There is a difference between favoritism and harassment in the workplace. Many people don’t understand that simply because their boss is downright mean or offensive, that doesn’t mean you have been a victim of work harassment, or that you would have the ability to bring suit against that employer.
Harassment in the workplace is unbearable. Anyone who has experienced it is aware how hard it is to continue wanting to go to work every day. Harassment in the workplace that is able to be litigated would stem from an instance where a worker was treated differently based solely on his or her race, gender, or age. For instance, if a woman was able to prove that she was not given a promotion because she refused when her boss came on to her, she might have a case. However, if the same boss called the woman a bad name or hurt her feelings in any way, she probably would not have a case.
Favoritism in the workplace is also very difficult to deal with. Everyone has that one person who the boss absolutely loves, regardless of what he or she does. It can make the workplace uncomfortable, but unless it is able to be proven, again based on race, gender, or age, there is little to nothing that can be done about it.
If there is favoritism happening in your office, one resource maybe your employee handbook. If the rules for promotion and pay raises are addressed in the handbook, you may be able to speak to your supervisor about the issue at hand. If your supervisor still breaks the rules in your employee handbook, you may be able to bring a breach of contract case against the employer. These cases are very difficult to prove, but in some situations, they have been successfully tried.
If your boss has made sexist, or racist comments, or has denied you a promotion or raise due to your age, you might have a case to pursue. Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace is 100% illegal.
If you are unable to distinguish if what you are experiencing is harassment and illegal or favoritism, give us a call for a free consultation to go over the specifics of your case.