to correct a co-workers’ behavior but she didn’t. It’s really a lot of things that eventually led to my having my first panic attack ever. Anyway, I finally got tired of it and reported her to corporate, even though I figured it was a bad idea. The reporting process was done in a way that exposed who had been the one reporting. After the ‘investigation’ I was given a final written warning with a very vague ‘how not to get fired’ requirement. I knew my days were numbered at this point. It was so bad, I had been recording meetings/calls/photos just to protect myself from being terminated. I have enough to prove that most of the reasons they fired me were completely made up. I want to talk to a lawyer to see what recourse I have in this matter. I just want fair treatment.

Asked on January 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that be bullied at work is not illegal. While unprofessional it is not against the law unless it involves some form of legally actionable discrimination. That is, it is based on a worker's race, religion, disability, nationality, gender, age (over 40). Absent that, not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. Therefore, unless there exists a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This means that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Finally, if you recorded conversations without the express consent of at least one other person to the conversation consenting to it, then such recordings were illegal. If that is the case, pursuing legal action at this point would not be a wise move on your part.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that be bullied at work is not illegal. While unprofessional it is not against the law unless it involves some form of legally actionable discrimination. That is, it is based on a worker's race, religion, disability, nationality, gender, age (over 40). Absent that, not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. Therefore, unless there exists a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This means that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Finally, if you recorded conversations without the express consent of at least one other person to the conversation consenting to it, then such recordings were illegal. If that is the case, pursuing legal action at this point would not be a wise move on your part.


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