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Discrimination/Hostile work environment questions. New York

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  • Discrimination/Hostile work environment questions. New York

    I am working for a large veterinary company with over 700 locations. When I started everything seemed to be going good until the Head Dr. decided that she would just start yelling at me for random things. These tongue lashings would be done for the most part at the front desk in front of clients and other employees. After a few times, others started treating me the same way. I was being written up for nonsense, for example being rude to the Head Dr. when in fact, the only thing that was said was please do not talk to me in this tone. then there was another one for "stealing 5 minutes of the company's time" the write ups were blatant lies. When I followed the chain of command I realized it was corrupt the whole way up. no one heard my plight and eventually I spoke with the regional manager. I was then told, that my hours would be split between this location and another, but i needed to make some changes. Since then, I am no longer allowed to wear my bracelets. (in which I wear everywhere, even on the interview for this company) I have to wear my hair a certain way and not look so "hippyish". then recently a co worker friend of mine informed me, that this is all just a ploy to fire me. they figure I will mess up by being in between both locations, and i will be terminated. I have always stayed quiet because I need this job/paycheck work is hard to find. but I am tired of coming home every night and crying, then dreading going to work the next day. there is so much more to this story, but i don't want to drag on. can anyone help with some advice?????

  • #2
    Most of what you said is likely legal. The phrase "hostile work environment" has a very specific meaning in the law, and so far what you have said does not meet that standard. It is not inherently illegal to be rude, a bad manager, to have a dress code. Based solely on what you have said, no legal lines have been crossed. And technically, the employer does not need an excuse to fire you.

    If you want some advise, I can give it to, but it is likely not what you are looking for.
    - DO NOT QUIT!!! If you quit, you will likely not get UI.
    - Start looking for another job now. That is often the recourse for a bad employer. If you are fired because you are caught looking, that will at least get you UI (probably).
    - Do not give them any excuse to fire you. Whatever they say to you, your answer is something like "yes sir". It is a complete waste of time (at best) to argue, so don't. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
    - Leave the jewelry at home. Maybe get a haircut. You have no legal rights here.
    - Do not assume that your co-worker is right (or wrong). People have their own agenda. People make mistakes. Just do your job, do not argue with your boss(es), and keep your head down.

    Also, read the following. You will not like these either, but it will give you a clearer understanding of what the law is.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Agree, I see nothing illegal here either based on what was posted. Your best
      bet might be to look for other employment & then quit your current job. Do not
      quit until you have another job though or you most likely will not get UI.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


      • #4
        If you had to guess, and I understand that it will only be a guess, why do you think the doctor dislikes you? I'm asking for a reason.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


        • #5
          like i said there is so much more to this. In the location i am in, I am only 1 of 3 white people, and the only one that cannot speak spanish. also, they talk about me behind my back, in spanish all the time. they sit there and stare at me in such a way it makes me uncomfortable. the thing is too, all the things i am accused of doing, i have never done, but the other workers have definitely come back from lunch 30 min to late and they all, including the manager, sit with their coats on waiting for the time to punch out. personally, i dont think it is fair that i should have to cut my hair and change my appearance for a job that when i was hired on, i looked the same. if they had a problem with me then , why am i being warned 5 months later? they have also called me fat, and have referred to me as "the hippo". there is so much more, just many many little things. but in this case they are weeding out the white people to hire on more spanish people. so far 2 are gone. I am not going to quit, and i have made some changes to my appearance anyway, although i firmly believe it is unjust, but again it was also over heard from a co worker i am friendly with that I am a liability, and they want to get rid of me because of what happened. i will say and i quote "we've harassed her enough, we dont need her suing us"


          • #6
            Given those additional facts, I can't see any harm in your running your questions past an employment attorney and/or the EEOC.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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