Fair Lawn, NJ asked in Business Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New Jersey

Q: if a manger within a company bad mouths an employee to another manger within that company is that considered harassment?

a department manager called another department manager within the company and proceeded to bad mouth and belittle an employee and their abilities while making rude, disrespectful remarks and attacking the character of said employee.

The manager made a technological blunder though by accidentally dialing the employee instead of the manger she intended too, which is how the employee found out this was happening. The manager actually said all of these ill-mannered things to the employee before realizing the other end of the phone line hadn't responded and that they had mis dialled and hung up, never acknowledging or apologizing for what was being said. Since that incident the employee has also overheard the two department mangers speaking badly about the employee in a second incident.

1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Ian Nirenberg
Jonathan Ian Nirenberg
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Montvale, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: In New Jersey employment law, something can only be harassment if the reason it happened was unlawful, such as if it is because of your age, race, gender, national origin, disability or another legally protected category. In addition, to be legally actionable harassment has to be severe (very bad) or pervasive (very frequent). While it sounds like it was unfair, I don't have enough information to evaluate whether what happened to you was harassment under New Jersey law.

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