Ifwork at a hospital, what are my rightsif I stand up to a verbally abusive doctor?

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Ifwork at a hospital, what are my rightsif I stand up to a verbally abusive doctor?

I just started a new job at a local hospital and right away, I was verbal abused by one of the doctors who is well known to be very hostile. I stood up for myself and now I’m waiting for the hospital administration to make a decision on my employment. I have been reprimanded harshly for standing up for myself and told repeatedly that the staff is just to ignore his outbursts (which happen in front of other staff). When asked what will happen to him, if he will be reprimanded for his behavior, the answer was simply no. What should I do, what are my rights?

Asked on July 21, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may not have any rights. The first important question is whether you either have your own contract of employment or are covered by a union agreement. If you do or if you are, then the terms of that contract or agreement must be followed in regards to discipline or termination. However, if you don't have a contract or union agreement, you are an employee at will. As an employee at will, you may be fired or otherwise disciplined at any time, for any reason, even completely unfair ones--employers do not need to be fair, and there is no right to "stand up for yourself."

If there is no contract, etc. protecting you, then if you were harassed or abused because of your sex, religion, age over 40, disability, or race, you may have an employment discrimination claim; but if you were not the victim of illegal discrimination, you may have no recourse.


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