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Employment Law/new supervisor is a bully


hi..we have a new supervisor at work, a federal place. a day after he was made supervisor, he became a loud, abrasive bully. he said very disparaging, derogatory things to my face the other day; i have written it up and will turn it in to our hr specialist tomorrow. they have no tolerance for abusive or authority or anything along those lines over there. anyway, this is easily provable to hr and i am wondering if, in the federal workplace, bullying employees is legal. i doubt it, but wanted to ask anyway. also, do you have any suggestions what else can be done to fix this or just have him pulled out of that position. thank you!!


Are you represented by a union? If so, that should be your first option. If not, I would definitely take it to HR.  Abusive behavior by a supervisor is not by itself illegal, but it's very bad management to allow it, and it may also violate workplace policies.  In my company, such behavior would be investigated in response to a complaint, and the manager would likely be moved or disciplined, or both, if the investigation proved the allegations to be true.  That is probably true where you work, also.  So definitely don't let this drop.  

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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