I recently quit my job because I was constantly being harassed by my coworker and management did nothing.

Asked 12 months ago - San Francisco, CA

Since day one on my new job, my coworker would constantly make me feel threatened. She would cuss at me in the back room, blaming me for things I didn't do. She would correct my actions (she was not my supervisor) and then say mean things to me about how I was doing a horrible job etc. One day she even threatened me, saying "You better get out of my face, or else" That day I left my job early because I was so emotionally disturbed and scared of her. There were multiple days where I felt I couldnt do my job because she was causing me so much stress/anger. I told my manager and supervisor what was happening and they told me if I ever complained again or left early that they would fire me. He said many other incredibly outrageous things as well. Can I sue my previous employer for harassment?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Patrick John Phillips

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Rude and offensive behavior is not legally actionable unless it relates to a legally protected trait, such as race, religion or gender. Being generally "mean" is not against the law and employers have no affirmative legal obligation to address such behavior, however unprofessional and understandably upsetting it may be.

    Your facts do not suggest harassment on the basis of a legally protected trait (i.e. your coworker was not yelling racial slurs at you or making offensive jokes about your religion), and so you would not typically have any legal claim against her or your previous employer.

    Best wishes to you moving forward.


    This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not... more
  2. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sorry but no. Most forms of what people consider to be harassment are not illegal. Unless the conduct directed at you was motivated because you are a member of a protected class of people, or because you engaged in some form of legally protected conduct, the harassment is perfectly legal albeit rude and angry.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  3. Jenna Reese Wolinetz


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I understand that you are having a very difficult time at work with your coworker. Unfortunately, from the information you have provided there are no legal actions you can take. You are only protected if you are being discriminated against based upon a protected class (race, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability). The situation you described sounds more like workplace bullying which there are no legal protections against.

  4. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,518 answers this week

3,089 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,518 answers this week

3,089 attorneys answering