Work retaliation and hostile work environment

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

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 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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