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What can I do if I am being harrassed/bullied at work? How can I prove this? Options?

Olympia, WA |

I work for a state agency in a legal office. I guess I made a paralegal angry with me. I tried to rectify the matter and it wasn't enough. I tried making things better twice. Since then, she's been cold and unwelcoming. She tattles to my supervisor on every thing I do, most of it being very petty like I didn't say good morning or something like that. The other paralegal has now joined forces with her and I did nothing to her. The supervisor sides with them on everything, expecting me to make all of the efforts and them do nothing. I've since been disrespected, unsupported, and the staff treat me like dirt. I'm looking for other work but I shouldn't feel forced out of my job. This doesn't seem right. I'm a union member and it is being reported. Ive been documenting everything lately, petty or not.

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Attorney answers 3


Is there any kind of discrimination involved with what is going on? If so, then take a look at the EEOC web site.



Not that I am aware of. It's more of a phasing/pushing someone out because of personal preference. I do good work and I have been pleasant despite how they have been.


What you have described sounds hostile, but may not create a claim unless it is related to a protected category like race, sex, disability, age, etc... If the conduct is related to discrimination, contact a local employment attorney. Also, as a union member, you may have protections from this type of conduct. Good luck.


I don't see anything actionable in your post. It's not bullying or harassment or hostile work environment under the law. She does not like you, and has every right to be cold, and tattle. It is also not against the law to be in a clique, exclude others, be unforgiving, and be mean.

The only unlawful discrimination (where treating you differently can be actionable) is that which is based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and familial status. Even then, it is a high burden to prove with evidence, a court will not entertain hunches, hearsay, conjecture or speculation.

Other than the above categories, the employer is allowed to treat people differently and discriminate on any other basis. What you describe is a bad place to work with petty and mean co-workers, most likely an inept supervisor also--it's not illegal.

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.

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