Blackballed by Supervisor

I have a supervisor with whom I have personal conflicts. She used her authority to cause my work environment to be stressful. She has manipulated the administration to believe her and caused me to put on an improvement plan. This was based on lies and action that I didn’t even know I had committed. I followed  through this plan and was successful. Now I applied for another position in the company. I was interviewed and did an excellent job. I feel that I may not be chosen because the supervisor is trying to blackball or blacklist me. What can I do legally? The HR person has sided with the supervisor. They are listening to her side and not gathering truthful facts.

Follow Up: I typed a previous message about my workplace and my autocorrect left out words. I feel that I am blacklisted from my job. I currently still work there, but have tried to move to another position. I fear that my current supervisor will blacklist me because she has already made my work environment hostile for three years. I have reported her to HR but she sided with the supervisor. I have no one I can trust on my job.

Signed–Fear Blacklisted

DEAR Fear Blacklisted:

Your question and follow-up indicate you are quite worried and fear you will not get a position–one for which interviewed and did “excellent”. As you should have noted upon submitting your question, our site responds to workplace communication matters, not to legal. Therefore, if you believe you have been discriminated against or treated in ways that are against the law, consult a labor relations attorney. Dr. Mark Mindell, who has a long record of heading the Human Resource Departments, also suggests this as a last resort. From what you provide, I doubt that there is evidence of discrimination. Obviously, there has been conflict between you and this superviser you say has lied about you.

The HR department will not know if you have a case of being blackballed unless you have specific evidence. Neither are we able to know that unless you can provide a log with dates and incidents of mistreatment. To allege a supervisor lied is not evidence. You must make a case based on actual words and actions that you describe carefully. For now, you should list what happens that causes you to believe you are blackballed or blacklisted. Incidentally, I have edited what you submitted to make it read better. If I have misunderstood. I apologize.

Dr. Mandell’s response to your question reads: “If everything you are saying is true and that you have done everything you can to try to resolve the problem (including changes you might be be able to make with your own behavior), then you can report the Company to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).  If they believe there is merit to your claim, they will investigate and will make a ruling.  If you haven’t already done so, you need to let HR know, in writing, that you believe you are working in a ‘hostile work environment”.  This may prevent them from letting you go before there is a full investigation.  If they do let you go after writing up your complaint, you might want to meet with a Labor Relations attorney to get legal advice.”

You will have to judge if any of these remarks apply to your situation. I hope you can document the projects you have completed and skills you have that will persuade the decision-makers of the job for which you have interviewed. And if you don’t succeed, talk with your supervisor and Human Resources to learn why and what you will need to do to qualify for a transfer.

Survival hinges on acquisition of skills, so regardless of your age, soak up all you can each day. Even our top sports athletes and talented musicians practice, practice, practice. If you study our Q&As and specific feel good incidents, I predict you learn about what to expect and how to cope. I expect that those within your work group and those who decide your future are looking for a leaning attitude. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Your challenge is to provide evidence of what it takes. William Gorden