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Can I secretly record me being abused/bullied verbally by co worker? What can I do about harassment environment at workplace?

Bethlehem, GA |

I am a low-level manager at a retail store. And more than often when I work along with another manager of the same level I am subject to her calling me "little boy" in a derogatory manner. I also feel like I am being abused/harassed verbally because whenever I ask/tell her about something that is needed to be done she always responds with attitudes, and very rude personal comments, remarks such as "your teeth are ugly," "you with the ugly teeth," Her overall behavior is rude, with vulgar language. I've brought to the attention of the upper managers but they didn't do anything because she lied to them about the events and turned me into the bad guy. I've thought about filing a complaint with the EEOC, but I really don't know what grounds I may have.

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Attorney answers 1


Florida is a two party consent state which means it is illegal to audio record anyone without their consent.

EEOC is for discrimination claims. The only illegal discrimination is that which is based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation and familial status. Therefore, the employer is free to discriminate on any other basis such as looks, your teeth, and anything other than the above categories. You can ask him to stop the comments and report to HR. If they are not interested, you should move on.

What you describe is not enough for a successful lawsuit for hostile work environment. Bullying is against most school and work policies, but in most places, it is not against the law---that just means that there is no crime or cause of action called "bullying", but if someone is threatening or stalking you, hitting you etc. you can call the cops and the laws of assault, battery, etc. will come into play.

Florida is an at will employment state, so unless you're union or have a contract says otherwise, they can fire you at any time without just cause as long as it is not related to the above categories, in retaliation for whistleblowing illegal conduct of the company, and in retaliation for taking FMLA leave, disability, and filing for workers compensation.

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