Can I sue the President/CEO of the company I work for?

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Can I sue the President/CEO of the company I work for?

The CEO/President of the company I work for is known for insulting people on a daily basis employees, vendors, customers, etc He will talk about someone’s weight, race, etc without a care in the world and feels that it is ok because he is the owner and if you don’t like it there’s the door. I have him on recording during a managers meeting where he spent almost 10 minutes, talking about my weight, the race and weight of my husband, etc. I want to know do I have a case? Can I sue him for this? It has to stop, and I am not the only one he insults. It’s not right and you should never have to come to work every day wondering how many times you will be insulted by the president of the company.

Asked on December 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer may insult people over many things safely: their weight, for example, or the groups they belong to, level of schooling or education, fashion sense, preferred hobbies or TV shows, etc. BUT there are some things that you cannot insult or harass employees over, because the law specifically prohibits it: race, color, age 40 or over, national origin, sex, disability, religion (or in your state, also over someone's veteran status, genetic information, marital status, & sexual orientation). If someone does harass--for example, insult--someone over these protected categories, that is illegal employment discrimation. Since you write that the employer employer insults people over their race, any employee who suffers such racially based insults or harassments could contact either the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint. Being the company owner does NOT exempt you from anti-discrimination law.


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