Houston, TX asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Texas

Q: discrimination in the work place

The company where I work has this problematic person with more than 20 complaints. She is white and very problematic, very calculated but also has bipolar mental problems. She has made the work a toxic environment unbearable for everyone who has to be walking on eggshells, not to offend that person. We do know when or how she will go off the rails. She is a 52 white woman with more than 20 complaints against her for being toxic. She has made my life miserable and the rest of the people miserable that work there.

Is there anything that we or I can do about this? I"m a Hispanic male who just wants to work in a suitable environment where I can strive to improve and help the people around me improve.

Thank You.

2 Lawyer Answers
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You can file a formal complaint against your co-worker with your employer. You should be as detailed and specific as possible if you genuinely want action to be taken. I recommend not saying anything about her having "bipolar mental problems" to avoid raising any red flags about discrimination against her based upon a disability under the ADA. Stick to specific conduct she has committed at work that you characterize a toxic.

An employer can penalize or even fire a worker for inappropriate workplace behavior. It cannot fire a worker because she has a disability.

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson

A: You describe a toxic environment, but you do not say what is toxic about it. Does this employee you specifically describe say things to you and other employees based on your race or heritage? Or is she perhaps difficult to predict because of her bipolar symptoms? To claim a hostile work environment exists, you must prove that you are the victim of ongoing and severe discriminatory behaviors or comments. More information is needed to make a determination. The company will not be able to terminate an employee with a known mental illness without very solid evidence. Contact an experienced employment lawyer to review the evidence in your case and to review your legal options and be sure to document any instances of toxic behavior with human resources.

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