Work retaliation and hostile work environment

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Work retaliation and hostile work environment

I work for a privately owned secured
transportation company. We are on call 24/7.
My manager handled a harassment issue poorly
with me that I had to go to the owner about.
The employee got fired. It brought to the
owners attention that the manager may not be
doing his job right. Our scheduler is also the
managers wife. They started cutting my hours.
They are bullies. I need some advice about
this.

Asked on August 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Bullying, harassment, and retaliation are, contrary to popular belief, generally legal at work: an employer may favor one employee over another, treat employees unfairly or unequally, or, as stated, outright harass or bully--and retaliate for reporting it. Workplaces may be hostile--even completely awful. The only times this behavior is illegal is IF you can show that it was directed against you because of a specifically protected category or classification, the main ones of which are race, color, national origin, age 40 or over, sex, religion, and disability. If you were bullied, harassed, etc. because of one of these characteristics (such as due to your race or age over 40, for example), that may then be illegal employment discrimination and you should contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint. If the behavior was directed at you for some other reason--e.g. they don't like you personally; they are bullies; you got into an argument or confrontation with the manager's wife, etc.--that is legal and you have no recourse other than to seek other, better employment.


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