Valparaiso, IN asked in Employment Law for Indiana

Q: In Indiana, may my supervisor terminate me for filing a harassment claim against a coworker?

I work for the county. A coworker is doing what she can to alienate me from others in the office by verbally attacking me. She gossips about me to coworkers, and to my supervisor. She tells every one any mistake I make, but most of what she says is false. The first time I brought it up to my supervisor, she met with the coworker, then tried to get us together. My coworker refused, explaining she couldn't even be in the same room, because she 'hated me,' which my supervisor accepted. I went to the office manager who is also a friend, and I was told, that according to the supervisor, the next person to bring it up would be fired. That could only be me. Last week I reached the end of my patience, went to H/R, and they arranged a meeting. When I got there my supervisor was in charge, the H/R person didn't say a word, and I was again threatened with termination. I do have evidence, and witnesses. My supervisor is not interested in what I have to say, or what other people have to say.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson
Answered

A: You are in a tough situation. Generally speaking, your complaint about your co-worker is not protected, which means you won't have any legal recourse if you are terminated. To be protected, the harassment needed to have been about your race, religion, gender, a disability, etc. That does not sound like the case here.

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