Is it unlawful for my employer to not allow me to leave the office if I’ve expressed I was uncomfortable?

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Is it unlawful for my employer to not allow me to leave the office if I’ve expressed I was uncomfortable?

I was called into a meeting with my store manager male and assistant manager female to address my back-pay. As soon as my store manager began talking, I immediately told him that

Asked on February 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly lawful for your employer to tell you to not leave the room or to require you to listen to him, for however long he wants. He cannot actually lock you in or kidnap you, of course--if he does, that is a crime--but you can be terminated (or anything less than termination, like demotion or suspension) if you leave before your employer tells you that you may leave. And if you are fired, it would be "for cause"--for ignoring instructions--and you would not be eligible for unemployment. Similarly, you could be terminated for cause if you don't return to work.
Your employer, not you, determines where you should be and what you must do at work. Your only option if you don't like this supervisor or what this workplace is like is to seek other employment.


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