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Hostile workplace? Arizona

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  • Hostile workplace? Arizona

    My husband is one of five managers at an agri-business. He works in close proximity with one of the other mangers. This person continually screams and even curses at my husband when they are working together, things like "GD it, why didn't your team do so-and-so? You are fu**ing this up, get your s**t together", ride things like that. This occurs on an almost daily basis. The other manager says "that's just the way he is", and he does not intend to change his actions.
    What what exactly constitutes a hostile work environment? Is this verbal abuse a form of harrassment? My husband has complained to HR, but they pretty much blew it off. Its really turning my husband's dream job into a nightmare. Does he have any recourse other than to look for another job?
    Last edited by Little june; 03-13-2016, 08:08 AM.

  • #2
    A hostile work environment (HWE) is an environment where an employee is experiencing harassment and/or discrimination that is based specifically and directly on the employee's age (if he/she is over 40), gender, race, religion and/or disability. And for harassment to be illegal, it too must be based specifically and directly on age (over 40), gender, race, religion and/or disability.

    So no, based on the information you've provided in your post, your husband doesn't appear to be in an HWE, nor does he seem to be getting illegally harassed. Ergo, he doesn't have any legal recourse.


    • #3
      This is one of those answers that no one likes getting. Point of fact, most incidents of bullying are legal because no one ever wrote a law making the action illegal. What we have are a series of very narrowly defined laws such EEOC which prevent discrimination based factors such as gender or race. These are not employment laws per se. These are laws which address all discrimination based on certain factors including but not limited to the workplace. If I burn a cross in an employee's parking place, I am likely violating the EEOC provision on racial discrimination, but this is not a workplace specific law. The exact same provision is violated by burning the cross in the employee's drive way. The first thing responders do with this sort of question is to try to figure what law (if any) is being violated because every here knows there is no "the employer or my coworkers is being mean to me" law to be violated.

      Not the question, but most terminations are legal under Employment At Will. Again there is no general law protecting employees from termination and one needs to look for a specific law being violation to make the termination illegal. Employment At Will and Hostile Workplace Environment are very basis labor law concepts. You will get exactly the same answer anywhere you look on the net. It is perfectly legal for a New York employee to fire someone because they are a Mets fan. Or a baseball fan for that matter. One's sport team affiliation is not a legally protected category. Some one generally rolls out Free Speech around this point. The First Amendment says that the US government will make no laws abridging free speech. It says nothing about employers firing people for what they say. The NLRA has some protections here, as do so other laws, but no general law protecting employee's "right" to flip the bird at their employer.

      The law says what is says (and sometimes what the courts say), not what we want it to say.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        Just to clarify post above - age discrimination protection is before age 40 in some states though federal & Arizona is age 40 & over.
        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.


        • #5
          Course language is not against the law, just unprofessional and unpleasant. In some workplaces, it is acceptable, in others it is not, just like many social circles or families. Your husband can ask the coworker to refrain from such language but there is no law which would compel the coworker to comply.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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