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What is the name of your state? Massachusetts

Violation of rights?

I believe that my co-worker's rights are being violated on the job. He is from Haiti, and I'm pretty sure that he is unaware of what his rights are, and our employer is abusing this fact. Nevermind the verbal harrassment, but our employer also has him do personal favors that are un-related to his job description. On the coldest day of the year, she handed him paper towels and windex - demanding that he clean out her car. She also has him drive her guests to the airport, and other such unreasonable and demeaning tasks. I am unsure of the legality of what is going on, but it pains me to see this father of three treated so unfairly on the job.


Senior Member
If this employee is being singled out for less favorable treatment because of his race or national origin, that is unlawful. If he is being asked to do things outside of his customary job duties for some other reason, such as he's the least senior, then no laws are being violated.

There is nothing unlawful, or necessarily even demeaning, about being asked to do personal tasks for a company owner. When you work for a privately held company, it tends to go with the territory. How such a request is perceived often depends on how the request is made and whether the owner treats employees with respect.

If your co-worker feels he is being discriminated against because of his race/national origin, he may file a complaint with his State's equal rights division or the EEOC. I don't know how large this company is but you should be advised that federal (and most state) laws that prohibit discrimination apply to employers with 20 or more employees.


I'm a Northern Girl
I'm not saying that you are wrong in your overall assessment, but nothing that you have described in your post is illegal. It may not be "right" but nothing in the law says that an employer cannnot have an employee do personal tasks as long as they are paid for them.

You mention verbal harassment. You may have something with that, but not definitely (since what many people consider harassment isn't, in the legal sense). Can you give some examples?

Work with me here; I don't like to see this kind of thing either and if I can help you make a case I will. But in the long run, it's your co-worker that will have to make the decision.

Note to Beth: I think it's 15, rather than 20.

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