What can I do about a problematic co-worker?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do about a problematic co-worker?

I have a co-worker who is obsessed in trying to get me fired. I wrote a formal

complaint letter because she came to me and insulted me. I wrote a formal complaint to the boss about this and ever since that day she is trying really hard to formulate a case against me. During the summer I texted a friend with an open position at work and, since I didn’t have my glasses on, I sent it, to this co-worker. It was addressed to my friend by name. The problem was my friend and my co-worker are next to each other in my contact list, so I mistakenly send the text to the wrong person. My boss put a warning written statement in my file, since we had another incident 5 months ago. Now she wrote a harassment allegation because

Asked on September 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there probably isn't any way you can legally proceed, unless you have a written employment contract which affords you protection against discipline and/or termination; if you do, and it is helpful, you could enforce its terms with a "breach of contract" lawsuit if your employer takes action against you in violation of the contract. However, without a written contract, you are an employee at will, and an employee at will has no protection for his or her job. You can be disciplined or even terminated at any time, for any reason, including errors or unproven allegations by a coworker, and the employer could legally decide to take a coworker's side against you. The employer may do anything up to and including terminating you based on the conflict with your coworker.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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