Suitable Workspace

Nottingham, MD

#1 Mar 18, 2014
My employer (a very small company of 4 f/t and 2 p/t employees) recently relocated, downsizing the overall office space. My location in the new office is at the reception desk or rather reception area, since as of the third week after the move, the owner has failed to provide a "desk space". I managed to fashion a desk area out of three file cabinets and a side table, however still feel that space is inadequate since: 1.) the owner promised to obtain a desk for that space as everyone else has one, 2.) I'm an Account Manager (the receptionist is sitting in an office per the owner's direction), 3.) the receptionist (and BFF of the owner) insisted that a dedicated fax be hooked up to my phone and fax line jacks at the reception desk area, thus leaving me without the use of a company phone at my workspace.

The owner (aka my boss) assures me she's going to provide a new desk, however that my area is suitable for me to work from there until then. Compound this with the fact that I've endured continually harassment, taunting and bullying from her over the past year, as a client of ours (who's account I directly service) has expressed interest in hiring me in the near future. Additionally, she has encouraged me on three separate occasions that I am more than welcome to telecommute, and offer which I finally took her up on after I was unable to effectively work as I was constantly having the shuffle my workspace around so I could make work calls on a phone at another desk in the office.

Lastly, my boss tends to fabricate lies to intimidate her staff, going so far as to yelling at me during a meeting "I am your boss - do you understand?" She's been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and often tries to pit the employees against each other, if that helps to shed light on the situation.

Is the space as I defined it a "suitable" workspace?
Is this a case of "constructive discharge" as I feel this is a deliberate action on her part to force me out of the office, isolate me while justifying her actions?
Is there any recourse I can take? If so, what?

Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated as we do not have an HR professional on-site.

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