Get a consultation with a plaintiff employment lawyer, many give free consultations, check beforehand. Use the "find a lawyer" tool on this site, and your local bar association is a good referral source too.
We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.
I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.
Before you make any decision to sue, you should find out if the difficulties you have at work violate the law, and if you have the power to motivate a remedy.
Unfortunately, not all harassment is illegal. Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination. To be unlawful, the harassment must be must be based on a protected category, such as race, sex, religion, disability, age (40 and over), pregnancy, or genetic information. Harassment is also illegal if it is based on whistleblower status, taking or needing family leave, or some other protected category.
Harassment can include verbal conduct, slurs, derogatory comments, comments or questions about a person's body, appearance, religious, or sexual activity, or indication of stereotyping. Harassment can also include offensive gestures, sexually suggestive eye contact or looks, mimicking the employee in an insulting way, and derogatory or graphic posters, cartoons or drawings.
Harassment is unlawful when the conduct is either severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive environment. Severe conduct would include most physical contact and many types of threatening, vulgar or degrading conduct. Pervasive conduct is widespread, happens frequently and/or in many situations. One offensive statement is not pervasive, but the same comment made over and over again may be pervasive.
Bullying may be against company policy but it is not against the law, unless perhaps there is a local ordinance (a city or county law) that outlaws workplace bullying. Given that you are in Nevada, I would be surprised to learn there was such a law.
You do not have standing (the legal right) to sue an employer for violations of its contract with the union. You are not a party to that agreement, although you receive benefits from it. Only the union or the employer can enforce the contract. The union would enforce a contract violation through the grievance procedure. In some cases, an employer's violation of the contract is also a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, in which case the union (or you) could file an unfair labor practice for violation of the statute.
Please look at my Avvo guide to at-will employment which may help you understand employment rights: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states. After you read it, if you think you may have a basis to sue your employer, I urge you to consult with one or more experienced employment law attorneys with whom you can discuss the details of your situation.
You can find a plaintiffs employment attorney on the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) web site www.nela.org. NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys representing working people. You can search by location and practice area. Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and many cities which are listed on the NELA site. Not all NELA attorneys are named on the web site or affiliate site. This should not influence your selection; attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase a listing in the national directory, and each affiliate has its own rules for listing.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
@MikaSpencer * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis.