What should I do if I redeport verbal abuse but was later asked to resign?

A manager pointed finger at me, called me a liar in front of other co-workers, then demanded that I complete a task. I did not blow up because I was afraid for my job security, so I went and finished the task. I went home and cried all night. I called the supervisor. The next day, he had the manager stay home. But at the end of the day, he asked me to resign, instead he could transfer me to another location. I am forced to quit my job. What can I do?

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may not be able to do anything.

First, while an employer cannot discrminate on the basis of race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability--that is, it cannot harass a worker, or take negative action against them, because of one of these characteristics--an employer otherwise can "abuse" staff. That is, as a general matter, employers can be disrespectful, can yell, can call staff names, be unpleasant, etc.--there  is no law requiring employers to be respectful and fair, so long as they are not discriminating against a protected category.

Second, if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employee at will be disciplined, demoted, or terminated at any time, for any reason--even unfair ones--again, so long as there is no illegal discrimination. So if you are an employee at will, the employer does not have to transfer you; the employer may instead ask you to resign, and then fire you if you do not.


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