Is there anything that I can do if my boss is being verbally abusive, and I confront him about it and he fires me?

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Is there anything that I can do if my boss is being verbally abusive, and I confront him about it and he fires me?

I have worked with my previous employer for a little over a year. Since I started, I have had nothing but praise for my hard work and dedication from co-workers and supervisors. However, our boss has constantly put me down and told me I am not doing a good job and that he doesn’t think I will make a good lawyer or politician (that is what I am currently studying in college). There have been times I have left his office crying because of the way he talks down to me and treated me like I’m stupid. There have been days that I have actually cried just because of the thought of having to meet with him. On Tuesday, my boss yelled at me and told me to shut-up in the open part of our office where all of the employees and anyone walking by could hear him. Later, I went to his office to talk to him about it. I told him “I understand your frustrations with me earlier, however, I do not appreciate being yelled at and told to shut-up where everyone could hear us. He cut me off and wouldn’t let me finish. He then said that he did not care about what I had to say or my feelings, I need to stop acting like a little child and grow up. He then, to my complete surprise, fired me. I am not sure what I can do.

Asked on December 9, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no legal recourse here for wrongful termination.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will"; meaning that you can choose to work for an employer or not and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While seemingly unfair it's the law. Additionally, there is no law against an employer being rude and unprofessional.

The exceptions to the above would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or official company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination.  Absent any of these circumstance your firing was lawful.


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