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What is a Hostile Work Environment?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A hostile work environment is a situation in which an employer or coworker's repeated actions make it impossible for an employee to perform his or her job duties. Though the term is specifically connected to federal laws in the US, similar terms are used for this type of situation in other regions, like "workplace violence and harassment" in the European Union, "workplace harassment" in Australia, and "workplace bullying" as a general term. There are several things that have to be proven to establish a legal claim about a hostile work environment in the US, since it is possible to have a hostile environment without it being illegal. Though laws vary regionally, employees and employers almost always have to respond in specific ways to claims of a hostile environment.

Types of Harassment

Many different types of actions can make a workplace uncomfortable, but only specific types of actions are considered harassment. This most often includes sexually suggestive comments, leering, or sexual e-mails; remarks about a person's age, race, gender, or personal beliefs; or remarks about a person's physical or mental disabilities. Any physical threats or sexual contact are also considered harassment. Though unpleasant, teasing and rudeness not related to these areas are usually not considered harassment.

Legal vs. Illegal

As counterintuitive as it may sound, some types of harassment are considered legal. To be considered illegal under US laws, the actions must be done to someone who is in a "protected class." This is a type of legal classification that varies from state to state, but is generally based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The statuses that make up protected classes generally include race, gender, sexual orientation, military status, pregnancy, political affiliation, disabilities, and certain health statuses, like having Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Age comes into play as a protected class if the employee is over 40 years old.

If the harassment is not related to a person's protected class status, then it is usually impossible to establish a claim of an illegal hostile work environment. For instance, an employer could continually yell at an employee because she doesn't like the way he wears his hair, and it wouldn't be illegal, since having a certain type of hairstyle doesn't put a person in a protected class. If the employer made jokes about an employee's ethnicity or sent him sexually suggestive photos, then that would be a case of an illegal hostile work environment.

At-Will Employment

Another factor that comes into play is the concept of "at will employment." This is a legal concept in the US that means that unless a length of employment is specifically stated in a person's contract, then the employer can fire him or her at any time for any reason as long as it's not related to a protected class status. Additionally, the employee can quit or strike at any time for any reason. If a person is working at will and gets fired, even for something extremely trivial, he or she usually can't establish a claim of a hostile work environment unless the reason for the firing was connected to a protected class status.

Time Factor

Whether the actions are connected to a protected class or not, they generally have to be pervasive, which is usually taken to mean that the actions happen repeatedly and in such a way that the employee basically can't avoid them at work. Though this requirement is up to interpretation by a court, it's usually impossible to establish a claim of a hostile work environment based on a single incident. Additionally, there are time limits on how long after an event a person has to report an incident. The exact number of days varies regionally and according to the type of action, but is usually less than a year.

Employee Response

It's generally best for an employee to try to resolve any harassment directly at first by calmly telling the person that his or her actions are inappropriate, and that if they continue then it will be reported to a supervisor. If the employee is uncomfortable confronting the harasser, he or she can go directly to a manager or Human Resources (HR) worker. In the US, some companies have a designated person to deal with claims like this known as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer. If the employee is uncomfortable taking the problem to anyone within the company, he or she can also contact the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) directly via letter, phone, or its website. It's important to make sure that the business is under the jurisdiction of the EEOC before doing this, since some types of businesses, particularly those with very few employees, are not covered.

Once a supervisor or HR worker is informed of an issue, he or she will usually follow in-house procedures to try to resolve the issue first. If these don't work or if the employee files the complaint directly with the EEOC, then the EEOC will inform the employer that a complaint has been filed and will offer mediation services to both parties. If they choose not to participate in the mediation, then the EEOC will also give them the opportunity to settle out of court. If this still can't resolve the issue, then the employee can hire an attorney if he or she hasn't already to file a lawsuit.

Employer Response

If an employee makes a claim about a hostile work environment, regardless of whether it's true or not, an employer is required to do certain things. Regional laws vary, but they generally require businesses to have procedures in place for these types of claims. If an employee is aware of these programs and doesn't make use of them, then the employer may be able to avoid legal liability for the harassment by using the Faragher-Ellerth Defense. If a formal complaint is filed with the EEOC, then the business must keep specific employee records on file and available to the EEOC for a certain amount of time. The EEOC and similar agencies provide training and documentation to help employers avoid these types of situations and to resolve them if they occur.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon949083 — On May 03, 2014

I came to work sick to check the status of a job that I had to have ready the next day. Someone (not a supervisor) asked me to do a job. I didn't respond that I would or wouldn't do the job, but did tell them that I was only at work that day to check on my job since I was sick.

I was then written up by my supervisor because I didn't respond to the person who asked me to do the job. Any thoughts on this?

By mknr — On Sep 16, 2013

Can an employer make me pay another employee's wage out of my wages?

By anon336264 — On May 27, 2013

I have been working for a retail company for almost a year, and we have a new boss who hired a friend one week ago. She and her friend and another coworker and I were to have a meeting, but before it even started, she let her friend yell at me in my face, and then she said for us all to go in the office where again her friend yelled in my face.

I was told I was mean because I don't ask other employees if they need to go to the restroom every 15 minutes so no one wants to work with me. Yet I work sometimes 10 hours alone with no break and no one to relieve me for a break. I was told to take a break in between customers and my district manager came in and told me to stop calling corporate and complaining. What can I do?

By anon335430 — On May 20, 2013

I was stressed and depressed in my work because some of my managers harassed me after I caught those supervisors and managers doing wrong against the other company. I almost quit because I feel my life is in danger, but I don't have a choice. I need money and if I quit, I won't be able to collect unemployment,

By anon333330 — On May 04, 2013

An employee has been caught sleeping and was in the process of being terminated. I was asked to come into the office and asked how I felt about night shift. I told my boss that I didn't want to do night shift. I have been working for two years and have seniority.

Then she switched up on me and told me that I was a poor worker. I asked to see the grievances against me and she had none. I told her that I haven't called off sick in the entire two years I had been working, nor have I been late. I also clock out and work without pay to get the paperwork done. The she made a statement about being terminated. I asked her if I was going to be fired, and she said that isn't what she said. Then she told me that I needed to go ask my co-workers about my work conduct. So now I'm on night shift, after being manipulated to take it. What can I do?

By anon323775 — On Mar 06, 2013

One of my ex-direct reports raised a concern to me about unfair employment/discrimination and he informed me that if he has such concerns, he should approach the ombudsperson. I called my manager and informed him about this issue. He started shouting into the phone and used unacceptable tones.

He said, “You are guiding the employees against me?" I told him that I was not guiding any person against anybody, and then he told me that my actions were not professional and I should not direct any one to the ombudsperson, by any means.

Then he called me on the phone and said, “Are you documenting things against me? You don’t have any idea about what I’ll do to you!, I’ll break you on my hand. Do you think such emails could help you? Now you have proved to me that you are a person that I should not trust, and the company should not invest anything in you. You will see in the next couple of weeks that you will be out of the company due to your poor performance. You are making mistakes every second, and just document such a mistake and you will be out. You will see.” I don't have any proof of this call, though. What should I do?

By anon321487 — On Feb 22, 2013

I work at Wal-Mart. I have been there five years and I constantly get pulled into the office once or twice, every six months and I hear someone is complaining because I took a long break. I took my break then had to use the restroom, my body told me. I don't need to go into details, but had to be in there more than five minutes. I got out and helped a customer then went to scan my badge to go to a checkstand – a new thing walmart is doing now.

I cannot always find a front end manager or someone to tell. I am constantly getting criticism for things I did not do or out of order. I don't like being told that I have to walk to the break room, include that time for my break and the time to come back. Also sometimes, someone complains that something wasn't done right, but on top of being written up several times and twice being threatened to be fired, is this work harassment.

I am coming to the conclusion someone doesn't want me there. Even though the front end managers seem nice, they can stab you in the back. Sometimes it seems when the CMS talks to us privately, all they say is “someone said” and there's no idea where this idea is coming from that wanted the work done right. Is this workplace harassment?

I have thought of an idea. Someone should come up with a website to post companies and problems that they have had with no limitations, so other people looking for a job can look it up and know not to apply there, but I also don't know much about computers and am not a computer programmer and also don't have the money. It would be nice if a computer programmer or a developer could do this. It would be a way for us to combat the way we are being treated, like what is posted here. Also, I am worried I would be sued or there would be some suing going on if I did develop such a thing. Anyway, I'm throwing an idea out there.

By anon317925 — On Feb 04, 2013

I work for a large oil company, and it is such a hostile work environment. I have been physically and mentally abused for the last six months. I have been yelled at and degraded. I have reported it to management and HR and they just cover it up. I don't know how much longer I can deal with it. how do I proceed? Help.

By Sasha53 — On Sep 01, 2012

Luckily it has not been directed toward me, but I work at a small business with fewer than ten people on the payroll. There is one coworker who has to endure yelling, as well as her son. School has been out of session and this employee lives in a one-bedroom apartment and would prefer her son be with her during work hours. He's not preventing anyone from doing their job and he is clear of the actual work area. The owner comes in, calm as can be, asks the son to do something, waits a maximum of one minute and continues to yell, at the top of her lungs, at my coworker. Apparently her son is rude and purposefully ignores what she says and this went on and on enough to make this 13 year old boy sob.

And just the other day my coworker left early because her work was done with her job (she is a commissioned employee) while I had to stay behind to finish filling out the sales log we have and had to wait for another coworker to finish cleaning up. I have a key, and we asked the owner if I could have one for the purpose just described (if my coworker is done with her day she can leave and I can lock up). The owner now claims never to have authorized that I have a spare key.

She makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to work there. Unfortunately, the people receiving the worst of her anger cannot just quit and find employment elsewhere, and neither can I. If I know that she will be showing up on a certain day I get stomach cramps as well as other gastrointestinal problems. Is any of what I described even remotely illegal? It's verbal abuse at least. I don't have all of the details because it gives me a headache just thinking of her but if verbal abuse is illegal I would be greatly appreciate it if someone could tell me.

By anon286462 — On Aug 21, 2012

If a supervisor and manager tells an employee that 'if you don't like working here you should quit', what legal actions can be taken against the company employing both? Yes, multiple times.

By anon285735 — On Aug 17, 2012

What all of these posts wrongly assume is that the parties that are causing so much grief are sane, rational and accountable.

Get that idea out of your heads. They are none of the above. I know because I work with a drama queen. She's a screamer, total emotional basket case who has been out of the office sick more time in the past five years than she has been at work. No lie.

There is no help unless these folks do something that would cause a legal liability to the organizations which employ them. Look for other work and if necessary, leave your current employment off of your resume. Say that you were self employed as a consultant or had an LLC.

The protections that you seek to utilize to save yourself from these monsters will be known by the perpetrators! They will stop at nothing to undermine you and nine out of 10 times, they are cunning enough to use whatever rules are in place against you.

Move on, before your health suffers due to the stress.

By anon278404 — On Jul 06, 2012

My daughter is 35 weeks pregnant and just yesterday, she was leaving for a doctor's appointment and her manager screamed in her face, told her she was not leaving until her shift was over and punched her fists in aggression. Needless to say, my daughter went to the doctor as scheduled, but that manager has overstepped her bounds. That's harassment and defamation of character! It's a hostile work environment, too, and against company policy rules! Taco Bell was full of people when she went on the rampage. A manager like that doesn't belong in a public work place.

By anon276402 — On Jun 23, 2012

I submitted a grievance against my manager because he was constantly bullying me. In the original grievance, I provided evidence of events and dates but they said there was no evidence to suggest bullying.

In my appeal, I submitted fresh evidence, explaining that the reason I have been bullied by him was because I did not respond to my manager's sexual advances and innuendos towards me. I provided a written statement from an ex colleague who said she witnessed the sexual harassment and bullying. I have now received a letter from the company saying that, since I did not mention this in the original grievance, I have to submit a new grievance for this. Is this true? As I explained, it is the reason I have been bullied.

By anon266272 — On May 04, 2012

I have been employed at this company for over four years. I have enjoyed working there up until know. I am in the home health industry and things are starting to get hectic.

Just recently my daughter has started having some health issues and has been referred to a specialist and she might have to see them weekly. I informed my job of this about two weeks ago because they kept calling me in to work on my off days and my daughter had appointments on those days. Last week they changed my schedule from four days a week to six days a week. I told them that I needed at least two days off because of my daughter. I was told no and that if I didn't come to work they would fire me.

I can't take off for her appointment and they told me to get them scheduled after work or they will give my entire shift to someone else. Also, my client and I do not share the same religion and I have to work with her on the day she attends her church and I do not want to participate and my client is trying to force me to. I informed my employer of this and I was told to either go or lose my job. Can they do that me? Am I supposed to risk my daughter's health for them?

By fedup123 — On Mar 25, 2012

I have been employed at the hospital for almost 12 years. Since January, I have been written up four or five times for nonsense. I was late only once and that happened to be this year and was written up.

One nurse has worked here for 40 years and shows up 30-45 minutes late every day she works and has not been written up once.

I feel nausea every time I come to work and some mornings pull off the road to throw up. The "girls" who work night shift are constantly telling others that I am lazy and do not do my work. I made copies of the assignment sheets and all of my work is done, plus I always do a little extra. I am gossiped about on a regular basis and blamed for things I did not do. Last write up I was suspended for three days.

The other nurses on this unit are doing the same thing that I got in trouble for and nothing is being done about it. I feel like I have a target on my back. My job pressures and stress are hard enough anyway with me being a nurse. The added stress is overflowing into my home life and causing me to argue with my husband and yell at my son. I apologize afterward, but by then the damage has been done.

I do not know what to do because I fear retaliation.

By anon254569 — On Mar 13, 2012

I have a boss who, when we are in group conversations, cuts me off in mid-speech. Even when I think she's done talking and begin to talk, she again interrupts, cutting me off. I spoke to her once about it, only to receive a caustic reply. How should I handle her?

By anon251770 — On Mar 02, 2012

My office manager is rude and speaks to you so everyone can hear your business.She belittles us and creates animosity among the staff. She is a poor choice for a health care professional.

She speaks ill of her district manager and pretends to be friends. They both deserve each other and I will not let them get the best of me. I am there to work and take care of patients.

I've always loved my job and won't let these passive aggressive personality people break me. I am in control of my feelings.

By anon244254 — On Jan 31, 2012

I am twenty years old. Five months ago, I had left my work at a bakery because my boss had taken me aside and had yelled and got angry and spoke out of place towards me. She managed to say some inappropriate things, which from my understanding, that a boss should not do. She was very cruel and grumpy a large percentage of the time. I was able to tiptoe around her for several months, and keep my head down.

Just lately, I have been thinking about how I should have been the person to contact someone and inform them about what was happening on a daily basis. She was a joy to work for in the first months, and I still to this day miss my job! As time went by, she seemed to get more and more angry with everyday things, and especially at employees. She would regularly vent about every employee while they were on their days off or in the other room. The things she mentioned about all of the employees were very unprofessional and personal. She would very much favor one employee and treat the rest unfairly.

All of the ladies who were working there when I was hired had been there for a year or more. Within a couple of months, I noticed they all were getting fed up with the attitude they were receiving for the last year. The ladies had warned me not to proceed further into this job because I wouldn't like the outcome. And they all eventually quit within the months that I started. There was only one person who had got laid off, and only because she was pregnant!

She hired younger girls to fill the positions of the other ladies. And most of the them didn't have a lot of work experience. She gave them the dirty work and never allowed them to move forward into better work, because she had mentioned that she believed that they were incapable of doing anything else.

I, who have had lots of work experience, saw how unprofessionally our boss was treating them. I felt sorry for them from the beginning.

After my seventh month of working there, I had seen enough. The day she brought me to her office after my shift was done, pushed me to the limits. She left me no other choice but to quit. She wouldn't have ever laid me off because I was an asset to her company, and I do believe she never has laid off anyone before because all the employees just quit.

By anon237749 — On Dec 30, 2011

Recently a employee who is not of the same faith as I sent me good wishes on our religious holiday (Diwali) and how he went to a temple and had nice food but then to be humorous, he said the people at the temple were stinky and smelly. He sent this e-mail to me and another co worker and a manager who are from the same country as I but of a different faith.

I replied, thanking him for the good wishes, but I was reprimanded with couple of memos and possible suspension because I replied to the e-mail, even though I did not say anything or agree to anything offensive. This is more like guilty by association. I wonder if this is legal.

By anon233090 — On Dec 04, 2011

Adding to my comment posted above... I should mention that the coworker in question has been coming in late, leaving early and taking time off with little or no warning in the middle of the day for months now. The original outbursts seemed to start when the producer (boss) spoke to him about these issues. Especially when he tried to take a week off without telling anyone!

So the performance issues with him are a separate thing and have only prefaced, or added to, the environment of fear we work in.

I'm worried about my own job at this point. I can't keep making mistakes. How much is HR responsible for here?

By anon233034 — On Dec 03, 2011

My coworker is also my direct supervisor. We both answer to a boss. My coworker hates our boss. He hated the boss before her and seems to hate a lot of other people as well. In the past six months, he has been verbalizing his feelings towards her in loud, aggressive attacks which consist of him yelling louder and louder and not letting her speak. I honestly don't know how he has managed to keep from getting fired. But a couple of months ago he came into my office and did the same thing to me. He made no sense. He was really scary and I went out into the hallway, so as not to be alone with him. He has been cold and weird towards me ever since. Well, now I've heard that he has since gone into our boss' office and freaked out at her again.

I hear he has always been a little strange, but I'm starting to feel that I am in danger from him. I'm having trouble concentrating on my job and feel sick when I hear him in the hallway. I think they are trying to get rid of him. They've called me into HR and asked a lot of questions about him. The whole thing has got me so upset I can't sleep.

Is any of this right? What can I do to protect myself and my job?

By anon216151 — On Sep 20, 2011

It's hard to hire an attorney for a hostile work environment case when it actually happens in a law office.

All I want to do is speak up and tell him off, but he is such a good lawyer I know i will lose. And the person (his wife, head management) whom he constantly degrades and yells at won't say he does if she's on the bench. She'll probably say she deserved it.

This is so screwed up. I can't quit because I need the money, but in a year or less, when I move, I will so tell him off. And I am planning to record what he says when he yells and use that in court. He can't win a fight over himself!

By anon208669 — On Aug 23, 2011

I work as a temp through manpower for a company that tests electronic parts. I first took this job from the reference of a roommate but things haven't been going so well and I've had trouble fitting in.

I've done my best to keep my head down and do my job, but I've noticed hostile comments from coworkers just to make me feel out of place. (the workforce are majority Mexicans in the labor area) Basically, I feel the routine is to make the person they aren't interested anymore feel out of place and leave. I'm not sure what Manpower's contract is, so perhaps this is their way of trying to usher me out the door.

They've said I was slow (100 percent I'm not and faster than the permanent employees), and they've had one of the girls in department attempt to stir up a dispute with me. What she does is she is working ahead of my workbench space (facing away) then quickly jerks around and stares at me, and she did this repeatedly. I didn't even make contact with her or say anything, and the next thing I know she is speaking to a "higher-up" regarding her being uncomfortable.

In addition, they stare at me from across the room and make jokes constantly, and on the way out today one of the employees called me "diablo" (devil), but I ignored it and walked away. Later on at home, I overheard my roommate (who had helped me get a job in first place) say they were planning on firing me. So are all these underhanded tactics legal? What options do I have?

By gilia — On Aug 12, 2011

I want to write reviews against a company where I worked for six years where all employees are harassed. Can you please advise me on blog websites where I can write complaints anonymously against the company to get justice?

By anon188930 — On Jun 21, 2011

my mother had been working at her job 10 yeas. recently, her ex-manager who left and returned to the post had been nit-picking everything she is doing, even during the time she was out of work a lot due to an illness (recovered). she claims that my mother's work performance had gone down (duh! she was sick!). she had also been telling my mom that she needs to quit and find another job.

is this hostile work environment? i believe so. i don't live with her but every time i see her she's crying or upset because of this person. when this was brought to HR's attention, the person told my mom that he cannot do anything and saying that the manager was doing this because she was stressed? but she wants to do this to her employee? we are trying to pursue legal action against this company. Any advice? -no comment-

By anon180099 — On May 25, 2011

A secretary I shared with another employee was finally let go. This person has been in the secretary position for nearly a year and I spent hundreds of hours instructing and correcting her work. I have not finished reviewing my email (I still have about six months worth to go through) and already have over 300 emails in which I provided guidance on simple, simple matters, over and over, and over again from the beginning to the end. However, the errors - things like, not naming electronic files correctly so I spent hours looking for them, not checking her email and completing assignments so that deadlines were missed, and general incompetence in every assigned task - continued and my bosses finally agreed to let her go.

She left, but not without reading to my bosses (and leaving a copy) of a horrible letter filled with vicious, hateful lies. She alleged that I never taught her anything, but rather expected her to just figure everything out on her own (not true); that I refused to "tell her her errors in an adult manner" but rather yelled at her constantly and she had to figure out what she had done wrong (not true); that she completed every task assigned to her without problems and that I was "Sybil" and she never knew when I was going to go off (not true); and many, many other completely fabricated and untrue items as well as many, many below the belt personal attacks against me. She included the statement that I "created a hostile work environment" and she was unable to do her job. She also stated that she was merely "inexperienced" and was without guidance so it was my fault she couldn't do the job and she was getting fired.

My bosses told me they did not believe any of her diatribe, that many people in the office have been frustrated by this woman's rampant incompetence. Many partners refused to have her do any work on their projects because everyone knew she messed up everything she touched!

So, what's your advice on the other side? When a completely incompetent person is alleging "hostile work environment?" I am a corporate litigation attorney so I know the case would never fly -- if she could even find an atty to file it -- but, do you evaluate the work performance of people who want to file such a lawsuit?

By anon179985 — On May 25, 2011

I work at a company with a newly hired supervisor. He lied to get his position, and despite the company finding out that he lied, he is still there. He constantly yells at everybody, slanders them, threatens to fire them (he has no authority to do so)and belittles and berates everyone. Other than punching his lights out (illegal), management ignores our complaints and he is getting worse. Is a class action suit possible here? Everyone is looking for a new job, or to transfer shifts.

If I quit, can I get unemployment based on this? I can't stand working there anymore.

By anon178781 — On May 22, 2011

I work in a retirement home as a administrator assistant.

My boss, the owner of the facility, said he had several complaints about me talking about other employees and that I need to learn how to be a better supervisor.

This is a small facility, and I do everything there from nursing and housekeeping, to cooking. I don't mind this -- whatever it takes to get the job done. I work 60 plus hours every week, and I am on salary. I have never sat down and calculated my pay because I know it is going to be less than minimum wage.

We had a staff meeting on Wednesday, My boss belittled me and another employee in front of everyone. I am the one who keeps his facility going.

He works about six hours a week. The rest of the time he is running around with his family taking trips. He doesn't help me with anything. If there is an emergency at work, he tells the staff to call me.

On Thursday, another employee and myself "spring cleaned" the facility, and he was there. He didn't complain not one time about how nasty the place was, nor did he thank us for doing the housekeeper's job. When staff complains about the housekeeper, he says he will talk to him but never does.

Now on Friday, my day off we had a "call-out", so I had to go in and work once again. The owner came in, and I told him that I would like to have a meeting with him and another employee who said I was putting her information "out in the streets". He said he would not have a meeting with her or any other employee.

He also told me several employees said that information has been getting out and I am the one who's been going around telling it and that people don't trust me. I asked him what information and what employees? Because if I am being accused of something, then I have the right to face my accusers. He got ticked and told me to take a week off. He then followed me outside and was telling me I need classes on how to be a great supervisor and while I am out, I need to think about what I have done.

Later on that day, he called me at home and said that complaints came from employees who had left the company over a year ago and employees working now. He did said that I need to stop being nice and stop talking to employees. I have been at this job for over seven years and have never been written up or ever receive a verbal warning.

I am very hurt, confused, and feel used. Since this happened, I have not been able to hold my meals down, I have been getting migraines and my Lupus has been acting up on me. I'm afraid I will in up in the hospital because of this mess.

I go back to work next week. I don't know what is going to happen next. What can I do about this? Someone please help me. I am so depressed. I did nothing wrong.

By anon175025 — On May 11, 2011

I work as a paraprofessional in a very large school district in the "Bible Belt." I have done this job for almost 10 years, with students ranging from pre-k through age 16, and the parents all tell me they love me, love how I treat their kids, etc, etc. The kids who are verbal tell me they love me all the time. Some of them even tell me they wish I were their parent.

The problem I am dealing with is actually a two-fold issue.

One of my coworkers, who has only been doing this job for a couple of years, seems to only be interested in causing and stirring up drama. She is engaged to a man who is a federally convicted child molester, and she asks him to come onto our school property on average once every other month, which of course, breaks his parole. I reported this action to my site union rep, who then reported it to our principal, each visit, but because the principal and campus police officer do not ever make it out to the parking lot until after he is gone, it is a case of "my word against hers", even though she announces it to everyone in our building that her fiance was at school. So each time, nothing is done about his visits.

The most recent time he visited, my union rep was out sick, so when I called her for advice, she said I was legally required to report his visit. I asked the principal to keep it anonymous, but when they called my coworker into the office (for the first time in over two years of the fiance's visits) to discuss it with her, the principal and the campus cop both asked her "what sort of grievance would (I) have against her?" which totally broke confidentiality! She got so mad that she stormed out of the office, texted our "boss teacher" (who had known all along that the fiance was up there each time) that she was "too mad to stay at school with (me)" and was going home.

All we knew was that she drove out of the parking lot like someone had lit her tail on fire. She also was not docked pay for leaving in the middle of her shift, nor was she written up for letting her fiance on school property. Because of FERPA laws, I am legally not allowed to alert any of our students' parents know that a convicted sex offender comes up to school, but I feel like if it were my kid, I would want to know.

The other part of my harassment is my "boss teacher." I knew when I took this job that he was a "prankster," but I never realized how mean he could be! He stuffs our special ed students' pockets full of dry oatmeal, pours taco seasoning, cinnamon, Bac-O's, etc, in our (employee's) hair, has sabotaged other teacher's rooms, etc. He even went so far as to tell me earlier this week that "All it would take is one phone call from me (teacher) and (I) would be fired." I have to say, after all his crap, I told him to "go ahead and make the call!" (I had previously been told by a coworker that that tactic has worked for her in the past.)

He is now refusing to sign his employment contract for next year unless I am fired, and where we live, there are almost no teachers qualified to do his job. I worry that since I am "just" a para, while he is a certified teacher, that the school board will take his side in this matter. The fact that he threatens to quit every year should have some bearing, but he is well-liked by some of the powers that be, who don't know him very well. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

By anon171763 — On May 01, 2011

I'm 17 and I am currently a college student and my tutor is causing me a lot of grief. One time he marched up to me and he started pointing at me and calling me a liar. He has destroyed my life and I am on medication for my anxiety. When I see him in college, he glares at me and and is just being really mean, reading 200 pages and reciting them and making me embarrassed in front of the class.

I have broken down once in front of my main tutor and complained twice but nothing is being done. If someone out there could give me advice, that would be great.

By anon170917 — On Apr 28, 2011

I work for a transportation company where it is impossible to get ahead. The management has a pet. She goes to all management after work events. She has slept with every manager in the company. This is known because she talks to them in front of everyone and their drunken evenings keep pouring out during the day. It is something they talk about like it is normal.

We have walked in on her and many of them in various stages in offices, etc. We thought it was funny for a while. Then everything changed- she started getting all kinds of perks for her behavior, e.g., they are making positions for her where she will have few work duties yet a great pay system. She has told us the next job is hers and we might as well not apply.

She spends long lunch hours with different managers and now she has been provided a company credit card. While this is none of our business, we have had to do her work. She comes in late all the time and hung over. She is doing nothing. It only takes a quick look around the office to see who is hung over as well to see who she was with the night before.

We all are struggling to keep up and when we don't we get yelled at and are made to work overtime. We all have families and this is getting out of hand. A few people have made complaints yet they are dismissed. Most of us have begun looking for new jobs but we can't all find one immediately. I have been at this position for many years and don't want to leave. I can't believe this is happening. It sounds like something out of a movie. This is the most unethical and hostile environment I have ever been a part of and it used to not be this way. It used to be a great place to work until she was hired.

By anon167715 — On Apr 13, 2011

I have been working at Panda Express for about a month now and when I was hired, the ACO of the company interviewed me and i could tell he didn't really like me, but he ended up leaving the decision to my friend to hire me because my friend was a store manager.

Ever since then, the ACO visits the stores and it seems like he is trying to pick on me because he didn't want to hire me in the first place and then he acts really nice to the other employees. Every time he comes to my store, he watches me the whole time and picks out little mistakes and gets mad at me about them and it's gotten to the point where I am so stressed out by it that I get anxiety attacks when i have to go to work and have nervous breakdowns.

All i try to do when he is there is try to act polite and do my job and all i get back is negative feedback. I am at the point of quiting the job and i don't know what to do.

By anon165309 — On Apr 04, 2011

I am tired of all people that treat other people bad. You all should be ashamed of yourself, life is too short.

By anon164618 — On Apr 01, 2011

I have been at my job almost 12 years. In the last six to eight months, we have gone to cubicles, with three of us in a room. My issue is an employee sleeping at his desk almost 3/4 of the day, and if not sleeping, he is playing an online video game. His 'title' is Project Manager, and he has a degree (big whoop).

He may do a couple conference calls during the week, or attend a couple meetings, but mainly he sleeps and plays games. I have pics on my work phone from different days, different color shirts, of him flat out sleeping. The snoring is horrible. He has a medical problem, and I mentioned this to my boss when I made the complaint to him about the snoring. I asked to either be moved or to move him. No success. I was told to let it go.

I cannot concentrate on my duties listening to snoring all day. I work two jobs and burn the candle at both ends, but I stay awake and do my job daily. Now the past week, I have been told to watch my time, that I am taking too much time off. Nothing in writing, just verbal. Plus, my attitude needs to change. My reply, make my workplace better, and I will be better. Nothing was done. I love my job, and I don't want to quit.

Also, this person was caught by me and several other employees a while back, looking at a porno site on his pc. I guess I should have followed through then with harassment complaint, but he swore it wouldn't happen again and I didn't want him to lose his job. Now all this other stuff happens.

I have to do something or I will snap. There is another co-worker next to me who also deals with the issue. It's just that he is remote most of the day and doesn't hear it all day as I do. Nothing is being done, an my boss now finds fault in everything I do. Is this grounds for a complaint? Any info would be appreciated.

By anon164147 — On Mar 30, 2011

My support coordinator's daughter should work a few hours with one of my clients and because she chooses either to not show up at work or to come and get in the arguments with the client, I was blamed for my clients’ unhappiness!

I didn't want to fight back because the coordinator is also the union chef steward and I applied for a new position to work. Not smart because now I am in a hostile work environment and wherever I tried from the beginning, to resign, now I feel like I have to do it in order to keep my sanity.

By farmwife88 — On Mar 12, 2011

I have worked for a local school district for the past 16 years. Last August one of the families that I transport for got upset with our head of transportation for changing my route and proceeded to bring charges against my bus aid for improperly restraining their son and hurting him. They also accused me of allowing bullying to go on to the extent that their child was going to hang himself in his bedroom. The parents voluntarily removed the child from my bus until an investigation was done, and their demands were met my the school district.

Since that time, the investigation has been completed, and we were both found innocent of all charges, but we have been made to take a bus with a camera on it so they can watch us at all times. A separate private aid, who is not a member of our local union, has been placed on our bus. The district has also changed my route three times this year because the "family didn't like certain other children riding the bus with their son".

Now we get to the good stuff. Our head of transportation is responsible for all of this. He combined my route with another existing route last august and that's were the problem started. Their son got home 12 minutes later than previous years and like I said, they didn't like the other kids, so they did whatever it took to get their way. Our boss has lied and intimidated not only me and my aid but several other employees at our compound.

We have gone to our local union, and even our state union field representative and tried to get legal advice from OAPSE, but were told we didn't need it, that deep down he's a nice guy and to give him a chance. My aid was in such bad shape after the allegations that her doctor took her off work for several months, so now she is trying to transfer out of our department and when the bid for a new job came up last week he told our route supervisor not to sign her bid form for her. He was the only one who could do it. That's a lie, and he called in sick Thursday and Friday and the bid is up Monday.

He has even knowingly tried to prove one of our drivers mentally unstable and had her on administrative leave for four months because she failed to report abusive and harassing letters she received at work. He denied any knowledge and had everyone in HR convinced she made it all up for attention. He even went as far as forbidding the supervisors from talking to this employee.

Last year, at one of our compound meetings, he even referred to one of our co workers as (I hate even repeating this) as his “Little Token". I'm not even going to explain that because it's obvious what he's talking about. This is what we deal with every day. I makes me sick knowing I have to go into this every day. I go out of my way to avoid this man on a daily basis, but I don't feel I should have to deal with this at work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

By anon154611 — On Feb 21, 2011

I only have three months on my new job. i basically work with customers in the finance industry. I'm starting to hate my job since i know that I'm in a hostile work environment. I have two bosses. One is the branch manager and the other one is the assistant. I know in my heart they don't like me since I'm the kind of person that i like to do my job and go home (really straight forward person). I don't like to talk about my personal issues or make comments about customers' lives.

i don't care about anybody's business and i don't care either to hear their personal problems. unfortunately most of the time that's all they do with other employees. every time a customer walks out the door they start to talk about them (and i really hate it).

they micromanage the entire branch without make it obvious, but i know they do it. they constantly talk with each other about me about what I'm doing or why I'm doing what I'm doing at that time. Every time the manager brings new business to the branch she always gives to the assistant the work, so this way she will get the credit for it.

The assistant pretends that she doesn't know anything about of what I'm doing so this way she makes me look bad in front of the manager.

I just want to go to work and do my duties and go home.

By wrongedwife — On Feb 08, 2011

I work part time at a place where my husband is the manager. He had an affair with an employee (the owner's daughter). Now that we have decided to work on our marriage, and he has stopped the affair. I have been cut from two days to one. Is there anything that I can do? The owners knew that the affair was going on for several months and did nothing to stop it or terminate any kind of employment.

By anon150582 — On Feb 08, 2011

I work for a retail store and last friday, i was doing recovery then another employee was putting something back where i was and the boss walks by and tells him, as i was doing my job and says to him if iventory doesn't look good before thursday when the big bosses come in that she is to make our lives miserable in the next year and that is a threat to me.

What should i do about it because she told me before when i got the job she was one of the nicest people that you can get along, but i don't trust her anymore. this stinks so bad. -J

By anon149738 — On Feb 05, 2011

I have been at this office for 5 years,and used to really love my job but its getting harder to stay there. favoritism and bullying are commonplace with no end in sight.

my boss has a pet who can do just about anything and get away with it. The rest of us are stuck dealing with the mess she leaves behind, like swearing and not showing up for shifts.

The rest of us are held to a very high standard (fine), but when this person doesn't show for work one of us gets a call to work and if for some reason we can't cover her shift, it is held against us, and this happens all the time.

The boss expects the rest of us to tolerate her lack of work ethic and abusive comments. The boss continues to lie and cover for this person. I feel powerless.

By anon144896 — On Jan 21, 2011

I have a hostile situation at work that I am caught in the middle of right now. There is a mix of 50/50 black and white people in my store. Because i am a gay white male, both sides feel they can confide in me. I have heard several racist remarks from both. Each side believes the other to be racist and they compete against each other.

I have heard comments from my own management when I ask a question about a procedure, my Haitian boss says, "I don't know anything, I am just a dumb girl from the little island." Another one of my supervisors has told me, "My problem is white people. If I didn't have to deal with them, my life would be fine."

Then on the flip side, the white people sense this hostility and talk about it. I know i can do nothing about it, because no company would fire an african american for being a racist. Unheard of. So now I am in a position where the racist is the HR manager and runs one side of the store, and the white guy runs the other and they both hate each other.

They divide themselves and don't work as a team and then both yell at me when things don't get done. It's an absolutely horrible situation. The one is in charge of the schedule, and she will purposely give her side more labor and short the other guys department. The GM is worthless and has no spine. I am stuck.

By anon139165 — On Jan 03, 2011

Black Jack. You need to do two things: First, inform the boss that you will report him and the employees to the police or FBI. Tell him then he will have no business, the employees will have no jobs, you will sue him and the employees, if you have to, for creating this work environment, and that he is wrecking his company.

Next, get a microcassette that can fit into your pants pocket. test it with the volume turned up but not to distort it. Then, record a number of conversations and meetings. Also, record when he is berating you.

You do not have to have permission to record a conversation face-to-face.

Last. Take back your authority from people. Tell them if they screw up you will fire them. At least write them up and document it all! God bless you and your family. --Dave

By anon138359 — On Dec 31, 2010

I work in an environment that is the old time brute force management style. After being there only two months, and making significant strides on accounts that were neglected for 1.5 years, I was told I misrepresnted myself in the interview, was told I am not meeting expectations

When I asked for buy ins and ideas, my boss responds "you are a big girl". I am sick to my stomach every day and I have only been there two months, of which one month I was in classroom training. I have changed the entire process flow of a multi million dollar customer and have resolved over half a million dollars in this short time yet I am not meeting expectations.

Note that what I am working on has nothing to do with the job I was hired to do. I am considering a lawyer for defamation of character.

By anon133394 — On Dec 10, 2010

I work at a very challenging job, one that's being made impossible by management. I was a manager for two years, but was then asked to give up "just my title" because it would "look bad to have so many managers" when the new owners took over. My duties and pay would remain the same.

Someone who tried taking over my department in the past in a very sneaky, self-serving way was just made my boss. She knows I was adamantly opposed to this and had been vocal about it. Now it seems she's looking for every possible thing she can to build a case to fire me. The latest incident was questioning why I didn't punch out as though I was trying to get away with something. She made sure I didn't receive my pay for that day while they're "investigating." I went from being trusted as a manager to being treated like this.

I cry all the time, I'm unable to sleep and my anxiety is through the roof. I feel like I have to tolerate this or leave and get no unemployment. What's worse is the director stabbed me in the back and has taken this person's side because she's trying to prove herself to the new owners and keep her job.

She reamed me out for basically being unhappy, inflexible and that I should just deal with it. I left work that day wondering if I should just give up, maybe even end my life. I'm taking leave right now to get help but I fear this will be used against me once I return. In fact I fear my new boss is busy trying to figure out how to force me out once I get back. Is this a hostile work environment situation? If so what do I do?

By anon129297 — On Nov 23, 2010

HR and most unions are useless when it comes to employee matters! You're better off going to an outside agency such as EEO, an employment lawyer, and the police in these matters. Make sure you document everything, and you can even secretly tape / video record events at work!

By anon129274 — On Nov 22, 2010

I am the vice president of a small company (about 20 employees). I have worked for this company for 20 years and worked my way up through the ranks.

My supervisor, the owner, has been buying prescription medication from an employee who I'm responsible for. This has been going on for about five years. All of my staff is aware of what is going on. Needless to say, it has completely undermined my ability to successfully manage the crew. They all feel I can't discipline them because they can use this against me.

They go over my head and the owner (now a full blown drug addict). I feel compassion for the man and would like to offer him my support. The problem is he is now continually disciplining me because of my lack of "management control." This problem is a direct consequence of his actions. Not my management skills.

My career is in jeopardy because of his unethical decisions to buy drugs from his employees. It has gotten bad. He is nodding off in meetings and generally making bad financial decisions. These issues are a direct result of his personal decisions. The stress I have been through because of this has had a major effect on me. I can't sleep, worry all the time and fear for my long term employment.

I have two beautiful little girls and a devout wife. My girls count on me to provide for them. This creep is risking everything. What can I do? I can't continue to work in this environment. --BLACKJack

By anon127061 — On Nov 15, 2010

I have been working for this agency as a dispatcher for just under a year now. I work with a specific individual that causes a very hostile environment.

He is a black male and i am a white male. my co-worker has made several racial remarks about my heritage and being white. he also doesn't do any work and sleeps all shift leaving me with all the work.

he also does several rude and inappropriate things such as fart, burp, sing, and whistle. the whistling doesn't bother me as much, but the other does. it's just me and this individual working at a time for 12 hours in a small room. I've asked him to stop several times and just doesn't listen. there is no respect for me or any other co worker. my other co worker went to talk to my boss about it and it was just swept under the rug. well he has disrespected me for the last time.

i just can't take the racial abuse anymore. i know enough not to say anything back because with me being white, i would get fired before he could. does anyone think i have a case for hostile work environment? it's affecting my work greatly! thanks.

By anon126357 — On Nov 12, 2010

I have been physically assaulted twice at my job. I work as a supervisor where the upper management hires mostly friends and relatives.

On one occasion I was attempting to discipline an employee with a write up for violating the company call off policy when the employee flew into a rage and swung at me and pushed me. I didn't press charges because I just wanted to do what would be right for the company. The assault was brushed under the rug because the employee was a friend of upper management but he was moved to another work site eventually.

The second time I was sitting at a table after a training session talking to another supervisor when the janitor walked up to me and started swinging and kicking me. turns out the guy has known mental problems. I did not press charges because of his problems but did file a statement with the police.

It is getting to the point that I am afraid to go to work because I am afraid of getting beat up again.

By anon125885 — On Nov 10, 2010

I have worked at my job full time for three years and part time before that for two years. I deal with the public every day. I get almost no respect at all from the public, other than comments of "How did you ever get this job?" (Gosh, I applied for it). If I answer their questions, they think I'm being a snot and report me. If I don't answer them at all, I'm a snob, and they report me.

I was told not to let the public bully me when I was hired. I work with another female employee who wasn't trained properly for her job and I have to clean up her messes every shift. I have asked her to do her job (check loads, tell the public where they should be taking what is in their load, etc.), she just won't or can't be assertive enough to get people to do what they should. When I try to explain to the customers that what they are bringing in has to be handled in a far different and safer manner than what they were told by her, the office says I'm being rude to customers. The co-workers' friends, church members and extended family (very small town!) seem to be getting 'deals' from this person, who has not bothered to let the rest of the site staff know about.

One percent or less of customers complain when I tell them that there are rules that pertain to what they are doing. "Since when?" they say. "I didn't make the rules, I was told to enforce them", I say, and risk getting called into the office because I'm being a witch, or not smiling (the female workers have been told to smile at customers, by our all male supervisory staff), or that I'm yelling (over very loud machinery that has to run in order to perform my job) at customers. The co-worker walks on water because she is from the community and is related in some way to nearly everyone that drives onto the property (and some of the management).

This is causing physical and mental pain because of lost and/or disturbed sleep. I have anxiety attacks every time the phone at work rings and another message to call the supervisor comes in.

I have a chance to take another position within the department, but that would entail losing hours, mileage reimbursements (which make the job almost pay what it is really worth) and taking shifts which I don't feel qualified to do (and would cause more contact with the public, and more complaining, etc.)

Also, at every employee review, past “problems” keep getting brought up, even though I was told, with a union witness, that whatever “problems” with customers I had in the past would not be brought up again. Three years ago, I had a customer tell me "Leave it to (Management) to hire a bleeping woman for this job!", but he didn't say 'woman', it was the 'c' word. I was told that his tirade was my fault. I was sent to a management-approved and paid-for psychologist who said I was working in a hostile work environment at the time. Apparently management didn't like getting it kicked back at them, so my past problems keep getting coughed up even though I agreed to talk to the psych with the proviso that if i did, the 'problems' wouldn't keep getting brought up. Ha!

Management (e.g., the supervisor that acts as the go-between) has told me to look for another position. I go in to the office next week (with my union steward, a nice guy, but ineffectual, in my opinion), to find out what they (management) have decided to do with me 'this time' and it can't be good.

I do my job according to managements' written down rules. 99.9 percent of the customers have no problem following safe practices. Those .1 percent cause so many problems. My other co-workers say they have no complaints on me at all. I make their jobs easier, since they know that what has to be done, it gets done, and is done well.

I will be badly injured if the co-worker isn't re-trained (which I have asked, begged and pleaded for, for two years). She has caused several customers to just scream at me because of her horrible directions. She just laughs and says I "take my job too seriously".

I have been told for three years to just not talk to the customers at all, by management. If I don't talk to them, they call up the office and I'm a witch again. The public demands assistance with their loads; we workers have been told not to handle anything brought into our facilities so as to avoid injury to ourselves. If I don't help them with their loads, they call the office. I work with this woman one day a week. The other days, the man who does the same job never helps customers with their loads and they don't expect him to. He is younger than I am, taller and stronger, but no one complains to the office that he doesn't come out of the office to help them get out of the facility faster. His excuse? He has injured himself doing the rest of the job, so he has to 'take it easy'. He also told the management 'what they could do with themselves' a number of years ago, so they are scared to death of him. He does no wrong. Of course we have workman's comp, but since this is a county facility, we are a 'self-insured' shop.

I'm sure I sound as though I'm ranting. If a job is seemingly 'driving a person to drink', as they might say, isn't that a hostile work environment?

By anon123145 — On Oct 31, 2010

I have endured approximately two years of ongoing torment by my supervisor. She has called me into her office on at least two occasions and swore at me about something. There is one incident where she swore at me in front of a co-worker. I was present during 1 occasions where she swore at another employee.

There are also occurrences of sexual harassment, such as placing a picture of a male on my work station, as well as discussing her breast size when she was pregnant, and a physical gesture related to a statement of 6 inches.

This situation has escalated recently with me coming home in tears each night and a recent outbreak of hives not attributable to allergies.

Last week I finally had enough and when she called me into her office I defended myself. In doing so I swore at her. She also swore at me during this exchange. Needless to say HR has suspended me as I was the only one heard swearing by anyone else in the office. I have been suspended without pay.

It is important to note that I made contact with her supervisor on two occasions regarding the swearing and was told that we needed to work it out. I attempted to contact our HR department on the day of my confrontation, but was unable to talk with them prior to the meeting. Now I am being told that there is no record of my complaints as I did not take them to HR.

Is there anything that I can do? I feel like my career has been destroyed and I have no recourse.

By anon119538 — On Oct 18, 2010

I've been working for the same employer for years. when the new boss got hired, his personality and the way he talked to people wasn't digested easily. he received three complaints. Fast forward a year later, my boss was written up for not completing an assignment by his boss, the CEO, while he was on vacation.

My boss called me while he was on vacation and cursed me out of the phone, yelling, saying that I was to blame for him getting written up. I tried to explain my actions to him, but he repeatedly cut me off. His tone was threatening and abusive. Thank the Lord, I had a witness listen in on the phone call.

After my boss hung up on me, I went directly to HR and let them know what happened. I put in a complaint about him. I was stressed out from the minute i put in the complaint because my boss was still on vacation and I dreaded his return.

Its now Monday morning and my boss is back. He asked to speak with me and I told him that I would feel more comfortable if a rep from HR was present. He said "well you can make it easy, or you can make it hard." I did not respond.

We had a meeting with HR and i told him that he does not have the right to yell at me, curse at me, or speak to me the way that he did. he said that he has every right to yell if he gets angry. he said that he had talked with his boss and cleared everything up and that he wasn't sorry for calling and that he got mad for a good reason.

I told him that his apology was not accepted. And he said well then, you're going to make life hard on yourself. I don't think HR is going to do anything. It's another case of the good ol' boy network.

By anon118115 — On Oct 12, 2010

I work for a large teaching hospital. I have been his administrative assistant for a doctor for over 15 years. He feels that he can yell, scream and berate me in front of the nurses, other staff, medical students, residents for totally minor infractions.

This occurs on a regular basis, such as in a very loud tone so everyone can hear "What did I tell you?" "What did I tell you?" He is an extremely angry man and I feel that this hostility has gone on long enough.

I wouldn't talk to a dog the way he talks to me. I am his secretary. Nobody reports him because he is a big bully and everyone is afraid of him. I can't talk with him about his anger because he is like a pit bull dog, he will get angrier at me for mentioning it. Administration wouldn't pay attention to me because he brings the most money into the hospital. What recourse do I have besides quitting?

By anon116847 — On Oct 08, 2010

I don't really think asking you not to take personal calls on company time is creating a hostile work environment. How much advance notice did you give for needing the time off? Most companies have procedures and need to know a certain amount of time in advance to approve time off.

While it is commendable for you to take on volunteer work for the school, it shouldn't be at the cost of your job. That is more a decision that falls on you and how much of a workload you are taking on/can handle.

As far as your questions go, you should report problems with co-workers to your supervisor. If your problems are not addressed, then you work your way up the ladder.

Good luck!

By anon116550 — On Oct 07, 2010

I've only been working at my new job for a few months and two of my co-workers are making my life miserable. If I have a comment or question regarding a certain format or process, I'm told to not question it, just do it. It's not my place to question anything.

My child's school is doing a fundraiser and I'm the chairwoman for it, so I have received two phone calls regarding the fundraiser and I chose to take them outside of my work area. I was told by one office mate that if I spent less time chatting on the phone then I would get my work done. This is a volunteer activity and now I'm being punished for it.

I asked for a half day off recently and when my supervisor found out it was for the fundraiser, she denied my request. I was told to not even think of calling in sick, because I would be fired.

Why should it matter that I've taken two personal phone calls and requested a half day off? Why am I being belittled when I ask questions; I just want to understand my job? I actually threw up when I had to go into my office the other day. Is this a hostile work environment?

By anon115771 — On Oct 04, 2010

This is interesting because my dad has advised that I at least throw the words "hostile work environment" out to my boss to kind of put a scare in him. Unfortunately, I don't know if it meets the typical legal parameters, but I don't know that I'd ever pursue legal action except as a last resort anyway.

Long story made as short as possible, I have a coworker who can be just nasty in terms of the way she treats people and treats me. Years ago, she screamed at me in front of everyone because I forgot to do something I wasn't used to doing, and she got yelled at and decided to take it out on me. This went on from there to snide little comments sometimes, but what really got me was her going behind my back to try to tell our boss I wasn't doing my job the way I was supposed to be. While he more or less ignored her, it created almost a paranoid feeling of, "I wonder what she's saying about me now." She's very secretive and when she talks to someone else in the branch as far as an employee or manager it's almost like it has to be in a whisper.

There was a time when I moved to a different warehouse in the company and while I was there, I was made full time and given a position where I was basically above her and in some ways her boss (but not really a manager). The problem is I'm too nice and she has been in my head still. I probably haven't asserted myself enough around her, for a variety of reasons. The real problem at this time is our current manager, who has been with us for seven months. He's now gotten to the point where, when she tells him something about me, he almost always at least half believes it.

Just this morning he said he was mad because I wasn't making efficient use of my time like he suggested, because I didn't leave our branch until 4:00 or after. He said I seem to walk around like I'm in a daze sometimes, and maybe I have something on my mind. Well heck yeah, I do. I'm tired of getting stabbed in the back, wondering if I'm getting stabbed in the back, and constantly having to walk on eggshells around one person because I don't know if something is going to set them off.

She told him that I was spreading rumors about her that I was saying she was a slut. He told me that she said I was doing that and I was so dumbfounded. All I could say was, "And you believe her?" He said he didn't know, he wasn't here. That's his answer to almost everything. "I don't know, I'm just going by what I was told". I told him she's worked with me long enough to know I wouldn't say that about anyone. He just said, "I would hope not", which is kind of like saying, "O.K., I'll half-heartedly believe you to be nice and keep you from getting upset.”

This person complains, back stabs, and whines about having to "do everything", but when we're encouraged to help her to "keep her happy" and I ask if she needs help she just smiles and says, "No thank you." Yet, as my dad has pointed out, she doesn't "do everything" because there's a very vital part of her job duties and job description that she almost never does, and because every manager has allowed the situation to continue and the current one has even escalated it, I have to do that portion of her job.

This morning, when my boss said I wasn't efficient with my time because I didn't leave until 4:00 or after, I asked, "Were you here?" and he said, no, but I believe it because I know how you are. He said I need to change to do things his way so he can trust me and says he talked to three managers before him who have said I get hyper, want to do things my way instead of their way, and lollygag around. Which is funny, because none of those managers really said much of anything about it to me that I can recall, maybe the lollygagging around in at least one manager's opinion, but he tended to just lose his temper and yell and scream when he got upset about that, which achieves nothing positive.

To the best of my recollection, I've never had a performance evaluation that can be remotely considered poor or substandard as a whole or even perhaps on any individual item. Yet I get this today, and he says if I don't change then he's not going to leave me in charge. The real beauty might be not only that, but the fact that this person who's been constantly stabbing me in the back and making my life hell, but I'm supposed to “make her feel good.”

I was told by my boss a couple of days ago to make sure I tell this person how nice the carpets look because she spent a lot of time on them to clean them up for us (even though he told her the day before not to come in that early since it was her day off), but I should tell her that to "make her feel good". Because the whole message seems to be, "we have to keep her happy because she does so much around here, we can't have her quit, and I (my boss) don't want her to come complaining to me." Sorry, no thank you!

As an aside, this person is nasty to more than just me. One of our less than physically fit contractors, who is a bit older and walks with a cane, told me more than one time that this person treats her poorly. Then one day as she's walking toward this person's office day, she yells clear from the other side of the building, "Hey, what's Waddles (as a term of degradation for her physical state) doing walking into my office?” There's another person who says there's a big difference when I'm there and this person is not because people aren't as on edge, and when she's around there's this feeling of confrontation. And of course, she caused an employee to quit a couple of years ago when she and one of her buddies called him a loser and bad mouthed him behind his back. They were running this person into the ground, totally trashing him, and he walked into the conversation.

I go into work dreading that place because of one person, really two now. I'm looking around, but it's hard to find much in the area that fits in with my skills and experience that would just allow me to leave and not look back.

By anon115186 — On Oct 01, 2010

I have been at my job for seven years. Recently, my boss was fired after one of my coworkers complained about the way we were being treated. This coworker was then promoted to assistant manager. One day I said something that I guess she didn't like and she said, "you saw what happened with our old boss and the same thing can happen to you."

She watches us like a hawk. Every little thing we say and do is documented and reported to the new boss. I just got written up for a very minor infraction. She listens to our phone calls and is constantly chastising us. I can't work like this much longer. Is this a hostile work environment?

By anon115131 — On Sep 30, 2010

my manager hates me and i know this because he ignores me all the time and when my other co workers come in he talks to them. Now he is constantly bringing my mistakes to my attention but when his friend makes mistakes he doesn't bring it to either their attention or the boss' attention.

Now i have discussed the way he speaks to me with my boss and him and unfortunately it went in one ear and out the other. The manager is a long term friend of the owner (boss) and i feel like he favors him over me because nothing gets done.

What can i do? I need help because it's becoming a stressful environment for me. I have been getting sick lately and migraines like daily and i cannot work in an environment where i am trying to learn and the manager in this case is preventing me from doing it and telling my boss i am in the way.

By anon112842 — On Sep 22, 2010

I work at a major retail company and have been having problems with the management as of late.

I'm a part time employee, and for the past month have been getting close to full-time hours. This was okay in the summer, but since college has started I cannot juggle 18 units and 30-plus hours per week and be expected to pass my classes with As.

My supervisor and I spoke, and mind you, the only thing I said in regards to hours was that "I needed more time for school, I cannot be working seven or eight hour shifts every weekday." I expected him to reduce my shifts to about four or five hours and make my weekly hours 15-20. Yet the next week he only gave me one day to work, and at a time that did not correspond with my availability.

After this incident, I spoke with my manager again, and he insinuated that the reason I was decreasing my availability was not because I needed more time to study, but that I wanted these hours so I could "party it up" so to speak. This is not true. My mind is on school. I am a junior and I need to pass my six classes in order to graduate. Partying is the last thing on my mind. He then tried to persuade me and guilt me into increasing my availability, which is not flexible.

Is this considered a hostile environment? I don't even like going into work anymore and would rather stay at home that work when I know he will be there.

By anon112712 — On Sep 21, 2010

It is not legal for any of these things to be happening talk to a lawyer and if your work fires you because you started a report that is illegal. it does not matter if you're on the clock or at a bar and your boss is there giving you crap. anything discussed outside of work will be the same.-- The Lawyer

By anon111652 — On Sep 17, 2010

My boss' wife comes into our small office occasionally to visit with him. She has been making little snide comments about my age. Such as, when my last long term relationship ended, she stated something to the effect of "Well, it is a good thing you didn't continue on for about ten years with him, then you would be even more cougary."

I have since gotten married and she was quick to comment, "Wow, I guess when you're older you don't waste any time dating." Also, "Since you got your bangs cut, I guess you won't need botox on your forehead." When our office moved to a new location, she said, "I was so happy to see that there were women in the building who were your age."

Funny thing is, she is only two years younger than I am. But the comments bother me. Her husband (my boss) is never around when she says these things.

By anon111001 — On Sep 14, 2010

I work for a state agency in a division that provides facility management including construction.

One of the construction supervisors makes inappropriate comments and jokes. A coworker reported him for sexual harassment. I was called as a witness. During the investigation, I heard him make another inappropriate comment, which I immediately reported. A second case was opened.

He is covered by a union; my coworker and I are not.

Since he is a long standing employee with no documentation, this was considered a first offense and he was told not to do it again. Several others defend him saying, "that's just him" or "you're working in construction - hello"!

There have been many anonymous complaints about me and my coworker, all of which turned out to be unfounded. However, I am tired of having to defend everything I do. It got so bad for my coworker, she quit and now they are now focused solely on me, calling me a whistleblower now, which again was determined to be unfounded.

Is this considered a hostile work environment and/or harassment? Is there anything I can do to protect myself since the complaints are all left anonymously?

By anon110902 — On Sep 13, 2010

I recently received an evaluation where the VP of my department, my supervisor and the one month old HR director were present. They said nothing of my evaluation until the end when they handed it to me.

It was a shock after four previous reviews that were "exceeds requirements" that on my fifth year evaluation I am hit with "below requirements" and five pages of non-factual examples and slandering.

When I researched my emails to rebut her accusations, my conversations in e-mail to demonstrate her hostility toward me were purged from my account. I have no defense. They are setting the stage for me to be fired due to my performance and so that I won't be able to get unemployment if needed.

This comes after two years of harassment/bullying, multiple requests to VP for assistance with the matter and two complaints to HR, where nothing was ever done. What can I do?

By anon110214 — On Sep 11, 2010

i work for a reputable company and am constantly the source of workplace gossip. would this be considered workplace harassment?

By anon109814 — On Sep 09, 2010

I would like to see the answer to #128. The same thing is happening to me. I am the HR Coordinator and a manager has told two of her employees that they may not talk to me professionally or personally. These employees must go to her with any HR questions.

By anon107610 — On Aug 31, 2010

I was told by a fellow employee that they were told (by their manager) not to talk to me or they would be fired. Now no one talks to me, so I go about my day felling stressed and uneasy. I cannot go to upper management because this is where the "order" came from.

Is this considered a hostile work environment for me and would i be able to collect unemployment if I quit?

By anon104487 — On Aug 16, 2010

My counselor stated that i needed to write down everything that has happened to me and forget about it and move on, to remain sane.

My boss and supervisor hate me. I have a higher degree than they do, and with more experience and certifications. I applied for a supervisor position and was turned down, despite great feedback from upper administration.

Since not getting the position, I have been doing a supervisor's job without the pay and with severe attitude from my superiors. I have applied for a weekend position in order to get a masters degree, but it was given to a new nurse over me, which is against hospital policy.

Now everything that I do is questioned, and I am treated with hostility and told that i am lying. I had a report written in my personnel record about how I am not 'normal' and need counseling from a psychologist. Unfortunately, I live in TX, which means that I can be fired for no reason and 'black-balled.' I am looking for another job.

By anon103477 — On Aug 12, 2010

I recently got fired from the paraprofessional field because someone had called in and said that my client was left alone by himself. I was fired on the spot without investigation. Can my company do this and if not what can I do about it.

By anon103141 — On Aug 10, 2010

I work in a small health care facility where patients generally spend the night.

In the past, a patient was allowed to bring a gun into the facility which caused the employees to be on edge. Our company is all about patient satisfaction. Last night, I worked alone with a patient who said he was a cop. He brought his gun. I did not like it but I knew that it had been allowed in the past. I was sure that if I had caused a stink about it then I would not be satisfying the patient and therefore would lose my job.

We document things heavily so I documented the fact that this guy brought a gun with him. Well, my boss called me to verify that he had a gun and started trying to cover herself by saying that I should have called her. Mind you, patients have been allowed to bring their guns in the past. I told her that because of this then I thought it was allowed.

I was scheduled to work tonight and my boss called me again to tell me to be in 15 minutes before my shift began so that she could "talk to me." A little later she called me and said that she had to call me off for the night. I assumed it was because we had cancellations and I was not needed for the shift. Later, I found out that my co-worker had three patients by himself. We are only supposed to have two patients each. So now I am here on this board wondering what is next.

By anon103084 — On Aug 10, 2010

when i was first hired into the company i work for i was told that if you complain about the owner's husband touching you, you get fired. Since I needed my job, i never complained to anyone but just told him no and actually hit him and pushed him away from me.

Also two fellow employees have been physically assaulted in my presence by a fellow employee who the employers protect because he is of the same race as the owners are.

This is a small company that does a lot for bigger companies. is there anything i can do to protect myself and my fellow co-workers to hold these people accountable?

By anon102471 — On Aug 08, 2010

I work as a dishwasher with my boyfriend. We are both really feeling like we are in a hostile work environment but have nowhere to go.

Our managers have flat out said to him that no one will believe us or do anything to help us because "we're just dishwashers" and according to my boyfriend he could just "hire a few bleeps" to replace us. We have no documentation, so it is our word against theirs.

I don't know if anyone would be willing to speak for us and we are scared we will lose our jobs for speaking up. What can we do?

By mister6k — On Aug 06, 2010

I work at a prison and my supervisors are accusing me of doing things that every officer on my unit does and yet they say nothing to them. They are making a very difficult job impossible. I don't even want to go to work. Is this a hostile work environment?

Should I get my union rep involved? I don't want to make matters worse though I don't know how they could be. Any suggestions would be appreciated. --trapped in prison

By anon98779 — On Jul 24, 2010

I work at an insurance company for many years. Another employee was hired about four months ago. She is the same race as my employer and he favors her over the other long term employees.

She has progressively shown hostile behavior toward me and now it has escalated to a direct threat toward me. I reported to my employer many times (instead of getting into a confrontation with this hostile co-worker). He always says it is her word against mine. He even heard her yell at me with a very loud voice and then made excuses for her.

He has yelled at me for no reason when I was performing a routine assignment but allows her to stand around and chat all day (she is doing very little customer service and writing policies so seldom that we all wonder why he keeps her on staff).

Yesterday she directly threatened me and he did nothing.

Many times our customers have complained to the manager and he seems to overlook these complaints in her favor.

I am at my wits' end and suffering with headaches and extreme stress over this.

What to do?

anon (if I post my name he will for sure fire me)

By anon97128 — On Jul 18, 2010

I got fired Friday! My general manager has been hanging out with some of the other female employees against store policy. To try to keep himself out of trouble he has made them all assistant managers in training.

One in particular can do no wrong. I have mentioned this to him. Now every time something happens where mine and her names appear, I get in trouble, never her. Her mother keeps making complaints about me to corporate and so they decided to fire me. The reason was because I cursed at her (while I was off the clock), which I admit. But previously when I complained to the GM about her cursing and yelling at me I was told "that's just her".

The other assistant manager and I don't like her attitude but the GM won't let us do anything about it. The GM has yelled and cursed at the employees also, on the clock. The GM was reported for a whole page of infractions for which nothing was done. He however thought I was the one who reported him (I didn't). After that I went from 40-plus hours to 32 and would get sent home early also. Other assistant managers were scheduled overtime, even the ones in training. My opening shifts were taken away, and I no longer ran any shifts. I told him it wasn't me and he said it didn't matter what I said, he wouldn't believe me. What can I do? Fired?

By anon92184 — On Jun 26, 2010

I'm an assistant manager in a big corporation. we were told that our store has the highest shrink in the district so having said that, we all have been on our toes about shoplifting. We catch almost daily people, kids, etc., with products, just literally walking out the door.

Having said that I was just informed that one of my coworkers (a black lady) has accused me of being a racist. She was told by one of her friends who was basically racial profiling her when she came to the store. The co worker then went to my boss with this concern. My boss has not talked to me about this yet.

But my question is how can I stop her from spreading this around the store, which she is doing?

By anon91968 — On Jun 24, 2010

My boss has written me up twice. The first time she wrote me up because she felt my reports were late too often. However, I was down several staff members and taking on a new team (they were late by one day). She also stated that I put my consumer at risk by not documenting information appropriately. All of these things were clearly untrue.

She then wrote me up again, stating I broke a rule and she stated I needed to be trained by a certain date. Instead of her training me, I had to train all of our providers. She is absolutely no help. She yells at people constantly to the point that it is embarrassing.

She told me I "pissed her off" because I requested she assist me with our on-call service. Prior to that I was required to work on call without pay every day. I can't take time off because I have no staff and no managerial support.

The environment is extremely hostile and I am always worried I will be fired the next day. Is this legal? I need help now.

By anon91090 — On Jun 19, 2010

All of these comments are making me sick to my

stomach, as I have experienced pretty much the

same. And the question continues to be - what can

we do?

By anon90724 — On Jun 17, 2010

I recently quit my job without notice for several reasons. First, my boss, the owner of the company, was forcing me to work in a location that was 40 miles away from my original location, that is less than a mile from my home, even though I told him repeatedly I could not financially afford the commute. They gave my position to a coworker who had recently moved closer, but was working in the location I was to work in, so I was to work in her original location. I also found out that she has a special pay rate set up with the boss, and the only way she could make it was to transfer to my location.

I feel that he was trying to force me out, rather than fire me and pay unemployment.

When he told me about the change, I told him that I was going to have to cancel my family's health insurance to be able to afford the commute. He told me that was an adult decision, and I was an adult, in a very demanding tone.

I also asked to leave one hour early one day because my husband was going to be in a training meeting for his job, and we did not have daycare after a certain time. I feel because my husband and boss had words earlier that month he denied my request.

He told me that any request due to my husband's job, he would deny. This request would normally not be a problem as long as there was enough notice, and we had enough people to cover that hour, which we did in both cases.

I am extremely frustrated as my husband is the only one working, and my previous employer is fighting my unemployment claim. We don't even have enough money for our rent, not to mention other necessities. Is there anything I can do?

By anon86838 — On May 26, 2010

I work for a fairly large publicly traded company for about eight months now. I was attracted particularly to this company at the time because of the expressed company growth, generous salary and commission, and stability that was offered.

My employment commenced on August of 2009 and my role was to manage a corporate Chicago retail store. Thirty days into my new career I realized that I haven't yet had a day off. My work weeks consisted of (5) 12 hour work shifts, and (2) eight hour work shifts, totaling 76 hours per week. Needless to say, this took a tremendous strain on both my body and family life.

I was quickly reminded when requesting any time off that the demands of the Chicago retail market require 70+ hour work weeks with no days off until the market is fully in order.

One month after employment commencement, I was asked to fly out to Philadelphia to assist in the company's newest retail market launch. I was advised that i would be allowed a $30 per day food allowance, reimbursable at the time of return to chicago. not only did i never receive a reimbursement for the meal expense, i also had to pay for transportation, tolls and gas while away on business. i calculated $280 in total expenses for which i was never reimbursed.

In January, I was advised that I may begin taking one day off per work week. (five months on the job before I finally get one day off per week?) February began and I was asked to interview for a regional sales management position which had opened up for the Chicago market.

During the interview I was advised that the company had decided to go with another candidate and was given no reason as to why I was declined the position. I was told to keep up the good work and New York will soon be launching its retail market and other opportunities may arise.

In March of 2010 I received a 15 percent salary reduction, along with all of my peers. In addition to a salary reduction, i had undergone a restructure of commission compensation thus reducing my commissionable payouts by 50 percent. The once attractive offer letter no longer existed anymore?

I continued to keep my focus despite the false promises of career growth, stability and generous pay! The work environment grew more and more hostile very fast. During one management meeting, a peer of mine had smirked when we had been told that we are acting like whiny girls. Because the smile had angered our retail director this manager was threatened, he was told that he would be taken outside to have the smile wiped off his face quickly should he find the matter funny. Additionally, the company holds daily conference calls. We call them "beat down sessions".

During these calls, we do not discus the prior day's success but we do discuss the prior day's failures! we spend 45 min to one hour every day talking about what stores failed and what they will do the next day to make sure that they succeed.

In addition to which, I receive phone calls hourly throughout the day, requesting sales updates. Despite the grueling day to day restless activities I continue to be a top 10 percent performer in the company, exceeding all company expectations!

In May of 2010, the main reason I write to you is I am trending 88 percent to forecast. I hate to say that I am the best of the worst but the entire retail market is down. I happen to be the best of the worst.

I was approached by my national retail director and was told that he feels I lack energy. He also feels that "I may be better in another environment, possibly collecting unemployment". I quickly advised him that I am seeking growth and career development. He laughed and stated results like mine do not warrant a promotion. I was threatened to be transferred to a location over 50 miles from my home, making my daily commute over three hours. I would like to remind you that I am a company top performer and I am on no form of corrective action.

Obviously, i will begin to look for another job. My question: is any of this illegal? The no days off, the reduction in pay, the hostile environment and daily conference calls, the non reimbursements. What rights do i have here? I feel that i am at the mercy of one person in a large publicly traded company. I did contact HR. She advised that she is friends with my superiors and this may be a misunderstanding. No help at all!

By anon86517 — On May 25, 2010

I hope you can help me the my current situation. I have worked for a dentist for almost 30 years. A year ago, the wife started working in the office as the office manager.

She has been going into our computers looking at all our logs (which were mostly for the office but some personal) and deleting websites we have saved for easy access.

Then came the verbal abuse. She comes to you and demands answers while you are with a patient or on the phone. I would like to add that these questions are not related to work most of the time. Also, questions are put in a loud, demeaning tone along with accusations.

She also went to the extreme of discussing my personal bathroom habits, which made me feel uncomfortable.

Yesterday, I helped another office with a water problem which turned out to be water from the cooler. In a yelling and degrading tone, she asked me who I contacted about the leak. Since there was no leak in the building I did not contact her. She became hostile and rude to the point of me not being able to continue working. I have called in sick today.

This goes on every time she comes into the office. Is her hostility towards me harassment? Can anyone advise?

By anon86445 — On May 25, 2010

I recently resigned from my job as a paraprofessional. I was harassed daily from the special education teacher who was over me.

I worked with a behavioral/emotional disorder child in a one on one basis. The child was severely behind his age group, but we had made progress. I had completed a year with him, and was starting my second year.

The teacher started off the new year with cutting my lunch break from 30 minutes to 10. Then tried to cut out my 10 minute break in between by throwing in more duties to help out the other paraprofessionals.

I spoke with the principal about the situation, and he moved me to another special education classroom. That is when she really started to make my life a living hell. She would find any excuse to come into the other classroom and chew me out for things that should not have applied to me any longer.

Every day it was something different. She would catch me in the teachers lounge or the cafeteria and rake me over the coals. I went back to the principal and he would tell me that he would fix the situation, but in the end he was telling me what I wanted to hear and was putting a band-aid on the whole problem.

I developed a heart problem from all of the stress and ended up in the hospital from it and resigned. Now I have learned that another paraprofessional is resigning for the exact reason and nothing has been done to the teacher for her behavior.

Is there any legal action I could take against this person or the school for the situation that I was in?

By anon84983 — On May 18, 2010

I work for a security company. I am a part time employee. When I accepted the position it was for two nights (16 hours). Over the years I have been asked to do favors for supervision by working extra shifts. When I was able to. I did.

Two years ago, we got a new supervisor. Again I was asked to do favors working extra shifts so I did. The supervisor then began to add more shifts on my schedule without asking.

I went from doing two shifts to doing four shifts (32 hours), which is considered full time. I have worked for the company for several years. I approached the supervisor and said that I could not work so many hours. This upset the supervisor. And I was still scheduled to work the extra hours.

I was told by the supervisor that there wasn't anyone else to fill the shifts and they had to do what they had to do. So I called off when I got tired from working so much. Mind you, I have been working there going on seven years with basically no call offs. After calling off twice from exhaustion, the supervisor told me that the entire schedule was changing and I would only get one day of work. This has become a very stressful situation for my family and I would like to know if there is anything that I can do.

I was basically told to work the full time hours or don't work at all. To be exact I was told "let the chips fall were they may" If I didn't work the hours. --tired

By djcnty8 — On May 04, 2010

I am in a very strange and unique situation. I work with special needs students at a high school. One of our students has a one on one monitor to assist him through the day because of an occasional hostile attitude that can at times become destructive.

Since the start of the semester, this one on one (employed by the school system) has been documenting the activities of the school staff in the classroom and reporting back to the parents.

As part of our daily assignments, we document all behaviors in the classroom for assistance in behavior development. During class last week, the father of one of our students came into the classroom and started yelling and using profanity towards me.

School administrators are aware of the situation but have addressed very little about the situation. Because the parents had successfully sued the school system once to get what they want, the school is allowing them to get what they want now.

Today, I was advised that the student's one on one will document everything. Is this considered a hostile work environment?

By anon81649 — On May 02, 2010

I have had a couple of experiences with hostile work places. both of them involved working with a women's organization.

at the first, an employee came on board who had volunteered for years, and she was mentored heavily by the program manager. i had much more experience and had worked in the field for many more years.

shortly after i began working with her, she started documenting things about me which were very distorted and one sided, in her favor of course. i knew there was a lot of tension, and i tried to address things in the moment with her. This made things more difficult.

My middle manager started picking and finding fault with everything i did. i actually took some time off work, and went home sick one day because i was so harassed at work.

i loved my job at victim services and was good at it but i was not allowed to come back to work without a doctor's certificate. eventually i was released from my position. fortunately, i was able to file a grievance.

i will never forget reading all those things about me that had been written by this co-worker. She actually described me as mentally ill at one point (i was a very stressed woman i can tell you).

It is just scary to think that this woman not only got my job, but in a very short time, became head of the program. I remain amazed at how violent co-workers can be in the anti-violence field. it seems that this becomes a release for holding all the crap one hears. Honestly, haven't these women ever thought of clinical supervision or exercise?

i take great pleasure in knowing i got a good job elsewhere in the same small community and so far so good. A hostile work environment is a one way trip to stress leave. Amazing how this occurs very often in the helping environment.

By anon80945 — On Apr 29, 2010

I work for a company that is very large across the united states. I have a supervisor who asked for my number to tell me about a position that i may qualify for and he would call me when he left work that day to tell me about the position. I gave the supervisor my number he phoned me to inform me about the position and the pay for this particular position.

After that day, the supervisor continued to call, asking me can he take me out, let's go to the movies and meet me here and there and i always responded with a no, I'm not interested. Well, i guess the supervisor got fed up with me telling him no and told me that since i won't go out with him or go anywhere with him then i would be put in the freezer on monday to work.

By this time I'm very ticked off because now he's threatening me with a job that I'm not trained to do. So i told him that i was going to turn him in to the director for his actions. He stated he didn't mix work and outside life and the drama just continued and a co-worker of mine turned him in for sexual harassment but it doesn't seem like anything is being done and he continues this unwelcome behavior and now I'm in a hostile work environment.

I'm wondering do i have a suit since i have all the documentations and witness statements or should i just let the behavior continue until they run me away from this employer.

By anon78914 — On Apr 20, 2010

I work at a small jail and because procedures are not being followed (which I have reported) and because the Cpl will not staff (only my shift) to the minimum number of officers, I am in danger more than others employed here.

Officers are engaging in shady practices and supervisors are discussing officers personal lives with other officers, who then discuss it with inmates.

I have never worked in a place like this! If I quit, can I get unemployment?

By anon76478 — On Apr 10, 2010

Please leave me your feedback...I work for a small (12 employees in office) company. There are two people above me, the owner and the director. The owner (D) is very blunt and is known for cursing employees out and everyone is always on eggshells, which is unfortunate, but at least you know where you stand with her.

The director (L) is retired army and seems to have some issues. He is constantly making comments, or jabs or whatnot about everyone to their face and behind their backs. Some examples: I pump my breast milk at work for my newborn during my lunch break in my office with the door closed. Everyone is aware of what I am doing, no complaints, etc. L comes in my office one day to tell me congress passed a new law allowing women to be paid for the time that they are expressing their milk at work. I, not knowing how to respond, say OK. L says no, women shouldn't be allowed to do that at work and walks away. Another example, while I was pregnant he tells me, keep popping kids out and you will need a mini van. Don't you think you have enough kids?

I know these are small but it's every day smart comments, like how are your three boys, referring to my spouse as a kid, talking about me to people in the office right next to me, turning the heat up and putting out warm water at meetings to make people uncomfortable, asking why i am always leaving early at 5 p.m., when I am done at 5 p.m. He refers to me as uneducated, or immature because I am 30 years younger than him. (I have worked here five years with never once a warning and always excellent reviews).

He referred to me in front of other employees as incompetent and said I should be fired but he always acts friendly like he doesn't say anything.

I can't tell the owner as she is just as spiteful. I am actively seeking employment elsewhere as I just can't take it. I am so stressed I get physically ill.

Do you think I have any legal grounds here?

By anon75082 — On Apr 05, 2010

What about a situation wherein an employee of one gender, is singled out and treated differently from all the other co-workers who are of the opposite gender?

By anon72533 — On Mar 23, 2010

My boss has on occasion (oh, maybe every couple of years) become enraged by what he considers to be a slight, or questioning his authority.

When he becomes enraged, as he did today, he will throw something across his office (which he denies) and then storm fists clenched into the office of the person he is enraged with.

He huffs and puffs hyperventilating. It is very intimidating.

Today is not the first time I have been the object of his temper, which I find frightening. I have a very good job, and the employer benefits are paying for my child's college education. She has another year to go, so I cannot afford to lose my job.

I want to complain to upper management, but I am afraid. Does anyone have any suggestions for me.

By anon70937 — On Mar 16, 2010

I work for a large company that has an "open door policy," yet any time you try to go above the general manager you get told he should handle it. We know that and he is not handling things and that is why we go higher. Lately it has gotten to a point that the general manager is the problem but we all know we will get fired if we try to talk to area manager.

Any time we try to talk to GM about a problem he tells us he doesn't have time for this. If someone is sick and calls off he tells them tough-- he doesn't cover shifts so come to work. No one has had a review or raise in almost two years and when you ask him about it you are told he doesn't have time but he will get to it. The list goes on and on.

Most days someone goes home at the end of their shift in tears.

By anon70720 — On Mar 16, 2010

I was made a supervisor in a very small police department several years ago. I am the first female supervisor. There are two supervisors above me.

The person to previously hold my position was given many advantages, such as day shift, weekends off, switching his schedule, going out of town on business and rotating working the road with other supervisors. After a year in this position, the advantages were slowly taken away from me.

I now work all nights and only have one weekend off a month. I am also the only one to cover the road if one of the officers gets sick or takes off. The three supervisors rotate "after hours on call." Sometimes when the other supervisors have last minute plans come up they switch the "on call" to me with no regard as to whether I have already made plans.

This month I was surprised with two weekends off but one of them I was on call for. Since I was off the second weekend and not on call I made plans for that weekend. At some point the schedule was changed to show me on call, but I was not asked if I could cover it or if I had plans.

I have several officers below me in rank, who get at least two weekends off a month if not three.

I have schedule copies showing the advantages of the other supervisor and the decline of mine.

When I have mentioned my dissatisfaction, the other supervisors have left notes on my door telling me they outrank me or that I'm whining.

I don't feel that I should be on standby 24/7 in case they want to do something. Am I never allowed to make plans?

Maybe I'm only venting here. I have no one to talk to about this since I'm the supervisor here and it would be improper to discuss it with those under me. Some of those that I supervise have noticed how I'm being treated and have also verbally told one of the other supervisors that it's wrong.

I intend to let the other supervisor know that I am unavailable to take calls for him that weekend since I have made plans.

Please let me know if you might know of a solution to this problem. I used to love my job and would like to again.

By anon70290 — On Mar 13, 2010

The owner of this small company does not know what he is doing, is such a joke and yet still continues to act like an jerk.

I am in mid conversation with a customer and he walks in and picks up the phone-not knowing what I was even saying-and repeats what I just said to the guy. He makes stupid mistakes because he is paranoid so he will try to micro manage what everyone is doing and then screws it up and then comes back and cusses you for his mistake. LOL I will be playing my fiddle as rome burns!

By anon70046 — On Mar 11, 2010

I work in a very small room with several new employees that are being trained. Every time one of the new employees struggles they run to supervision that I am being mean.

I have tried not saying anything, but go in and do my job, and now I am being written up for things like not responding to someone. I live in constant fear that what I do say is taken out of context and if I don't say anything I am creating a "hostile work environment".

Supervision never questions my job performance because they can't, they constantly tell me I am one of the best workers they have, yet they tell me others are uncomfortable working with me. Help! I am in a no win situation. It seems it is only the new employees who are struggling that complain.

Because management is so ineffective and we have such a high turnover rate they look to blame somebody. Before me it was three other employees. I don't know what to do anymore. Any advice would be appreciated.

By anon68765 — On Mar 04, 2010

I work in a law firm where the partner is a "bully." If he gets upset with you, he never tells you, but goes behind your back and tells everyone else in the office.

He has created an environment where attorneys feel that it is O.K. to be rude and yell at you, because that is what the "boss" does. There are no standard policies, so the policy on any particular thing may change from day to day.

We have an office manager but he is not on site and frankly, I think he is afraid of the partner. If the boss is in a bad mood he is rude to you. If there is a party, or baby shower for someone in the office and you don't go (if it is on your time off), then you are ignored for several days by the boss.

I know that this doesn't sound that bad, but I have to continually walk on egg shells because I never know what will set him off, or anyone else in the office.

By anon66738 — On Feb 21, 2010

I've been working for health care organization at the corporate level for the last six years. Two years ago a manager was hired above me. The first year under this manager my employee review was stellar and received a salary increase accordingly.

The second year I was written up on a new hospital construction project for a $68,000 error and failing to meet the facilities' requests which I had deemed them not necessary and not in the project budget. The new hospital administration agreed, as well as the construction project manager. This affected my employee review which was the worst review I had ever had in my career.

I went from being excellent to unacceptable, under the same manager in one year. I challenged the write up by following company policies and human resources' advice, only to have the issue sidelined. I addressed the issue with this manager and it turned into a endless circle of emails and conversations.

I escalated the issue to the department director and was told to work it out with this manager and that he, the director, did not want to be involved. Shortly after filing the challenge I was again written up for not sending a daily report to the manager. I send them every day.

At this point I was discouraged and reluctant to pursue any further resolution as I felt that there would be retaliation from this manager resulting in termination.

My stress level in turn is very high, making it difficult to go to work and not knowing where the next land mine will be.

This manager is very abrasive and condescending. I get the feeling this manager does not like male employees.

The manager addresses employees as "babe", "sweetheart", joe-botchagalupe". I find this offensive.

Recently, a vendor on the new hospital project informed me that this manager announced in a meeting, which I usually attend, but was at another meeting during this time, that I would be fired on Thursday at 5 p.m. The vendor was shocked, needless to say, and felt an obligation to inform me.

This vendor knows me well as a project manager and knows first hand what I have been dealing with regarding this manager. The vendor as well has been abused.

I have a status meeting with this manager every week. Two sets of notes are taken during this meeting, which causes a lot of issues as the manager's notes differ from mine. I requested a copy of the manager's notes as two sets of notes are causing issues but was denied by the manager and director, who also attends these meetings.

I am now being inundated with paperwork. Project responsibilities lists, budget sheets, status reports, warehouse inventory sheets. I maintain several projects. I've been dealing with the issues with this manager personally and it's raising my stress level.

I feel that this manager is wanting me to quit or looking strenuously to have me fired.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

By anon64966 — On Feb 10, 2010

i love what i do. however i hate my job due to this relationship that my boss has with an employee. i am supposed to be this person's supervisor yet i have no control, thanks to this relationship.

this person lies to the boss, and he soaks in everything this individual states.

By anon63991 — On Feb 04, 2010

This is a great article, with a clear definition. However, I am not sure it is clear enough. I have just recently been terminated from a sales position for performance reasons.

I worked with this company for over two years, and throughout my time there, I was verbally abused and attacked by one particular coworker. This person, for some reason, took it upon himself to ensure that I was isolated from all other coworkers as well.

This person often, and publicly would call me stupid, would say that I am acting childish (I am in fact a professional and I do carry myself in a professional manner), he would accuse me of being too much like other women, in the sense of being too emotional, and tell me I need to act and behave like him if I want to be successful.

This person also made several comments like, "everyone else here thinks you're childish too" as a way to validate his own thoughts toward me. Often times, just moments later, this person would come into my workspace and tell me he is just trying to help me because he wants me to be successful (as if constantly cutting me down and humiliating me is helping me feel confident and comfortable so as to ensure my success).

At one point, after much thought and counsel from family/friends, I went to my supervisor. My supervisor listened to all I had to say, but seemed to be indifferent towards the situation and did little to nothing to end it.

It was months later that I was put on a performance plan. The performance plan had little to do with my complaints, as I was not meeting the minimum requirements I was given at the beginning of the fiscal year. However, my performance, I believe, was largely affected by these circumstances.

This is all aside from one other encounter I had over the course of several months where I was sexually harassed. In this situation, I did go to HR, and the harassment stopped.

Thoughts? Does this qualify as a hostile work environment?

By anon63651 — On Feb 02, 2010

if a co-worker, who is younger continues to harass me even after being told about numerous times, continues to do so, is this considered a hostile work environment?

I learned recently that she is sleeping with the VPO of the company, and was overheard telling him she wanted him to getrid of me. According to the EEOC, it is not considered discrimination on age, and not sexual harassment. I'm not understanding how it couldn't be. Can someone please help!

By anon62588 — On Jan 27, 2010

I recently found out that my best friend (who is also a co-worker) and my wife had an affair 12 years ago. We are no longer friends but I have chosen to continue working for the employer that we work for because I need the job.

I made the decision to let my boss in on the affair only because she would wonder why we were no longer friends. We also set up a meeting with the friend and the boss through HR so I could let him know that I forgave him, I will continue to work with him, but we are no longer friends. I have been very respectful to him and never once been a jerk when I have every right, and yet he seems to have this attitude towards me! He even went as far as to go and talk to our boss to have our schedules changed so he wouldn't have to work with me, and now I am faced with a schedule change that I should not have to endure.

I have done nothing wrong except try to work things out so that could continue to work together in a non hostile environment. Now I do not know what to do. It seems like my boss is favoring him for something that he did wrong. Everyone's schedule has changed to benefit him not working with me.

I have no problem working with him and if anyone's schedule needs to change, it should only be his by his request. what can i do? I feel like I can no longer talk to my boss because she is taking his side. If I go back to HR, they will see me as a trouble maker and possibly fire both of us for bringing personal issues to work.

I feel like my hands are tied and need opinions. Thank you. Also, this is a very Adventist work environment, so being honest was what I thought was doing the right thing.

By anon62019 — On Jan 24, 2010

I'm city supervisor at nyc dot. I'm being targeted by a worker who continues to make sexual comments and other comments at me every time time i walk by him. I'm a man who is not interested in men.

i find his comments offensive and disrespectful. i have informed my superiors about this situation and was told to write it up. i did but the situation has made it a very hostile work environment for me. what what be my next step before it gets very bad?

By anon60972 — On Jan 17, 2010

I was physically attacked by my supervisor and now those above her want me to forgive and forget. What can I do?

By anon60829 — On Jan 16, 2010

I worked as a preschool teacher for my church, for two years. I was paid for 15 hours, but put in over 40 hours of work per week. If I did not get everything done that director required, I was written up.

The day before school started for the second year of my employment, I had a very serious accident. When I came back to work, I was on pain killers, could not use my left arm and hand, and had to go to numerous doctors and therapists throughout the school year. In addition to the accident, my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

The director wrote me up because I kept forgetting things that she told me to do. She also wrote me up for being late for work, even though I had trouble getting dressed, driving, carrying equipment, etc. The director demoted me from head teacher, to co teacher, because she didn't trust me to get things done, and because I didn't "respect her" because I wasn't getting everything done that she asked.

A few months before school ended, I obtained a new job as a director of another preschool. The director found out where I was going to work. She had a friend call up the school and told them that I had endangered the students at her preschool by allowing them to use a powerful cleaner. She also had the friend tell the preschool that I endangered a student at my employment previous to working at the church preschool!

Needless to say, I was let go as the director of the new preschool before I even had a chance to start. I took my concerns to the school board of the the church preschool, and wrote a letter to the elders of the church, but nothing happened. I was able to sue the church for unpaid hours, but was unable to sue the director for slander.

I wish there was something else I could do. I cannot teach anymore; I cannot use the director as a reference when I fill out applications-she discourages prospective employers from hiring me.

By anon60660 — On Jan 15, 2010

An employer of mine created a hostile work environment for e. I had had some personal things going on, yet it felt like they wouldn't let me take care of them.

I had been treated with aggressive behavior. I wanted to comment on something yet it seemed like they were rushing me. I was told how to think and what to say to people, in a way that I was told certain things to save my job.

People have slandered me it seems. They call it drama yet they weren't doing anything about the problems in the location.


I was told that I couldn't talk to certain people. A manager called up one day to talk to another manger just yelling at me, that this is always supposed to be done out of the air. I haven't been able to sleep. Also, the employer had employees call me while I was off.

complaint about a supervisor, no he thought I didn't have money.

I brought a sexual harassment case up to the GM. I spoke to the DM about a transfer. She said she would help me. I would talk to someone else concerning an issue. Nothing was done about it. The customers loved me. The people were incredibly rude to m. Finally I was yelled at in front of other employees.

Nothing was done about it. I was told that I couldn't look at something on my time off.

I brought up a sexual matter to the GM and nothing was done about it. i hadn't really talked to anyone from that place in awhile. Yet I was told that I did something which I didn't.

By anon60222 — On Jan 12, 2010

is talking spanish to another speaking spanish co-worker and the people around do not understand, is that considered a hostile environment?

By anon59989 — On Jan 11, 2010

I also work in a hostile work environment but it just seems to be me and one other employee who are singled out. we are both older.

The other person has only been there about six months, but we have a supervisor who mumbles under her breath and makes rude comments. I have very good hearing and can hear every word. She never speaks bad to the two younger guys working there and not too bad to the older man working there, but I am the older female and she is so sarcastic at times I want to scream.

she has never been married, still lives with her parents and is 40 years old. Also grossly obese. I am sure all this causes her frustrations but she is taking it out on the wrong person. She has tried to get me transferred to a different shift but I like my hours and do not want to switch because of her but it is stressful having to work with her.

Here are some examples of the things she has said.

One day we were laughing about how guys are always checking out other women and comparing them to what they have at home or how they want a piece of that. i said something about must be the testosterone because my ex husbands were the same way. she made a comment that it was only the men i dealt with who were like that. well the whole conversation come to a halt.

another time we were laughing about not being able to hear certain workers who use the intercom because they are too far away from it when they are talking, and us asking them to repeat. we were laughing that they probably think we need to turn up our hearing aids. she walked out muttering very sarcastically that "there is such intelligence in this room."

one of my co workers burned his finger. we were discussing what he should put on it. i suggested aloe vera. she muttered that i needed to drink some and maybe it would stop my coughing. (i had been pretty sick but never called in and just worked through it).

she is always doing this and i get so stressed on the nights i have to work. she has been written up several times for not doing her work and leaving early and i have been hoping she would get fired.

i have complained about this offensive problem she has with the comments but it has not stopped, and when the upper management talks to her about it, she puts it all back on me saying she has a problem with me not listening to her. what a laugh. But i need to know what to say as a retort to stop this behavior.

By anon59203 — On Jan 06, 2010

I am a teacher and work in a hostile work environment where they actually use the students to make teachers they do not like quit. They tell students to come and tell them any time the teacher "upsets" them.

So, instead of a students being suspended for cursing off the teacher or breaking apart a classroom, it is now the teacher who is lied about by middle school age students and put in a seriously dangerous position wherein they cannot do their job.

Hostile work environments where they empower teens to lie about their teachers, because "children are innocent" is now another method of destroying the credibility of a teacher and letting students know that they can be disruptive and the joke is going to be on the teacher is an alarming twist.

By anon56877 — On Dec 17, 2009

In response to number 6: It is unclear from your narrative as whether this employee is your subordinate, peer or senior.

If it is a subordinate then I would schedule a private meeting to discuss the employee conduct in the workplace. Make a note for yourself. This proves the employee has been aware of the company policy provided one exist.

If not them submit a recommendation to your boss to have one implemented. Because it appears your bosses have condoned this type of behavior by listening to this drama. You can draw your own conclusions (discernment).

After you make them aware of the rule and they still continue to display unacceptable behavior, your next step is progressive discipline (Verbal warning, written warning, suspension and termination).

These are some elements of just cause. Is there a rule, has the employee been made aware of the rule and it is not done to just selective employees. Hopefully this should steer in the right direction. I honed these skills as a Postal Supervisor for 10 years. They hired a lot of veterans.

By anon56056 — On Dec 11, 2009

I need help with this one. I work for a family company. Meaning my family owns and operates it, but, they actually employ other non-family employees as well.

Everyone gets along great with the exception of one person. She is my aunt, and her job title is Human Resources. I've been here two years now, and in that time she has sexually harassed my brother (who is also employed here) by calling him horrible names for being gay (not that's it's any of her business, anyway). She has threatened numerous other employees with physical harm. She actually hit the Controller (who happens to be my mom) and she constantly says things to my grandparents who own the company, like that I, my mom, and my brother steal, which is not true.

They were even going to give us a lie detector test because of that. My grandparents are getting old, and my grandfather has the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease. My aunt is aware of this. I believe she tells them things like that so they will hate us. She is a very greedy person. She and her daughter both actually.

She has a very bad attitude towards all of us daily. She is always trying to get one of us fired. She has actually said that she feels outnumbered. The owners (my grandparents) have never punished her for any of her behavior. They have done absolutely nothing.

After she does something wrong, she tells them that she can't help herself. But she can. That's just an excuse she uses. She's one of those people that plays the "poor me" card all the time. We all need our jobs. I have a family to support. So I can't quit. The economy is horrible right now. But I don't know what to do?

And because this is a family business, it makes this all that much harder. She is HR. All complaints have to be filed with her. And even if I did make one, nothing would happen. What do I do? Can someone please help me?

By anon55647 — On Dec 08, 2009

I've been at my job for 15 years and unfortunately, i deal with managers and employees who make me feel like i have absolutely no reason to get out of bed in the morning.

I've been busting my butt for this company and instead of going after employees who don't do their job, they go after me because they think I'm apparently trying to steal their or the spotlight from them because they are nothing but a bunch of insecure egomaniacs.

I'm sick as hell of dealing with this and i just wanted to get this off my chest.

By anon55544 — On Dec 08, 2009

I work at a new car dealership and loved my job until they hired a outside person to turn things around.

I never take a day off and work from bell to bell. First thing he did was to bring in younger sales people that he could boss around and tried to get the older salesmen to quit.

Second, he told me on my day off I could not wait on anyone and take any phone ups. The same day two people came in who were my customers and he told them I was not there and gave the people to one of his younger salespeople.

Later that day, after they did not sell them, I went to my supervisor and said I could. He went crazy and totally verbal abused me.

He takes ups and takes them to his younger people. We have a used car building which he stays at and plays cards all day with his two young guys and the older guys don't get to wait on used car customers, even though there is a policy in place that gives us a right to work there.

The day I was to work there I went to work while he was playing cards. I asked to get my desk back where I could work. Once again he went nuts -- this time standing up and cussing me and then reached back and told me if I didn't get out of there he was going to knock my head off and mop the floor with me.

He threatened me with bodily harm. I reported it to higher management but nothing was done. Come to find out he had threatened harm to another member of the sales staff.

What do we do when management won't do anything?

By anon55129 — On Dec 04, 2009

I so feel for all of you. I work for a large company that I have been at for ten years and have given that company my all.

They have changed and we just signed a new contract and they are giving us so much work with expectations that are impossible to meet. Everyone that I work with is so stressed out and so afraid of losing their jobs because they are looking for any reason to fire us. They listen to calls looking when ever they can to catch something they don't like.

There is no time to think in between the calls that I am taking, and I can't finish one call and all the work that needs to be done with that customer before I have another call come in. I can't even be ready to deal with the new customer but yet I need to finish orders in the systems in order to use it for the new customer but I can't put them on hold or I can be fired for that too. (If i put the new customer on hold).

I can also be fired for working on the previous customer's account while the new customer is on the phone. If i close and do not take calls for a moment to finish my work they IM me to open now and take a call! Argh! What am I supposed to do?

I have no problem working but I cannot keep up with all the changes and the responsibilities thrown upon me and I am so stressed that I want to cry every day at work.

So what do I do? I need my job but I don't want to be fired for working my tail off and them finding that not to be sufficient enough to not mess with me.

You will have hell trying to teach new people about all the systems we use in a day. (Up to 32 in one day!) The knowledge my department has will never be replaced with new people and that will make more problems for the customers of the company. Yet that company does not care as long as you sell something to the customer.

My brain is overloaded and you want me to do all this work and yet you are not giving me time to do it in. I have worked this hard to be fired because I was doing my job. If I go. Good luck finding another me! But then again, they don't care about customer service even though that is my job description!

Oh yeah: don't think I am a disgruntled person without the talent to sell things. I have been top sales for the last ten years. I used to love going to work and now I want to run into a tree on the way to work just to get a few days off.

Oh yeah -- the company is so messed up in the way they treat their customers that all of them call so mad about their bills and they should be mad at the stuff the company does to customers to make them that upset.

So we are constantly talked to real bad by customers all day because of this and they don't care. They tell us to sell them something or get them off the phone.

By anon55087 — On Dec 04, 2009

Mmy life has also been turned upside down because of working in an hostile work environment. we must get active and inform our legislatures of the epidemic. employers will not change or address our issues unless they are forced to.

By anon53138 — On Nov 19, 2009

I actually posted comment #77, but I looked at it and I forgot to write what I got written up for. well, we all did in our department for not smiling. can you believe this stupid reason?

Well what I feel this new administrator is trying to do, is to get rid of all employees who been there long enough somehow so that they can get new people for less pay due to the reason us oldie employees earn a decent, well deserved pay. our department is clean and they can't really find anything wrong going on in our department because we try our best to do what we are supposed to do.

somehow it seems as if they want to force something in our records to somehow slowly get rid of us and avoid paying unemployment benefits and save money. the root of all this is money due to the economy and the crisis that this nursing home is going through, plus this new administrator is trying to appear as a big shot at us.

honestly I believe that 90 percent of all employees feel stressed and under pressure. we take all this hostility due to the economy crisis but enough is enough when they try to play us dirty.

like I said, I've been working for this nursing home for seven years and when I started working there I woke up feeling happy to work there and I did my best to grow within the company. I stepped up from one position to becoming a manager for my department.

tell me, how do they expect us to smile with things like this? what do they know about our personal lives? what if, god forbid, something terrible had recently happened in my life or I feel bad for some bad news of a friend or coworker?

I have already made my best effort in attending work and being with the residents and faking as much possible a smile and performed my job as best I can and maybe they caught me one day for a minute not smiling. maybe I was worried or thinking what do. they don't know what was going through my mind at that moment.

I am human and I feel just like anyone else. what do they expect me to do -- glue my smile from cheeks to ears to keep the management happy so that every second they look at me I'm smiling? this makes me feel pressured and stressed and I can't even sleep.

honestly, I'm going through a lot in my personal life. I've been married for seven, almost eight, years and I am recently separated.

I went through psychology because I tried to commit suicide and then my dad lost his job after 28 years of working at one place. my mom and I are trying to help out with house payments and I'm now a single mother, plus my baby's father doesn't really help me financially and I struggle with babysitting, plus I got a weekend temp job to support all this and I put up with all of it. plus I truly believe I am a damn good worker and I do my best. even during my write up they told me I do a great job but I need to smile.

residents comment on my smile all the time, as how my smile makes their day, and how beautiful my smile is, which is what matters more than anything -- how the residents feel about us employees and now this new manager comes in and starts judging by first impressions.

seriously, it's crazy how all this is coming down. I feel very stressed over this because I have tried my best to keep my record clean and for this new manager to come and mess it up with the most stupid and insane reason, I don't know what else to do.

I'm not the only one that feels this way, but somebody has to do something with this unfairness and hostility.

Please, please help us.

By anon53108 — On Nov 18, 2009

I currently work for a nursing home in elmhurst illinois. i've been working there for seven years and i've seen managers come and go.

when i first started working there everything was going OK. we had a few issues here and there nothing huge. well, within a few months all that changed in this year. not so long ago about a month or so they fired our administrator who had been there for about three or four years. the reasons aren't clear but the thing is that the very next day they had a new administrator.

well after this administrator came in he has been creating what i came to learn by this article a hostile work environment.

This new administrator, two or three weeks after he started working here, he came to our department and threatened us with writing us up if we don't smile every day all day if he caught us not doing so.

Well today all of our department got writeen up for this stupid reason. plus not only our department has been affected by this, but also other departments. he fired a manager and her assistant for a gossip that two co-workers created without listening to the manager and her assistant's side of story. plus he also threatened the employees of that department by firing them if they didn't agree with working the schedule that he set up for them three days after telling them when i believe he should have given them at least a two week notice of all changes, especially considering those who needed to make babysitting arrangements and for those who don't use public transportation to go work. But he didn't consider the impact that would make on the employees' lives when these employees after so many years working the same schedule had their personal lives working out by that schedule along with their personal lives.

my whole point here is this new administrator comes in starts moving around things and threatening with the little knowledge of how things been running there. to me he is just a new person coming in moving around trying to make all these changes to our work environment without getting to know it just so that he can feel like a manager.

back then we all (employees) used to feel happy coming to work and served our seniors the way they deserve. we were happy employees. now with all this pressure and threats we aren't working comfortably. i've already heard so many employees in all departments saying they want to quit. i've seen employees cry and walk out and i really believe something needs to be done with all this hostility and unfairness.

Please help us, I beg you!

By anon52751 — On Nov 16, 2009

I work at a major retailer. I have been employed with this company for 18 years. At present I am a supervisor for this company. We have a new assistant manager that started with the company less than a year ago and has been at our store for about six months.

Since this assistant manager arrived at our store there have been several team members including supervisors that have been targeted by this assistant manager with unnecessary write-ups, which has forced some into resigning.

This assistant has told other supervisors that I am a b**** and has left emails to my store manager stating that I am emotionally unstable. Which apparently my manager and assistant manager have discussed, by what I surmised by reading the e-mail he left open and I happened across.

I printed a copy of this e-mail when I discovered it because I knew at this time this was inappropriate behavior on the part of my management team. I know this because I am the human resource supervisor.

I have tried to have conversations with the manager of my store and he has not helped me out. I know that I and another long term supervisor (16 years) are being targeted by this assistant manager and we feel are being pushed to resign or will soon be fired because of the treatment we are receiving.

Every day when we arrive at work there are new rules. I believe this is creating a hostile work environment for us.

By anon51965 — On Nov 10, 2009

I work for a retirement community where I reported a situation. I came in to work to show a video of a trip that me and a fellow co-worker took. When I went to review the video tape, I noticed that my recorder had been recording. I left my recorder in the office where my boss and a manager in training were sitting and having a conversation but then I noticed that the conversation had turned to be about me.

I was very confused, but in this conversation my boss stated that if I weren't there then things would be much better off. He said he spoke to the director of HR about this and seemed upset that there was no action taken. Well than the conversation turned for the worse when the manager in training said, "If that b**** wasn't here then all we would have to put up with were two other female employees."

I was very upset with what I heard and went to the HR director right away. Well long story short they suspended me and stated that I meant to record this video and it was against company procedures. Ever since my director has been treated me very unfairly and wrote me up two months later and this right up stated that the next time that I would be fired. I don't know what to do. Please help!

By anon50134 — On Oct 26, 2009

I worked at McDonalds in Nevada and was constantly called stupid by the manager. I finally quit and had to apply for unemployment since I have a family. I would like to file a complaint but not sure who to report this to.

Thank you.

By anon49410 — On Oct 20, 2009

I am a Clubhouse/Activities Coordinator for a CDD community in Florida my was hired by a 5 member board for this position 1 year ago and everything was just great. The Board had asked the Chair to supervise me until my probationary period ended. The Chair for the past 10 months has been on a power trip. He has changed my time sheet to remove and refuse to pay overtime hours. He has mad derogatory comments regarding my hair color etc. He has yelled at me in the presence of residents. He has threatened me with "at will" employment and has threatened to present to the board on 2 occasions that I be terminated. He has answered my emails in a a derogatory manner to residents. I have asked him on 3 separate occasions to work thing out and start fresh, each time he apologized and within a week at most he was back to his belligerent self.

While I was on a 3 day vacation during the time of a monthly board meeting, he presented to the board that I be terminated along with the Management company who he had developed a dislike for when they refused to fire me months earlier.

Fortunately, the rest of the board are of ethics and morals and requested he no longer be my supervisor and asked another board member to take over. I thought everything would be fine and it was until the chair began harassing the supervisor in charge of me. She received screaming phone messages and constant e-mails still trying to be in charge over me. She could no longer take his constant harassment and she resigned from the board.

I was then given another board member to supervise me and she has been great. She refuses to allow him to manipulate her or micro manage any aspect of my job. The board has ordered him to leave me alone and stop harassing me, he still finds ways to do so behind the scene..

I was injured in a slip and fall accident on about a month ago while shopping at a local grocery store for an event that evening at work. I was paid for my visit to the emergency room and was told when I went to the specialist needed for my injury that I would be paid. The chair changed my hours and took a sick day from me for payment of that day.

Other than those two ER and Dr visits I worked everyday after my accident until the 7th of October when the chair put me on forced medical leave until I could obtain a work release letter from my Dr. It took two 1/2 days before I was able to speak with my Dr. PA and have the letter faxed. (My specialist is a 3 hour drive from my residents.)

I had chosen not to engage workers comp because I was afraid of further retaliation from the chair and I had heard that if a settlement is made with workers comp you must vacate your employment.

However, in order to be paid from these missed days and the chairs involvement in the forced leave, I had no alternative but to engage with workers comp. I then missed more time from work when sitting at the workers comp Doctors office (a walk in clinic) for 4 1/2 hours.

The workers comp Dr. stated I was receiving treatment from the best possible facility in Florida and he recommended I continue with the "Florida Spine Institute" in Clearwater.

I understand I have gone into two separate scenarios starting with the harassment issues and going into the workers comp issues, however my main concern is the harassment. Is this considered a hostile environment? and what are my rights? What should I do to protect myself?

I do have three of the 5 board members on my side but until the chair is removed from the board I do not feel safe. I forgot to mention that as a CDD board member, legally he is not to hold office hours (statute #190) and the majority of what he does in the office is about 1/3 to 1/2 of my job description. Please help! Thank you

By anon49112 — On Oct 17, 2009

I work as a school bus driver for a county school district. We employ about 45 people. One of the drivers gets special treatment from the boss. She used to work for him many years ago. After many complaints about her by lots of other drivers we think they are having an affair because nothing is ever done. It is against policy for him to fraternize with subordinates. This week we found a cell phone on a spare bus she used. Guess what? Explicit text including pornographic pics of her sent to him. Are we working under a hostile environment because she is treated with kid gloves and never reprimanded for anything she does?

By anon48908 — On Oct 15, 2009

I work for a private company and went on a work outing and the boss wanted to go to a strip club and I said no but others went. I work in the financial world and this is not looked at well from upper management. Since then he has made my life at work a nightmare and I'm breaking down. I'm not comfortable being in the group any longer and the stress is killing me. What actions can I take to sue this company for this? This company is a very prominent company in the investment world and has 44,000 employees. Please help.

By anon48598 — On Oct 13, 2009

Today I was confronted by the owner of my work who told me i was fired. When I asked what the reason was he explained that he didn't like my answering machine message. He saw me hand my fiance my paycheck so that he could deposit it into our joint bank account because i was stuck at work saturday and bank was closed sunday. Boss said that he pays me and not him. He told me to stay away from my friend or i was going to be fired. Obviously I wasn't going to stay away from a friend. my fiance owns a social networking site for gamblers. he said he wants nothing to do with gamblers and that we were low life scum. This one i was shocked by.

By anon47750 — On Oct 07, 2009

I recently switched shifts at my job and a person who has been given some responsibility and power before I switched has been really unprofessional. She repeatedly asks me If I know what I'm doing, going to far as to stand behind me and watch what I'm doing, waiting until I go to the bathroom and break to go over to my computer and look at what I'm working on. Finally the other day she comes out to me in the break room and yells at me in front of about five other employees. To be clear this person is *not* a supervisor, but is friends with one. She has not even been working for the company as long as I have and is just being a rude person. I've been told she doesn't like it that I'm there and doesn't want me there. She also doesn't seem to like it that I'm getting along with other people in the department. I've talked to my supervisor and she's told me she'll have a solution tomorrow but I'm afraid for my job. I've worked here for nine years. I'm a single mom, and the ice cream on the top of the cake is she's talking about moving so she's not even going to stick around.

By anon47621 — On Oct 06, 2009

I am in a quandary about what to do. As I work for an orthopedic firm in Sarasota, I have become all too familiar with the term "hostile work environment". Not only am I threatened with being terminated every day I come to work, but instead of taking me aside, my so called "boss" not only wrote me up but reprimanded me in front of other employees. I would love to know what course of action to take.

By anon47235 — On Oct 02, 2009

I just recently quit at a daycare center I was working at. The director was a bit harsh at time but I dealt with it from March to September. I submitted my two weeks' notice to be considerate of the position. I was asked to stay, it was only for three days and during that time I was told that the cost of the children's toilet paper and paper towels would be removed out of my paycheck as well as other items for the classroom. During the summer I was asked by the director is I had planned a schedule, I said yes. She said that I didn't need to because it was summer and basically to live a little. State came and my schedule was wrong due to this change. I was reprimanded with a slap from the director on the hand. If she was not so hard to work for I would have stayed. I loved the kids and the fellow workers. i am still unemployed and looking but having a hard time finding something. Can I draw unemployment until I find something?

By anon46479 — On Sep 25, 2009

Hi, I am a cashier in a retail store, I have been working for this store for twenty years, and a new employee, who is a friend of the store manager is always watching what i do at my cashwrap. this is making me feel very uncomfortable, I believe that he makes false reports to the loss prevention because they watch me indirectly also. I am feeling so very uncomfortable, I went to the store manager and told her what was going. he stopped for about a week, but he has started doing it again. when I am checking my customer out he walks by and watches and then he gets on the phone. I am a mature honest woman. why should i be treated that way? Please advise how to handle this problem.

By anon45182 — On Sep 14, 2009

I would like to see the answer to one of the previous questions as I am in the same situation. How do I find out what to do? My question concerns a hostile work environment created by the supervisor of a county work place. This job is an at will job, and she holds that over my head. What used to be a great place to work is now one where I come to work not knowing what to expect. The supervisor was caught having an affair and she blames me for it. She continually is trying to have me fired. She makes the department very hard to work in. I also have letters to friends stating she wants me to die. What do I do? She is also aware that I have seizures due to a surgery and I believe she is trying to make sure I quit because of my health. What do I do? It's a hard place to work but I need my job.

By anon44074 — On Sep 04, 2009

I have a union steward who is going around spreading lies and rumors about me and my intentions simply out of spite. Now I'm being threatened by other co-workers. I have received death threats as well as threats against my person and property. Does this constitute a "Hostile Workplace?" And if so what should I do? What are my rights?

By anon43577 — On Aug 30, 2009

My question concerns a hostile work environment created by the director of a county work place. This job is an at will job, and she holds that over the head of all the workers. What used to be a great place to work is now one where people come to work not knowing what to expect. The director will ask if there are any questions on some new policy and if you do question the policy you are brought in to the office where she goes ballistic. One employee was written up for asking a question about a policy. Is the at will a dead end for the workers? We don't trust our human resources person to keep anything confidential. We are all at our wits' end. Any suggestions?

By anon43559 — On Aug 30, 2009

I was working for a US MNC which was having its branch outside US. My manager was involved in financial misappropriation of funds. He purchased sub-standard items and made us work and rectify those things which was not at all possible. Then he started harassing and when I reported this matter to higher ups, he created a situation and made me leave the company about a year and half back. From then onwards, I am not able to get any job because the country where I am living does not have too many opernings. I don't know what to do.

By anon43240 — On Aug 26, 2009

My boss's husband (who has *nothing* to do with the place I work), keeps coming into my room and basically degrading me and my coworker. His wife, who is my actual boss, lets him speak to the girls at my work this way.

He has called me stupid and worthless. Whenever he sees you out in public and sees that you are avoiding him, he chases you down because he finds it funny. Instead of saying my name, he will whistle and carry on about the smallest things. When he gets called out, he gets upset and treats us even worse.

We have actually had girls quit because of him. Today, he sent someone who because they didn't have any time to do an activity he wanted completed, because we were short-staffed. He followed my class and me all around today. He yells at the females at work.

To make everything worse, they refuse to fire people because they don't want to pay unemployment. They seriously make your life a living hell there, until you finally quit. They change your hours, they make you do all of the work they don't want to do, they will put you on "split shift".

They are completely unprofessional and if they are upset with you, they refuse to talk to you and talk about you behind your back to other employees.

We have actually had parents complain because of the way he treats the staff. I don't know what to do with this situation.

By anon43110 — On Aug 25, 2009

What about an employee who accuses you of a hostile work environment when you approach him regarding his behavior towards others? His behavior is actually creating a very unpleasant environment for everyone. What do you do?

By anon43050 — On Aug 25, 2009

I work in the medical field. I witnessed when a nurse got attacked while another nurse was in the room. the nurse who was in the room has training and has taught others on how to prevent nurses from getting attacked. Then after the nurse was hit, instead of doing something, this nurse just says, "Did she just hit you?" I reported that to my boss and now this nurse and my boss are making it hard for me. what can i do?

By anon41942 — On Aug 18, 2009

I informed my boss that I had just learned that I had to be out on a four week medical leave. I was giving him one week's notice. He shouted at me, stating that this was not a good time for him because he is very busy and he will have to do everything. My surgery was not optional. he was pretty much horrible to me even though i have a coworker that i made aware of all of my outstanding projects. while i was out on leave he was overheard talking to someone about my medical issues and how stupid i was to take a month off while there were pending layoffs. this was reported directly to HR by the legal dept. since i'm back from my leave for three weeks now my boss refuses to speak to me, keeps his door shut, backs up into his office when he sees me coming down the hall. he had been put on notice by HR while i was out of the office. The environment is so oppressive now. Is this a hostile work environment? do i need to speak with HR about this again? i have six years of outstanding performance appraisals. how do i find an attorney in NYC to help me with this?

By anon41477 — On Aug 15, 2009

I too noticed that most questions concern an employee who is having a problem with a manager or supervisor.

What about the other way around: an employee who goes out of their way to antagonize their manager.

Furthermore - the subordinate sends e-mails out to all division employees and management making comments in an effort to discredit his supervisor.

By anon41202 — On Aug 13, 2009

I have a question....

When you are ina situation that turns one employee against another and aloows this typemof behavior is that considered a "Hostil Work Ennironment"? I work in a smll office anmd one of the co-workes continues to giver me the silent treantment, not giving me phone messages or when a person calls does not tell me who they are its just "it's for you" and the boss allows that is that qualify?

By anon41186 — On Aug 13, 2009

at my work i was asked to work in a support capacity for the ambulance company i work for at the rhode island special olypics torch run. i worked two jobs at the time and my employer was notified of this at the time of employmet and he stated he understood. so i told him over the phone that i was unable to do so because i would be working from 5 am to 2 am the next morning if i did what he was asking and i would be too much. he then told me that i was not to come in for my regular shift the next day because he planned on me going to the torch run and he refused to put me back in the standard rotation as i was before the request. i was sent home that week with 23 hours for the week. i am a full time employee mind you. after that i was on the target list as i call it. i was responsible for every thing that went wrong within the division i was assigned to according to him for months after. also i and other employees have been written up for breaking rules that don't exist. i.e. there is no written standard operating procedures for anything. al rules that supposedly exist are by word of mouth.for example, if i were to be chewing gum at work, and my boss was in a bad mood i would be written up for it even though there is no rule stating i cannot. i have volunteered to take time to help him in the task of creating an sop book but it never came about. there is too much to list as far as other happenings. i am still currently employed at the company but am affraid to go to work and do anything because what is OK or acceptable oneday isn't the next. i never know what is rite or wrong. i can't deal anymore but in today's job market it is too hard to find work and i am affraid i am doomed to be subjected to this for a while.

By anon41147 — On Aug 13, 2009

What if my manager is framing me up and proving that i am inefficient to work out of personal hatred/ insecurity?

In my earlier organization i have been awarded 'performance excellence award.'

and my new office is completely depressing as my boss is snobbish and complains that i behave rudely with her!

By Lucy2009 — On Aug 02, 2009

I recently was written up at work by my boss. I was devastated by this and now I'm angry. She accused me of lying to her, which she has done several times before. This time however I stood my ground and confronted her. I was not disrespectful but humble.

Then I called our Regional Director and complained to him about her actions. I was written up because she stated I told her that we were 100 percent current on nursing nicenses. I did not tell her that all. She also was angry that I forwarded our safety review to the norporate office for the quarterly paper without her reviewing it prior to sending it.

First off she never told me that I needed to have her review my work. This is where the lie comes in.

She stated that she gave me a note stating that she ask me to place the draft in her mail box. I threw that note away. The note only stated to give her my Best Safety Practice report, not my draft of the safety report for corporate.

Our Regional Director told me he would be in to speak to her on Wednesday and that he felt it was his fault she thought we were 100 percent on our nurses because at the meeting he told everyone we were.

I told him that was not what she had said when she wrote me up. She said that he e-mailed him the information. He stated that was not true. Have I cooked my goose or what. I'm scared she is targeting me. However I heard from a source she was being fired soon. Help. What do I do? I love my job.

I also heard from a sourse that she was told at the same meeting by the Regional Director that he hated her and wanted her gone. Should I be worried?

By anon38784 — On Jul 28, 2009

I am interested in the responses to a situation previously posted as follows:

"48I notice that most questions concern an employee who is having a problem with a manager or supervisor.

What about the other way around...an employee who goes out of their way to antagonize their manager... anon37932"

furthermore - the subordinate sends e-mails out to all division employees and management making comments in an effort to discredit his supervisor.

By anon38634 — On Jul 27, 2009

I work for an employee-owned company. They seemed very nice until I got injured on the job. I have been going back and forth with physical therepy, yet still working an "Acommodated job" that keeps changing. It seems like they want me to quit by giving me jobs outside in high heat, or in meat coolers with extream cold. They are not taking me seriously with my injury. When I comment they just say things like, "now what is your problem", or "you're making this difficult, don't you want to work or something" or my favorite "I am not going to give you a job you prefer, I don't have to create that kind of work environment, just one that accommodates your limitations which you keep going back to your doctors to change." The point I keep stressing is I am here every day doing a job they put me in, and keep coming back. I have given up weekends with family because those are the hours you have for me to work, and I spend four hours a day in physical therepy to get better and go back to my old job. Why? I keep having to prove myself. Then when I log a complaint it goes unanswered because the store director and my direct manager are brother-in-laws.(I found this out today, but didn't know before I asked to speak to the director.) Corperate office HR doesn't believe me. They say "We were not there. We don't know what was said or done". So what do I do? Return to the hostile environment? In a meeting I had with the store director, he asked me how my 18 year old son liked his job with Hy-vee? It seemed to stress at the time maybe he was threatening me by using his job.

Help! If I leave the job I get paid no benefits and my insurance goes through the roof. I know they ensure my medical gets paid but how do I get another job with a back injury to pay my bills? This is so stressful.

By anon38580 — On Jul 27, 2009

My question is, if an angry, stealing, lying co-worker and a boss who refuses to do anything about her constitute a hostile work environment. I work in a very small law firm, just the attorney, myself (his secretary), another secretary and a part-time, disbarred attorney doing the litigation paperwork. The part-time attorney comes in angry (no particular reason), slurring her words, cursing and yelling regardless of whether clients are in the office, and has stolen personal items off the desks of both myself and the other secretary and has also written out checks on the sly. She also calls both of us constantly on the days she isn't in with wild tales and gossip about her family and other people which we don't believe. Basically she is a pathological liar. She told my co-worker that I went on a drinking binge after my dog died (totally untrue), and told my boss that I brag about extra money he gives me (also untrue). She calls other people as well with these stories. Once she physically slammed into me in the hallway because I asked her to wait till I was finished with a client before typing something for her. She also invites me to visit her on the Jersey Shore and spend the night. My boss just says that none of this is any of his business. Right now she's on a particular rampage against me and I have concerns for my physical safety, my reputation and my car. I have started documenting these incidents. Could someone please advise me of my options right now and if I end up getting fired. Thanks!

By anon37932 — On Jul 22, 2009

I notice that most questions concern an employee who is having a problem with a manager or supervisor.

What about the other way around...an employee who goes out of their way to antagonize their manager.

Purposely acting like they do not know how to do their job, and the manager goes out of his/her way to help this person and when it comes down to the wire and the manager is left with no choice but to discipline the employee the employee cries harassment

By anon36971 — On Jul 15, 2009

I work for a major company as a department manager. We have a new boss at our business who I got along with for about 1 week and then I became ill. After going to the doctor I found out I was going to have to have several tests run and that I could possibly be off work for quite some time. I called and spoke with my boss and informed him what was going on. After he hung up the phone with me he discussed my medical situation with several people at work. Upon my return to work I asked him to please not discuss my medical business with other people. Since that day he has treated me horribly.

If I ask for extra help due to larger than normal orders, I am told no we can't add any more hours to the schedule. That same day the exact person that I asked for to help in my department was allowed to work additional hours in another department. This has happened repeatedly.

If I attempt to have a work related conversation with him, I am lucky if I get a one word response from him and he just walks away.

He constantly changes his expectations of what he wants me to do. One week he will tell me that I need to be doing Job A first thing on Monday morning and not Job B. So the following Monday when I come in I will start doing Job A first, but he will come in and tell me that job is not a priority and I need to do Job C. The following Monday it is the same routine. To the point I feel he is just changing things up because he can.

He has disciplined me for supposed infractions that I didn't commit but other employees commit on a daily basis, yet nothing is said or done to them.

He has literally lied to his boss telling him that I did something that someone else did in an attempt to have me fired. That other person admitted that they were the person who did it, yet nothing was ever said to that other employee.

If I have help scheduled to work with me, he is constantly pulling that help to go to other areas to work and then demeaning me because I am not getting enough done.

I went to work, worked about an hour the other day and got violently sick. No higher management person was there yet that day and it would be over an hour before they showed up, so I informed the highest ranking person in the offices that I was ill and needed to go home. This is procedure for our workplace. Now he is attempting to have me fired for "walking off the job".

I have attempted to talk to his boss about the problem, but he doesn't want to discuss it without him (my boss) being present because he isn't there to defend himself.

To top it off I injured myself at work recently and although I wanted to just go to my doctor and deal with the injury on my own, I was advised that I needed to file a Worker's Comp claim because if my insurance found out that I got hurt at work they would not cover the bills. Other employees harass me due to my restrictions daily, management is aware of this harassment, but will do nothing to stop it. Sadly, I am doing more than I probably should be with my restrictions and even that isn't good enough.

It has become a daily problem that is making me depressed and sick. I love my job, I am very good at my job, but am being hindered so that I cannot perform my job. Every job evaluation I have ever had has been glowing & my department continues to have sales increases yearly.

I have worked for this same company for 7 years and have never been reprimanded for anything. I have never had an attendance problem or a problem with tardiness.

I have looked deep into myself to see if there is anything I can correct with me to make the situation better. It doesn't matter what I do or attempt to do. I feel that this my boss is making my work environment hostile, but would like the opinion of a third party looking in.

By anon36590 — On Jul 13, 2009

I work for a police dept. I applied for the records position as well as a fellow co worker. I am white, she is black. I have background training in the records dept, she does not. She calls off all the time, and is highly unqualified for the position. The village clerk who has just been appointed that position is close friends with the black co-worker. The village clerk is also black. It was rumor that I would get the position due to the training and I am qualified for the job. The co-worker and the village clerk have had private closed door meetings over the position and are now stating it is a race issue if she does not get the position. The village clerk is now stepping in stating she will be assisting in the decision making for the job and will be apart of the interview process. What can I do?

By anon36099 — On Jul 09, 2009

I work in a warehoue for a Kentucky family based business. There family name has been in this town for about a 100 years. My question is this. I was hired in to this company with a air-conditioned warehouse facility. The company has now chosen to shut the the air off for the summer. It gets up to 90 degrees or even 95 degrees in there. Is this considered working in a harmful environment even when the air has been cut off for the summer. This was a decision made by the owner for budget reasons. Even though I was hired into a air-conditioned environment, is this legal? And what are my rights as an employee?

By anon35919 — On Jul 08, 2009

I just recently quit my job from a Tampa based Oil Company. That I have worked for, for the past 5 years. I couldn’t take the treatment and abuse any longer. I have been told to shut the bleep up, and if I didn’t like it that I could just bleeping leave. Been called a joke and told that I wasn’t doing my work. When I was! It is a family owned business and the daughters do not come in on a regular basis, leaving the workload on the non-related employees who do come to work. When I got behind because I had more then one person's job duties sitting on my desk, they yelled at me and told me to step up to the plate. The GM is very moody and lashes out at all the office personnel and even the drivers. It was so stressful, that in the morning I would often throw up and even just simply cry. My blood pressure was up and I suffered from nerves and depression. And since I have quit, I have had none of the above issues. I stayed only because I have three children that I have to feed and provide a home for. Finally, I had enough and walked out on May 11th. They even denied my unemployment. Now, my worst fears are happening. I have been evicted from my apartment and it is a daily struggle to even feed my kids. I have heard and seen them in the past, basically treat people like garbage just so they would quit and they could deny their unemployment. I have even heard them say that’s what they were doing on purpose. And in the past five years I have trained 14 girls, just to watch them walk out because of the treatment. The worst part is the racism. They say the “N” word and it is apparent that they are racist. The drivers know it and see it, but what can they do? They also have families. I am currently filing a complaint with the EEOC for them on the racism part. But what can I do? Because so far as I can see, there are no laws protecting people like me who just can’t take the hostile environment any longer. And with the economy like it is, I have not been able to find another job. Also with the bad economy, they are losing business daily. I know they were just trying to make me quit because they are losing their business and money. And also because they still have not hired anyone to replace my position. Are there any laws that I am not aware of to protect people from harassment, badgering and a hostile work environment?

By anon35574 — On Jul 06, 2009

A person who has been employed by a private school for 22 years without issues. New school administration comes in and does not allow her to be in the building in her office without the new principal and representatives of the board of education present... Is this a hostile work environment?

By anon35467 — On Jul 05, 2009

I do not know if this qualifies as a hostile workplace environment...

I work at a private school providing security and this being the summer time, we, have hired some summer security personnel. One summer employee is an ex-student and is constantly talking trash about the regular security staff behind their backs. I am also included in this trash talk. My immediate boss had come to see me personally and loudly to find out if I had a firearm in my possession. When I had told my boss that there was no firearm and was requested by me to tear my room apart and inspect he said no and also stated "if I hear/see that you have a firearm you will be fired immediately". What are my options? In Michigan where I live the economy is very bad and jobs are hard to come by.

By anon34621 — On Jun 25, 2009

Is a boss that screams at you and belittles you and cusses at you in front of other employee's something that has to be tolerated?

By HoosierGal — On Jun 23, 2009

I have accepted work through a Temp Agency. I have been working for this company as a receptionist since Feb. In May the company extended my services.

My lady boss, who was very welcoming & supportive for the first 5 wks has turned into a very hateful person. I cannot do anything to please her. I remain very respectful to her but she makes me feel very uncomfortable. She will not answer her phone or return any of my calls. This makes my job difficult when having to announce guests to her office. She went so far as to throw a gift I gave her in her trash here at work for me to see. I have contacted my Temp Agency and I was told just to keep doing what I'm doing. The new Director of the bldg told me that every Temp that has been hired has been fired. I was told this was a Temp to Hire position and was hoping for a permanent job. I tried discussing this with the new director but he really doesn't seem to be interested. I think he spoke to her because I have noticed a change in her tone when she absolutely has to answer me. But if looks could kill, I'd be gone & she only does this when no one is around.

I have a book where I have documented on a daily basis her behavior towards me. What can I do now?

By anon33929 — On Jun 14, 2009

I work for a big company (IBM) and have a manager (Initials P.Q.) that is constantly trying to make me and others he doesn't like look bad. My immediate manager says that others have reported similar issues with this person. Typically If you are not on his 'A' team, he doesn't want to work with you. Sends odd emails directly to you. Blocks work progress, closes requests for help with no comments.

I've brought the issue up with my immediate boss who says, basically to watch my back, and to "keep your enemies close" It's unbelievable. For a long time now, I've felt harassed and hindered in my day to day work, though my rating with IBM is typically higher than most employees. What should I do?

By anon31546 — On May 07, 2009

My boss has discussed my work and health issues with another employee telling her she thought I was an alcoholic (I didn't disclose the exact nature of my illness but told my boss I'd provide her with a doctor's statement which she said she didn't need). Of course this employee told me not to dare tell her. Two days ago I had my hours reduced. As well my boss is generating work that we are not getting paid for. What can I do?

By anon29797 — On Apr 08, 2009

I work in the medical field. When I found out I was pregnant, I had an appointment. The chart runner picked up my chart from the clinic and saw that I was pregnant. She told some ladies in the office and when I would come around they would constantly make idiotic comments about pregnancy, what they ate when they were pregnant and what they would name their kids if they were pregnant. The chart runner was wrong to tell everyone. I don't get along with her or most of my co-workers, I just wished they could have kept my situation private. But they chose to make fun of it. I feel a bit violated and I feel she did break the rule on privacy. But I just don't know what to do. I would appreciate any comments.

By anon28694 — On Mar 20, 2009

Me again... the Manager of 20yrs.

This is for emartinez.

Sue your wife for breach of contract, in that Marriage is a form of contract.

Name the firm and the VP of the firm as co-defendants.

By crewchief194 — On Mar 16, 2009

My wife has been working for a company called Accretive Health doing medical billing. Her and a few others also work for the same company, the twist is that they also work with St. Johns hospital billers and they are all under the same roof. There is animosity already by the St. Johns people because the company my wife works for were hired by St. Johns because their own people are not making 'quota'. Well, my wife was getting her quota after only 3 weeks on the job and has now been subject to verbal abuse and false accusations. And go figure it is all St. Johns people.

It has her in tears at home and the thing is, in Michigan, the job market is almost non-existent. She takes it on the chin *everyday*. They are constantly trash talking her and bad mouthing her. My wife attempted to talk to the manager of the facility and that back fired on her because the manager, come to find out, is a St. Johns employee also. So, now, when she named a specific person in her complaint, that person stated that my wife threatened her with physical violence and the manager of course believed it. We don't know what to do. Any suggestions? Please help.

By anon27437 — On Feb 28, 2009

My boss of 2 years is getting ready to retire after a 30+ year career with our company. He is known for being moody, angry and has even been to anger management classes in the past. I have no fear for my safety, but I am literally getting sick from his constant pouting, stomping around, bashing the company, and refusing to speak to me for hours a week. He is like 2 different people and does not act like a manager should. We work in a small office alone together. I feel this is emotionally draining and can't wait for him to leave. In this economy I am worried about looking for a new job. Worse yet --- we work in Human Resources.

By Sydney — On Feb 26, 2009

I work in retail, and have been at the same store for the past seven years. I am the assistant manager and recently a new manager was hired. She seems to have a real problem with me and there have been several times when I felt she was going to hit me. I reported this to the district manager, who then came in to do an "investigation." After less than a day The DM called me and told me there was nothing to support my claim as no one else had witnessed this and I seem to be the only one the manager is hostile to. So now I'm expected to just return to work as though there is no problem. The manager has basically been given a free pass to abuse me as much as she wants and knows now that there will not be consequences.

Do I have any options? (aside from quitting?)


beaten down

By wobbler — On Feb 25, 2009

Can someone tell me if my situation would be considered a hostile work environment? There is an employee who constantly dumps work off on me, in which I refuse to do, then she becomes angry and will slam the phone down on me, or mimic my response to her. I have complained to my boss on several occasions, but he has done nothing. My concern is that I now have high blood pressure and although this problem happens only occasionally, when it does, I become so angry and stressed out for several days, that my blood pressure increases.

I would find employment elsewhere if I could, but with the way the economy is, I have not been able to obtain employment elsewhere. What can I do?

By roguebabe — On Feb 09, 2009

My spouse worked for a company owned by 2 partners. One of the partners was her boss. Her boss screamed at her and belittled her and called her stupid on a regular basis. The boss also would go to the back office and throw things for more than an hour after screaming at my spouse.

My spouse did her job diligently and collected thousands and thousands of dollars on medical billing. Her boss would discount this fact and scream at her about spelling a name wrong in the appointment book. Her boss had been off for a week and a half for her mother's funeral while my spouse ran the office on her own during that time. She worked her schedule, even came in early as her boss directed her to do.

On her boss's first day back to work her boss started screaming and ranting at my spouse. Her boss even began to throw papers at my spouse and then began to throw office supplies *at my spouse*. At this point her boss was saying that she wanted to fire her but would never allow her to collect unemployment. She continued to scream and throw items at my spouse.

My spouse walked out and filed for unemployment. Now her boss is fighting the claim. There is only 1 other person who occasionally works at that office and has observed her tantrums directed at my spouse, but he obviously will not jeopardize his position to make a statement or testify for my spouse. When my spouse first started working at this employer the other person who occasionally worked with her said that persons who previously held my spouse's position have also been at least verbally abused by this woman.

By duo — On Dec 04, 2008

we have an employee that has been off because she claimed to have been injured on the job. Doctors are saying there is nothing wrong with her and compensation has cleared her to come back to work. She works part time and there is a union for part timers. My supervisor and I want to file a grievance with our full time union but are not sure how to word it properly. She basically cannot (mostly will not) do the physical part of her job. therefore leaves a mess for the rest of us to pick up. before she was on leave there was a huge back log of work. there is not now. although we have had to more but we no longer have to pick up her messes.

We feel that having her back on staff causes a difficult work environment because what she can't do the rest of us have to do for her and we work in a very demanding public service job. there is a lot of heavy lifting with books and pushing of booktrucks that she won't do, and has never done.

I guess part of my question is, does this sound like a valid complaint/grievance and what would be our rights as her supervisors and fellow staff members?

By anon22379 — On Dec 02, 2008

response to unisama from an experienced manager.

This response is given without knowing the validity of the review content for E. The review information and the tardiness issue are two separate issues and should be regarded as such.

In regards to the tardiness issue, B is totally in compliance with good management practice by calling E to find out what the issue is. B is responsible for staffing the store in order to ensure superior customer service. B can only rely on the facts and nothing else. The fact that E knows E will be late to work and willfully gives no proper warning proves E's negligence. Sorry E.

In regards to the review issue, E is insubordinate by looking through E's employee file. E is also insubordinate by "not cleaning". It is not respectful, nor is it right, for E to employ E's own expectations of E or of B as is stated in this issue. E is also insubordinate by not speaking to B because communication is essential between B and E in order to ensure superior customer satisfaction. B and E can disagree, and B and E can even dislike one another but in a professional work environment, communication cannot be compromised because of personal feelings. This looks like a maturity issue and there is no hostile work environment.

By anon21020 — On Nov 08, 2008

To the person above about B and E... I think E is in the wrong. Not calling in late, possibly rude to customers, not cleaning the store...E is the employee.

To the married guy who lost his wife to the VP of the company... please try to find a better job. She's a b**** and he's a poor employer. A law suit may also work.

I'm not sure what to do about the company I quit. Things got so hostile that I had a nervous breakdown and walked out. I was shaking all over for days. Basically, in spite of my awesome performance reviews, the company downsized thus sticking me in the mail room (the only way the company could keep me was to stick me in the only job available). The mail room manager became my new boss and things went to hell after that. She made it clear that she didn't like me and that she didn't hire me. Pretty soon, she was telling me things like, I have no people skills, I'll never move up, people don't like me, people avoid me.... She made me cry. Pretty soon, I spent all my breaks crying. I had never been late or taken a day off work for 2 years so I used my vacation/sick time to search for another job. Before I could find another job, she yelled at me.... screamed at me until I was crying and shaking all over. I went to HR. HR didn't care. I took a box and cleaned out my desk and walked out. I was denied unemployment because they said I 'quit for personal reasons.' My friends and family noticed how much my job was robbing me of my self esteem and begged me to quit months before I did. I'm in a new job, a much better job now but I still have nightmares about the old job. Isn't there some legal action?

By anon20958 — On Nov 08, 2008

I work for a local restaurant as a dishwasher/delivery driver for 6 months. Two employees (man and woman, romantically involved) have been repeatedly verbally abusive towards another coworker and myself, largely regarding my sexual orientation (gay) and the friendship between myself and the other coworker. Last week one of the abusive coworkers physically assaulted my friend by grabbing him by the neck and shoving him against an oven. My friend informed the owner, and when no action was taken and his report basically shrugged off, he quit immediately. I quickly called the restaurant to inform the owner that i would not work with either of the hostile employees under any circumstances (and made it clear that if the hostile employees were moved to another shift i would happily work any shifts assigned). I was told if i did not show up for a scheduled shift that i would be terminated, which is exactly what happened. What can i do, if anything? Help, please!

By anon19211 — On Oct 08, 2008

I work for an airline in a small town. My husband deployed and I found out I was pregnant a month later. By this time our busiest season had slowed down. One of my coworkers was in charge of the schedule and time off. I had an issue with another with the schedule and as a result management pulled her in the office. I was all of a sudden shunned at work by my coworkers. It was quite obvious though many people ignored my plea for any assistance. I had been exhausted and requested time off from the coworker who was still in charge of scheduling. I asked "verbally" on several occasions what time was available for me to take off and she said, "I will have to look". Well she did not get back to me and before I knew what hit me she had assigned several weeks of time off for other coworkers including herself. I have not been with this airline long and these people have been working together for 20yrs or longer. I have been made out to be a difficult person to be around and was pulled into the office of my manager. In the sit down I had with my manager and another supervisor I was told everyone was having a difficult time working with me. I would like to point out at this time that it was all blanket statements with no specific grievances/dates or times of issues. I was told first thing in this meeting "now this could lead to termination and I need you to be aware of this". I feel as though this was a threat as I had upset the long time coworker in charge of scheduling. I proceeded to go to another supervisor about the scheduling as I was blatantly being passed up for time off. I was amazed at the level of agitation this supervisor showed me for bringing this up and it took three times of going to him for him to take over the scheduling. I realized a bit to late what this was all about and started the documentation process with very little accountability on the coworkers part. I took it for granted that going to her and saying,” I really needed time off because I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted" would allow her to understand it was not about her but rather my need for exactly what I was requesting. I am really not sure what I can do at this point.

By anon19202 — On Oct 07, 2008

I am an RN. The MD I work for swears at my medical assistant and me.

By anon18322 — On Sep 19, 2008

I had managed a new products group for 8 years. I received bonuses and maximum raises during that period. My problems began when I pointed out flaws in upper management planning. They were 20 years late in getting to market and them expected to unseat the major players in 2 years. There are already over 120 players in the markets. It wasn't a wise decision on their part, but i got put into the position without my choosing.

No one did anything overtly, but I know enough about these people (the "leadership team") that they engage is character assignation in private meetings. The company CEO/president was so delusional he saw himself as a type of Christ and he called the LT his apostles which he would make in his own image.

Anyway, when I returned from Christmas vacation I found my position had be eliminated and that I had been stripped of all authority. Rumors abounded that I had been fired because of the internal hostile takeover of my previous role. The people they put in charge were supposed to be my friends, yet they never issued the slightest hint of what was to come.

I underwent severe emotional distress especially since I had just purchases a home in April. I was the driving force behind the new products and processes. I was the one that taught my team how to do these things. I felt I was being purposefully left out of everything and essentially ignored to force me to quit.

I never quit but I considered suicide many times. Its like having a child stolen from you. The strange thing it was a child no one else wanted until my teams efforts started to show profits.

At one year the entire team was sent to a "brainwash" session conducted by one of the companies psychological informants. I call it "training by psychopaths for sociopaths". They actually teach people how to "manipulate" other people and how to "gain their confidence." The company could do no wrong in that manipulator's eyes - as long as they got their " team building" money.

I am being left out of everything. Though no overt hostility is made, its apparent I am being made to feel like I don't belong. I am still forgotten while my former team members are included. I trust NO ONE in this company - especially management.

They kept telling me I had a problem interacting with people. Strange... in never showed up on the anonymous backstabber reviews. They just didn't like the fact I stood up and said no to them.

I sought psychological help for depression and thoughts of suicide. These people created rules for the "culture". Yet, they violate them when it serves their purpose. In the end - after 5 sessions -the psychiatrist said he did not think the problem was with me, but the dysfunctional environment in which I work.

This companies had gotten awards like Best places to Work in PA, etc. Its all a big manipulative lie.

Its now 2 years later. I am so unhappy but if I quite they'll take over $100,000 in stock payments from me.

If I leave, I know they will harass me or any employer if I continuing doing this type of work and I've been doing it since 1984! The CEO would likely try to get me fired in this town and there are so few jobs here that pay well.

I am ready to seriously start hurting some people. I can't take it anymore! I want to be credited for my work! Is that so wrong? Simply quitting is NOT an option! I hate them and I hate myself for being so powerless!

By anon18254 — On Sep 18, 2008

I work at a checker auto parts, and lately one of the employees has been spreading slander about me up to (and including) accusing me of smoking in the store. I am an assistant manager and he is a commercial Driver. He has taken the Acting Store manager (our current manager is out on injury) out to lunch on at least one occasion, and has been given more responsibility by her even being put in charge of everyone including me when we receive our weekly freight, now he has been calling her to tell her everything I am doing, even reporting that I was 2 min late getting out of the drawer at closing, does this constitute a hostile work environment?

By needadvise — On Sep 16, 2008

Would this be hostile work environment if:

No one in the office can go directly to our supervisor for questions or solutions due to her attitude and emotional outbursts. (Walking on eggshells constantly)

When you go to your manager in confidence to explain the reason for leaving early is due to medical appointments for an unplanned and high risk pregnancy and she tells several employees in the office

When she tells employees other then the one she is taking about that she is going to write them up and the reasons behind the write ups. She also shares that confidential information that is supposed to be in the personnel file to everyone.

When she ask you to help her come up with false reasons to put down on her business credit card receipts.

The list goes on and on. This is hard to go to her manager because she is friends with her and hang out after work. Her manager has no clue this is going on and has no clue in what her employees do to get her out of her messy situations.

By HeidiHo — On Sep 12, 2008

anon17977 - I don't what you're experiencing is necessarily a hostile work environment, nor is it discrimination. Your post was very difficult to read -- grammatically, that is. Is it possible that perhaps you might have a "chip" on your shoulder. You say that you are intentionally distracted. Could it be that perhaps you are easily distracted? Or, that the things you "forget" to do are actually very important and an integral part of your job? You say yourself that you can't do your job perfectly. Is that incompetence? Sometimes we have to look at ourselves before we can delve into blaming others

By anon17977 — On Sep 11, 2008

I am in a Medical Clinic. I feel that I have been gender/race discriminated by almost all of my coworkers. Every mistake or errors that was done in the clinic automatically points out to be all my fault. For example if forgot to put paper in an ekg machine by me not knowing that it is already out of paper and was the last time who used the machine, I will get the blame for it. Second, I take all of patients back for triage before the Doctor's examination one of my co workers will distract me just for me to put paper in a printer, exam table because of her excuse of having a back problem, because of the distraction that have caused I will create little tiny mistakes such as forgetting to put respirations or will forget to follow companies protocols. This have happened a lot of times for almost a 9 months without saying anything, I was afraid to tell my manager because I'm afraid that she will not listen again just like the last time I told her the issue. The last time I spoke to her about the issue she didn't care at all in fact she criticize and told me just to let go of it because all girls are like that. There are times that I made such errors and will get called in by a supervisor not really a supervisor, but just a coworker that will pretend to be the supervisor and will rubbed such errors into my face and others of my coworker will just laugh about it and will agree to her almost saying that I'm so dumb ignorant that I don't know what I'm doing, but I can't really be perfect due to the situation that I brought back almost 70 percent of the patient throughout the whole day, Yes, I they can survey my job performance or check the chart that was brought that day it may not be just 70 percent it could be probably more than that. The Clinic that I'm working into has 3 Medical Assistant and I do both Xray/MA works two of which Medical Assistant are females and have the same race before my manager have one Medical Assistant come in to work at 8am to 5pm the other one work at 9:30 to 6:00pm the same with my schedule 3months ago my manger have change their schedule have both of them come in at 8:30 to 5:00, so in that case i have to stay by myself from 5pm to 6pm from which that one hour is a torture because that is the time when most patient come in. Therefore, I can't managed to work perfectly because the volume of patients that I see not including taking their xrays. The last time I created such errors my manager have called me in into her office and told me that i'm incompetent and unable to handle multi tasking unlike her two other medical assistant and my manager have stated that before she had no problem with her xray/medical assistant. Is this considered hostile environment or gender discrimination.. please response

By anon17183 — On Aug 24, 2008

I think E needs to get his head examined. Unless you're on a flextime job, you need to arrange your schedule to be ready to start work on time. 5-15 minutes late is one thing, but if B has time to call all the numbers, well, it's probably past that.

"if B doesn't have to clean, neither does E". Wow. Most jobs include a clause, "other duties as required". If E feels that cleaning should not be a part of his job, whose job is it? In most retail jobs, cleaning, inventory, etc. are part of the job.

I think there's a pretty big difference between an employer retaliating or trying to get you to quit and a job that you just don't like. Most of these posts are the latter.

By HeidiHo — On Jul 11, 2008

I work for an attorney. When I was hired, I was hired as his paralegal. A month after I was hired, a lady who handled a particular client quit and I inherited her files. I found over $80,000.00 worth of fees that she had failed to bill. For the last two years, 90% of my work load was for this client.

This attorney and his wife, are very, very verbally abusive and moody. They scream, they shout, they are just basically rude. I came in Monday and found out that my client had centralized and their main office was going to handle the work that I was doing. The attorney told me "it was within the realm of possibility" that I would lose my job. I asked for a timetable and was told they haven't fully discussed it yet. This entire week, I've been treated as if I have the plague. I know he doesn't want to pay unemployment, but the atmosphere, while stressful to begin with, has become very unbearable. I live in Louisiana. Do I have the right to unemployment if I quit. I'm actively searching for another job and would prefer to go to work than go on unemployment, but I cannot take the stress of being treated so poorly. I overheard the attorney telling a co-worker today that they were going to go out next week and "meet and greet" new clients (like the one I lost) and teach our runner how to do what I did... they had that conversation right outside my door. Somebody help!

By anon14911 — On Jun 26, 2008

My boss constantly comes into our office (multiple times throughout the day) and asks me, "What are you doing?" as if I'm just sitting on my ### not doing anything, when I am in fact working. He makes condescending remarks to me implying that I have blatant disrespect and lack of regard for our IT equipment.

He used to just ask me what I'm doing even though I have two coworkers in the same office. I started getting pretty angry about this and its implication, so lately when he asks, I just look up at him with contempt, pause, and then tell him exactly what I'm working on. Well, apparently he caught on that it's enraging me and he started asking my other two coworkers what they're doing, just for show. He didn't used to ask them that.

So today, of course, he asked me again...and this time, I said, "You ask that a lot." in a calm, non-confrontational tone. And he said, "I do not!" So I said, "OK." (Again, calm) and he said, "why? you have a problem with that?" and I said, "No...you just ask....a lot." still remaining calm and non-confrontational. Apparently, this upset him and made him defensive -- I went to help the person I just got done telling him I was going to help.

Well, when I got back he called on the phone, two doors down to our office, so my coworker answered the phone and told me he wanted to see me. I went to his office...he told me to sit down, told me this was NOT a conversation, lectured me about "talking to him like that in front of [my] coworkers", then said he "had to go" and walked out.

I went to his supervisor right then since he wasn't interested in a "discussion" -- is this a hostile work environment? I'm really getting sick to death of this. He constantly does things like this and second-guesses my decisions. Sometimes, he'll send me out to other parts of the building just to make me go there so he can talk to my coworkers without me around. He claims, of course, that that's not why he does that, but he doesn't ask the other two to do things like that. I just don't have any respect for him anymore. This blatant micro-managing and lack of respect for me has really made me not care about him. I'd do anything HIS boss asks me to do because he is respectful and doesn't micro-manage me with the twenty questions every day. It is very difficult for me to care at all what my supervisor says to me anymore. The only reason I do the job as best I can do right now is for our customers -- I couldn't care less about my boss. But I do have an idea and will see what I can do tomorrow...I might try to contact the DoL about it.

By anon14398 — On Jun 16, 2008

I work in a government organization that has a bi-polar ruthless manager, who constantly humiliates employees and also humiliates other managers on what seems to be a regular basis. Her nickname in our organization is King Kong. Nearly every employee that is assigned to her group wants to get out of her group and the same is true for other managers that have to work with her. She has basically destroyed our office and caused many people to leave our office and work elsewhere in the organization. She should never have been allowed to be a manager. This hostile work environment has been going on for about 8 years.

I am a manager in this government organization. Some of my employees were assigned to work with her on her assignments. They told me of the horrific treatment and stress she caused them. I brought this to the attention of upper management at least a year ago. The upper manager at the time told me to fix it, but it wasn’t something I could fix. She would not take action and would not allow my employees to be taken off this assignment. The current acting upper manager in our organization has recently removed her from an assignment in which employees came forward and complained about her treatment of them. In Kong’s eyes everybody else is stupid and you either do it her way or else. She has never physical assaulted anyone. However, her verbal abuse is too much for all of us in our office and too much for our customers. The verbal abuse also includes a lot of profanity.

My questions to you are: Isn’t upper management responsible for not taking action against King Kong? Can the employees and managers of our organization take legal action, if our upper management does not remove Kong from our office? Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

By anon14070 — On Jun 09, 2008

I have a situation where I was working a 40 hour week and it was scheduled by the company's head supervisor but she refused to give me my company benefits. I asked why I wasn't allowed to receive my benefits directly to the head supervisor because I was the only employee that had ever dealt with that.

I never got a reply and I noticed once I started questioning her actions another supervisor underneath her started pointing out petty things to try and get me wrote up for or even fired. I would improve on whatever they told me to improve on, they would try to say I was doing things while on the floor that couldn't be true and I pointed that out to them.

What I am going to explain was before I got my 40 hours and then it works on up to recent. It took a while before they could actually write me up for something and of course it was a final written warning for attendance. This was during my 1 year review, I asked them why I was being wrote up because before when I called in I asked to use my sick time and they had used it to cover my missed days. Then they said I wasn't allowed to do so and them using the sick time before was just a mistake. I told them if I had been made aware of that I would have never missed those days but they were sending me an okay signal until now. They of course still wrote me a final written and the company policy was that you get 6 write-ups before you get a final, I had only gotten 1 prior and that was a verbal warning.

Now that I had the final written warning the company policy is that you cannot be written up again for 3 months or you will lose your job. So my situation was that: I couldn't miss a day, I couldn't come in late, I couldn't leave early, I couldn't do one thing wrong on the floor.

I had barely made it through 3 months but did, then I finally got the write up gone. Days after my final written was gone I got another final written for being on a call too long, huh? We were so under staffed and we were taking multiple calls, by the time I got to this person the call time had already been a while. The supervisor I spoke about before that was pointing out petty little things is the one that wrote me up for what everyone else around me was having to do. We were told directly by our head supervisor that it doesn't matter how long the call is they understood because of the high call volume. I guess that didn't apply to me as many other things didn't apply to me. I tried to defend myself but they were always right and I had another final written.

I now had become so afraid of losing my job I didn't know which way to go. The supervisors there argued among themselves about how to do this and that and if you listened to one about how to do something the other one would get mad and degrade you and make you look like an idiot in front of the other employees. I continued to get things pointed out by the one supervisor on the floor that I either wasn't doing or everyone needed to be addressed about what was going on. No one ever got pointed out except me, I had a few other supervisors and workers on my level that said they noticed her pointing me out. So I wasn't just dreaming this it was reality.

I was under so much stress at this point I would get straight off of the work phone just to cry on my break. I even cried in front of the supervisor that was causing the stress but it didn't phase her, she knew exactly what she was doing. I wanted to go to the head supervisor with the situation but she had already made it clear that she wasn't interested in my complaints, needs as a worker, or personal life. She had just now, after this long, gave me a 40 hour work schedule and denied me my benefits. Like I said before I asked why but got no answer and everything got so much worse since. I looked in the employee manual just to double check that I was supposed to get them before I ever wrote to her. The employee manual stated that no matter what if you work a 40 hour week you get your benefits, it didn't say that if you have any problems or anything they thought you needed to work on that you are denied until you improve or until they say yes. She knew she was doing me wrong, they all did.

One day I was trying to go on break and the supervisor giving me problems made it look like I wasn't listening to her and went to the assistant supervisor with it. The assistant supervisor came out in front of everyone and said "what are you doing?" in a tone you would use with a kid, I replied "I'm sorry. I'm trying to go on break but if you need me to I can still take calls." she just shook her head and walked off. I was shaking with fear and the embarrassment was so overwhelming I didn't want to face anyone in the room. I came back from break calmed down but shaken and started taking calls again. The assistant supervisor came back out and again asked what I was doing in the same tone. I told her I was on hold with a client and waiting for them to come back to the phone. I had been writing the days on the calendar I had in front of me and she looked at it like it was a sin to do so. She walked off and had the other supervisor that initially pointed me out ask me to come to her office. I knew what was going on then but I went inside with both of them. The assistant supervisor kept looking at me and talking to me like I was a child and accused me of things I know for certain I didn't do. I tried to defend myself because I know I do great at customer service and what they were accusing me of was completely wrong. She cut me off and continued talking and then I knew that defending myself is a joke to them and as always they are right no matter what. She finally said to me that she was going to listen to some of my calls and if I had done anything wrong I will be fired.

That afternoon once the incident was over I was working with a night supervisor who had an attitude with every worker under her. I was discussing an issue with her about a client and she got a bad attitude with me and told me I didn't need to be smart toward her. I told her I wasn't and wouldn't ever be smart toward her and she just blew me off and ignored me. I almost quit then but I needed the job so bad that I took whatever they handed me.

I came in walking on egg shells, I was a nervous wreck, I couldn't stay focused on the task at hand, they had gotten to me bad. I never in my life had to go through so much for a company and still get treated with no respect. Everyone around me seen the situation and they all said they all knew I wasn't being treated right. I was afraid to speak up for myself, I had so much anxiety that I jumped when anyone got behind me fearing it was a supervisor coming to take my job. This continued for a few more weeks, I was still being pointed out by the same supervisor constantly. I had to miss one day due to being very sick, and keep in mind I had not missed in over 6 months because of my final written warnings. I came in the next day and they all called me in an office and stated that they had decided to fire me due to my attendance. I told them that I had not missed in over 6 months, they said I had been tardy and that added up. I told them that when coming in they wouldn't have a seat open for me and I had to wait until someone left before I could clock in and take calls. They didn't listen as always and the head supervisor left the room to get my things out of my desk. They didn't give me all of my stuff I had but I wasn't being petty like they were to me.

I am almost positive that this was a hostile workplace and other people are still having to deal with it. I pity the next person they choose to absolutely turn their life upside down. I am now waiting on my unemployment trial and as you know it is up to them if I get it or not, I need it very bad but I doubt they will do anything in my favor. If they do that I don't know if I have a case but I want to take them to court due to the stress and anxiety I am still having to deal with daily. On top of that they owe me for my benefits they never gave me, I got a copy of the employee manual so I can prove it. Do you think I have a strong case?

By anon13794 — On Jun 04, 2008

No one has addressed the fact that E is often late. He feels that he is being harassed because B calls him at ALL his available #s. Well, E gave his employer all those numbers, and if somebody doesn't show up for work on time, maybe they overslept, maybe they are injured and unable to reach their phone. Maybe that phone call was made with altruistic intent. Does the company suffer because of his lateness? Do they lose customers? And when E went into B's files, E violated the confidentiality of E's coworkers. In my line of work, if someone is late, somebody has to stay until relief shows up!

By anon13508 — On May 28, 2008

I am presently laid off of my job because I have had several surgeries for Squamous cell cancer. I walked in after my 2nd operation and was taken in the CEO office with the owner and given the news. I was told it didn't look professional having me around. Yet I was given a Nextel radio and told to keep it on if they had any questions. The company has hired a guy to do my job. The new guy called me for weeks picking my brain. The boss called me for weeks one day I was the smartest guy in the company. The next I was the guy who's division hadn't made any money for the past three years. Yet I was given performance bonuses all 3 years. I also have a handicapped daughter which I share the responsibilities with my wife. For 3 years I juggled my work and home life via the radio. Now the boss says when I come back I have to be in the office not running around taking care of my daughter. The boss knows full well I can not make this request work. All of my customers praise my performance and have never had anything negative to say about me. Now my replacement is now leaving the company. I'm just getting stitches out tomorrow and still need recovery time per the doctors. The boss is telling me because of my health issues he is going to pay me less and still wants me to have my radio on 24/7. He told me to look for someone to handle my daughter. I have looked and it will cost more than I make to have someone come in and watch her. I am posting this because I feel this is all wrong. A boss going off on me and the next telling me I'm the best but I'm going to pay you less because I'm sick. How can I go to a job interview with bandages on? Maybe I'm just losing it. Please someone advise me. I'm trying to keep this short, there is a lot more to this and many phone conversations I'm leaving out.

By John54 — On May 26, 2008

I see a lot of questions posted here but I would like to know: Where are the answers?

By ljsa8574 — On Apr 30, 2008

I have a question about a hostile work environment that i would like to ask about...i told my higher ups that i am pregnant and there is one lady who is the second in charge underneath the ceo who has been trying to find any little thing to fire me because she does not like the fact that i am pregnant and not married...we do not have a morals clause anywhere in out contracts...i am so stressed about the situation it is causing problems with my pregnancy...is this a hostile environment and what do i do about it...thank you for any response that are given...

By LAPhoto — On Apr 26, 2008

As a theoretical (of course), a Union Shop Stewart makes racial and sexual derogatory remarks towards a Supervisor at work. Since it is, theoretically, a subordinate making the remarks towards a Supervisor, could it be construed as a hostile work environment? The remarks have been ongoing since the Supervisor did not support a walk out during a Strike, if that has a bearing on the issue. Is there any case law about a subordinate creating a hostile work environment for a Supervisor?

Thanks, just trying to make the work place a saner one...

By emartinez — On Mar 28, 2008

My wife and I have both worked for the same NC company for 10+ years. It is a small company (60 employees). There are two owners of the company--serving as President and Vice President. Recently, the Vice President's wife died after a long illness. My wife reports directly to this partner. Literally as the VP's wife was dying, my wife moved out. Within two weeks of the funeral, she and the Vice President began openly dating and taking vacations together. I still have to work here and, obviously, do not feel free to voice my feelings in fear of job loss. What recourse do I have in an unbearable situation like this?

By anon10417 — On Mar 27, 2008


I work for a major company that is four years old. Currently we are experiencing some growing pains with the company's culture. I'm an African-American female (the first in Management - 45 in age) with this company. I've been in this industry for 25 year and well-respected in the industry.

An HR employee continues to dis-credit my ability to do my job (I may add I've been doing this job for 25 years before I started with this new company). She continued to bad mouth me with other Managers and high-level Executives.

Recently, several employees at my company are trying to form an union. They feel that the company is treating them fairly and I concur.

The other Management level personnel uses control, intimidation tactics to control their employees including this HR employee. She has internalized their behavior.

I feel that I'm in a hostile work environment in this new company. I'm documenting every behavior to man-kind.

Personally and respectfully, I just want to do what I love to do after 25 years. However, this HR person belittles, uses her power and control to prevent me from doing my job on a daily basis.

This HR employee never approaches me about any concerns with me. She continues to complain to my immediate boss about me instead of following the appropriate chain of command.

Is this a hostile working environment?

Please advise

By kcroce — On Mar 10, 2008

Everywhere I turn, I hear I do not have a discrimination case against my company because the person I feel Im being discriminated against is a woman. We have different job titles however our jobs are 85% the same. I however have been with the company 3 years longer than her. She makes 10,000 a more a year than I do. They pay all her utilities in her apartment....they only give me $100 allowance. They let her take more sick days than what is allowed in the handbook....and the list goes on. What do I do? Where do I turn? It has gotten to the point that I cry everyday when I leave work. I get sick to my stomach when I get to work. I have severe stress pains in my neck, head and chest. I simply can't take the pressure and don't know how to get out or where to get help.

By anon9334 — On Mar 04, 2008

I work with a woman who's behavior could best be described as "drama, drama, drama." I've tried to be friendly, but mostly just give her a wide berth, because she is a known gossip.

Recently, she had decided to humiliate me in front of customers. She makes statements like, "no one in this department likes you." "you think everything has to be your way." She will point out something and then ask me repeatedly, all day long, if I have taken care of this or that. If another co-worker offers to help me or tries to do something to help me, she berates them and tells them not to help me.

I dread going to work. I can't eat or sleep. I feel sick to my stomach all day and try to avoid her altogether. I've mentioned this to management and said, "This is so exhausting, and I'm really tired of it." Their response, "Yes, we're all tired of hearing about it, too." Even though I had only mentioned this on two brief occasions. This was their attempt to say, "Go away. We don't want to hear about it."

I'm a single parent with no support income. Is this a "hostile work environment??"

By glnez — On Feb 19, 2008

I believe that B is the one who is at fault more than E. B is the supervisor and is responsible for making E feel anxious or uncomfortable. However, E did not have the right to go into B's office and pull out his file. He should have obtained permission to do so. There are two issues here, hostile environment and inappropriately entering an office and going through confidential files, despite they were his own.

By anon8690 — On Feb 19, 2008

I am the direct supervisor for an individual who has openly said she will have me fired. She has created many problems in our department and I have taken various actions to resolve these issues. I have group discussion where no one is singled out, I have talked to her one on one, I have had personnel talk to her and I have talked to her union steward. The latest incidents has resulted in her being issued a verbal warning. In retaliation she has threatened to have me fired, she has call me despicable names, she has tried to get other salaried employees to speak against me, she tries to rally the other employees against me which makes it extremely hard for me to do my job, and she went to my boss. No other employee who work for me has these kinds of issues. I feel I am trying to do my job and she is trying to intimidate me into ignoring her behavior. If I ignore her behavior then I am penalized when raises are issued, if I address her behavior she pulls me in the HR dept for harassing her. At what point is her behavior considered hostile? What action can I take to protect myself from accusations of harassment?

By unisama — On Jan 09, 2008

There's a situation in our workplace I am unsure about. To protect who I am/The other person; the Boss will be called "B" while the employee will be named "E"

both people started at this business in October. It's B's first time being manager and E's having a bad week in November. In November B writes a review regarding E's behavior and explains that there were 3 complaints against E in one day. E doesn't believe B but continues work anyway. B wrote a review included with the information explained. E improves quality to customers at this time but forgets to call in sometimes when E is going to be late to work. Those days B calls all phone numbers attached to E's application to find where E is at. E has found this method incredibly rude.

Last Sunday E went through B's file cabinet and pulled up their own file and found the review from November. E was still friendly towards customers but when no one is in the store would keep to himself and would not speak to B; nor clean, stating if B doesn't have to clean, neither should E. E feels this is the most respectful way of handling things.

Today B pulled aside E away from all other employees and customers. Both E and B feel like the other is causing a hostile work environment; As E felt B was trying to get he/she fired or to use for a later purpose while B feels E is aggressive in behavior towards him/her.

I am unsure who is in right in this situation or if it is both of us. If someone could please help that would be great!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia...
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