John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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Hostile work environment created by bullying boss

Getting an interview or a new job is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. One does not always know how he or she will be assessed and some even fear that they will be judged. Minnesota workers are often concerned that their personal traits and characteristics will be used against them. Although it is typical for employers to require that employees take out piercings and cover tattoos, judgment of the physical appearance of employees could turn into workplace discrimination. If this is the case, those employees could have a cause of action.

When a person is treated differently due to his or her gender or race, such behavior is often defined as employment discrimination and could create a hostile work environment. When an employee senses mistreatment, it is proper to file a claim. This is what a worker did recently when he experienced harsh treatment and yelling in the workplace by his boss.

It was claimed that the boss used profanity and harsh language with the employee. It was also established that the tone of the boss was often yelling. Other employees at the workplace experienced this bullying behavior, as well. The employee in question felt as though his mistreatment was directed at his race and protected characteristics. Although the employee felt that this was the case, no racially charged words were used, even though harsh language was directed towards him. He also claims that his mistreatment also lead to his firing.

Although the case did not establish that race discrimination was present, it was found that bullying behavior was projected at this employee and others in the workplace. This could be ground for another form of employment discrimination and a cause of action for wrongful discrimination.

When an employee believes that he or she is a victim of discrimination or mistreatment in the work environment, he or she should seek to understand the situation. This will help lay out options available to the employee if speaking with HR or their supervisor does not correct the situation.

Source: Business Management Daily, "Don't tolerate bully boss-but don't fear bias lawsuit if he's awful to everyone," Jan. 16, 2014

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