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porter7k

Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? AZ
I work for a smaller but growing company. I have seen so many things that would make your head spin and hopefully a great case for me and fellow coworkers against them. I recently went out on maternity leave and was told that they would probably allow me to work from home to have some type of income while out. I had no other source of income. They absolutely refused for me to work from home however have now allowed 2 other coworkers to do the EXACT or very similar work from home on their maternity leave. I also found MY personal file in an open ,unlocked and unsecured file cabinet that any employee would have access to. I had to ask several times before removing it myself. Since we have a new person the crap gets worse. She will make comments to me such as " I know you're a single mom but I am so glad that you are not on welfare". She has also told me and another co worker she didn't like a supervisor and would demote him however still hasn't but talks about each of us to the others. Things they tell us we are not allowed to do she now has her daughter doing. We feel it very wrong for a parent or any family member to "supervise" another family member especially only when that family memeber can do all these things the rest of us in the same department are told we are not. I feel they have discriminated against me and make it a totally hostile work enviornment. I was also accused of something when I had 2 other people to prove my innocense I was threatened with " I had better not find out you spoke with either of those individuals" and was also financially penalized due to that. Any suggestions, or ideas?
 

dolebot

Member
Read the following from the EEOC about discriminatory practices:

Discriminatory Practices



I also found MY personal file in an open ,unlocked and unsecured file cabinet that any employee would have access to.
Unethical, but not illegal. I might be wrong, but I doubt AZ has a law that says employees personnel files must be protected. Of course HIIPA applies but thats only if your personal file has medical information within.

She will make comments to me such as " I know you're a single mom but I am so glad that you are not on welfare"
Whats wrong with that? At my old job, every single person who worked there who had children was on food stamps. Are you hinting that this woman will make "pregnant jokes"?

She has also told me and another co worker she didn't like a supervisor and would demote him however still hasn't but talks about each of us to the others.
Gossip is very common in the workplace, and is not illegal. Maybe slanderous and incredibly unprofessional, but otherwise not illegal.

Things they tell us we are not allowed to do she now has her daughter doing. We feel it very wrong for a parent or any family member to "supervise" another family member especially only when that family memeber can do all these things the rest of us in the same department are told we are not.
Again, incredibly unprofessional. Not illegal.

I feel they have discriminated against me and make it a totally hostile work enviornment.
Yes, you might be right that they have discriminated against you. It's perfectly legal for your job to discriminate against you - provided it is not one of the protected characteristics. The link above will describe what the federal government considers discrimination. Your states laws may be more restrictive.

A "hostile work environment" is caused by harrassment. There would need to be proof that the harassment is severe and pervasive enough to cause a reasonable person to not be able to perform their work. It could be sexual harassment by your boss, such that you would be afraid that he would fire you if you didn't allow his sexual advances. It could be that your boss makes fun of you in particular and calls you racial slurs every day, and that they make you perform job functions that only a *racial slur* is fit to perform and that those people who are not *racial slurs* don't have to do it. Any act or remarks that are overtly discriminatory regarding age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability are considered to create a hostile work environment.

Again I'm not a lawyer, but based on your description I wouldn't call it a hostile work environment, I'd call it Peyton Place. Or Dallas, or any of the garbage soap operas.

I was also accused of something when I had 2 other people to prove my innocense I was threatened with " I had better not find out you spoke with either of those individuals" and was also financially penalized due to that.
It's not illegal to reduce your pay because your employer feels you did something wrong, regardless of you proving your innocence. It's not court, its work. They can also tell you not to talk to other people. They can penalize you any way for that as long as its not because of a protected characteristic, and as long as the penalty doesn't bring you under minimum wage.

If you feel very strongly about it, contact a lawyer and see what they have to say.

I believe that Arizona is a work "at-will" state - which means that you are employed as long as the employer wills it. It also means that you work for your company as long as you will it. You are free to quit at any time. They are free to fire you for any reason (as long as it isn't due to a protected characteristic) - or for no reason at all at any time.

It sucks, but boy if I were you I'd find a better job.
 
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cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Of course HIIPA applies but thats only if your personal file has medical information within.


1.) It's HIPAA, not HIIPA.

2.) The ADA does not permit medical information to be in a personnel file.

3.) Most employers are not subject to HIPAA unless they themselves are a doctor's office, hospital, medical billing office etc.

4.) For those employers who are subject to HIPAA (and are not themselves a doctor's office etc.) ONLY information that they receive by way of the self-insured group health insurance plan is protected by HIPAA.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
A "hostile work environment" is caused by harrassment.

A hostile work environment exists when, and only when, the employee is being subjected to either sexual harassment or ILLEGAL harassment under Title VII and related laws.
 

porter7k

Junior Member
response to your input

I truly appreciate other's input as we are currently trying to seek the right action. No I was not lowered in a pay rate They basically deducted a few hundred dollars from a paycheck that I should not have had taken away from me. Last I knew we in America were innocent until proven guilty and when I can prove my innocense and not be allowed and threatened by the fact if I do does not settle well with several people. As to my employee file MINE was the only one even in there no one else's and it has several things in it whih I do have a child that has special needs and was penalized for having to take my child to special appointments ( I am now covered by FMLA intermittently due to advice from a legal person). There are several other single mother's but I am the only one they make these comments too which I find very inappropriate and NONE of their business. Before this particular boss came here I was the only person in my position and got 100% of my job done and taken care of. There has been some changes but it has only gotten worse. The girl in my position before me didn't last long and most of the other office employees are seeing this and see that I am singled out by this particular person. I tried going in "confidence" with some concerns to HR and all that did was have HR run and tell that person everything we discussed. We can't even go to HR and discuss any concerns we have with anyone or anything in the company. I am currently trying to find a new job but the economy sucks. AZ is a right to work state and we are looking into several other laws as they actually have had people stay and do some work without paying them or allowing them to be on the clock. I will look into the hostile enviornment but I am the only single mom they make these comments too and there are several there. Whether anyone is getting any type of assistance is truly not their business as that is a personal matter and obviously they must not pay enough if we have to be on the assistance!! I have a friend that has quite a bit of knowledge on AZ HR laws and is wanting me to do some serious exploring and other co workers are ready to do a class action lawsuit against this company. I think they are trying to piss me off enough to get me to leave because I am truly too smart and know how to do quite a bit of legal stuff without being a lawyer on my own and that scares the **** out of them to be honest. We believe that we know they are doing several other things that would end them in a HUGE downward spiral with how they've treated other employees. They do pick favorites but even then keep their brown nosers down. They lie and try to manipulate things. We do know that they claim there is no money however one person got a $10,000 bonus. HMMMM no money really??? LOL Does anyone know about the two family members supervising one another and actually setting their pay ( which of course was more than the people in the department who have experience)? I can't even begin to fathom why any company would be so stupid to allow such a thing. There are several of us that are just getting really fed up with how we are treated as compared to the child of who does make several mistakes ( I know I just caught 15 of them) all involving money matters. I look forward to any other input or assistance or chatting with any of you. Thanks for your input!
 

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