Employment law, is this Physcological abuse or legal to request of a management team, to eat larva, grasshoppers, and worms as discipline?

In a management team meeting CEO deemed eating larva, grasshoppers, and worms as a form of discipline for not completing directions is this legal? We have the right of refusal correct? Please advise.

Asked on June 8, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm sure this question is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as the facts are concerned.  I'm not a Michigan attorney, and I very strongly suggest that you talk to a lawyer in your area, to get advice that you can rely on, based on all of the facts of the case.  One place to find counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

There are a number of ways this could be looked at.  If you don't have employment contracts, you work "at will" and the CEO does not need a legal reason to fire you, he only needs to avoid illegal reasons, such as racial discrimination, and retaliation for things like filing workers compensation petitions.  If you have a contract that says you can only be fired for cause (or, in rare cases, an employee handbook that includes this, in a way that allows it to be used as a contract), though, there is probably an implied requirement that the cause be reasonable, and I doubt that many judges would consider the CEO's position reasonable.

Another way of looking at this is the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, sometimes called outrage, that is recognized in some states.  It only applies where the person's conduct is beyond the bounds of common decency, but this might well qualify.

Don't take this lying down, follow up with an attorney as soon as you can.

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