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Employment Law/workplace bully


I have been working at a new job for a half a year. A woman is constantly bullying others. She talks in Spanish with several women there and she says my name and they are all laughing and telling each jokes about me. I asked a woman what are you saying when you say my name in Spanish? She laughed at me and said we did not talk about you. They did. I just had a horrible situation at the job I had before. I had to leave because of the bullying I was getting from employees and the managers. This woman is one of the supervisors to the employees. She is not the manager. She acts like a big shot. She and two other women say my name in Spanish and they said the word 'idiot' in Spanish. I need advice what I should do? No one there likes this supervisor. They all have something cruel to say about her. She is a bully. Could you please advice me what I can do? My last job, no one helped me. I cannot leave or quit, I will not do that.

Gwen - You need to learn how to ignore them.  The more you react, the more fun it is for them.  Undoubtedly, management knows what kind of person she is, and they're unwilling to do anything about it.  

When I was at a job I disliked, I kept my iPod on my head and just listened to my music.  It made things a lot easier for me.  You might try that, if you can wear headphones at your job.  If not, just refuse to acknowledge the women you find bothersome.  

There is no law against bullies at work.  Only if you are being subjected to some form of illegal harassment, i.e., harassment based on age, race, gender, disability, religion or national origin, do you have a claim under the law.  In addition, you would need proof that the harassment was because of one of these factors.  If you think you have such proof of illegal discrimination, you can file a complaint with your state's human relations commission.  If you do not, you have to develop a thicker skin.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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