Is threat management style legal?

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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Is threat management style legal?

The upper management in the company I work for is always threatening its employees, sending out e-mails saying how stupid people are and that they are idiots. One e-mail word for word says, “I can’t believe how many stupid people we have working for us”. I am district manager for this company and some of the e-mail’s from upper management will threaten our jobs and our employees jobs on a daily basis.

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, management by threat and management by insult are both legal. When you get down to it, there is no "right" to a job (unless you have an employment contract, which bestows contractual rights)--therefore, an employer may run the workplace any way it wants, including having an extremely hostile workplace and threatening employee's jobs on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, those are not empty threats if you don't have an employment contract, you are almost certianly an employee at will and may be terminated at will.

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