What are my legal options if I was phsically threatened by my employer?

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What are my legal options if I was phsically threatened by my employer?

My wife has worked in a dental office for 18 months. The owner, who is also the head doctor, balled up his fist and drew his arm back and said I’m gonna punch you. She is scared to go back to work now. We live paycheck to paycheck. She can file for unemployment? Also, since that is just a portion of what she made, can she sue for lost wages? Also, can she press charges or can she ask him to pay her until she finds new employment in lieu of pressing charges?

Asked on February 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) She can press charges.
2) She can very likely receive unemployment, since this would seem to constitute "constructive termination:" being effectively terminated due to conditions that no reasonable employee would endure, even under "employment at will." 
3) However, she is not entitled to lost wages or wages until she finds a new job (unless the employer chooses voluntarily to pay her): under U.S. law, unless she had a written employment contract guarantying her pay for a set period of time (in which case she entitled to pay for that period of time), once employment ends for *any* reason, there is no right to further pay.


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