Can I sue the managers of the company that I work for personally and not in their business capacity?

My son was bit on the foot several times by a spider. It was the day after his first day of work. One of his bosses is also mine, since I got him the job where I work. They had him stand for 12 hours doing dishes and by the end of it, his foot and leg were severely swollen. He has now worked 3 shifts on his foot and it is so bruised and inflamed, it is twice the size of his other leg and foot. The doctor who looked at it said he would give him antibiotics in case it got more swollen from standing. These employers are known for working people to exhaustion and through a lot of pain and injury. My son has aspergers and suffers from severe social anxiety, especially with respect to confrontation. He is 18 but many times

either his dad or I need to step in to help him confront a person with whom he feels intimidated by. The point is, I spoke for him and sent messages to the bosses because he would just do whatever they say and I didn’t want him to suffer further injury. My boss and his boss told me that if I did it again that they would fire us both that I was not to help him, either with work or with speaking to them. I help my co-workers all the time. I’m enraged. I want them to be fired and I want to sue them as individuals, not the company.

Asked on June 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can neither sue the managers nor the business: they are not liable for your son's condition. They did not cause the spider to bite him; and while they may have asked him to keep working, he could have left and gone to a doctor or emergency room--they did not hold him captive or put a gun to his head (I presume). You write that he has aspergers and social anxiety but, not to be too blunt or harsh, that is not the employer's concern: they are not his legal guardian. If he can make decisions for himself, he is accountable for his choice to put his employment ahead of his health and keep working; and if he is not competent to make decisions for himself, then the responsibility is that of his legal guardian(s), who put him in that position. In either event, it is not his employer's responsibility.


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