Does an Employeer have the right to call a women “little girl” or tell you “if i tell you to count beans you will if you want to keep your job”?

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Does an Employeer have the right to call a women “little girl” or tell you “if i tell you to count beans you will if you want to keep your job”?

Asked on May 25, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

These are really two different questions.  "Little girl" is quite possibly the sort of thing that could be used in a sexual harassment lawsuit, although I doubt that it's enough all by itself unless it's a too-frequent sort of thing.  If it's used all the time, though, and if the employer doesn't call male employees "boy," it's possible that a jury might find what is called a hostile work environment, depending on a few other things.

"If I tell you to count beans," etc., is just a mean boss.  Unless you have a contract, employment is at will, meaning that the company can fire you for no reason at all, as long as there isn't an illegal reason, and there isn't really anything you can do about this part of it except find a better place to work.

For reliable advice, based on all of the facts of your case, you should see an attorney in your area, and one place to look is our website, http://attorneypages.com

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No person should be exposed to such abuse while at work.  However, there is not  a lot that can be done, especially if it is a small company other than write a letter to upper level management.  if the person that is being rude is the ultimate person in charge, then i suggest that the person quit and hire a lawyer to file some sort of claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress or negligent infliction of emotional distress.  These are probably the best claims and chances to prevail.


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