Monday, February 3, 2014

Not every unpleasant office is hostile

Laura Lawless Robertson, Squire Sanders, was asked about a reader's workplace. The reader wanted to know what constituted harassment? She was 63, had worked in the place six yrs, but had not gotten a raise in 4 yrs. She was told they were trying to make her quit. Her supervisor insults her and her coworkers are told to report her every move.

Robertson said not every bad environment was legally actionable.

The laws protect against harassment--but not "every sling and arrow."

To have a case, a worker must show he or she was subject to unwelcome or offensive verbal, visual, or physical conduct due to his or her race, color, national origin, religion, age or disability.

This must also be so bad it creates an abusive environment.

If you believe this is happening, consult your handbook first. Find out whom to contact and talk to that person.

Even then--to me--this sounds hard to nail down.

I suppose if someone said, "You are never making more than you do now, you old biddie," maybe it would be actionable.

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