What can I do if I’m being verbally and mentally attacked by my employer?

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2010

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What can I do if I’m being verbally and mentally attacked by my employer?

I am working in a family owned business. The employees consists of the employer’s daughter, sister, mom, boyfriend, and friend; the others are regular employees. When his family does something wrong (especially his daughter), he takes out his frustration on me by waiting until I make a small mistake and start yelling and lecturing me. My employer has called me dumb, stupid, and mentally retarded. I have tried to talk to him about this but he just says that it isn’t his fault for being angry with me; it’s my fault because I don’t know how to communicate with him.

Asked on November 8, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First off, your boss seems like a jerk.  However, while his behavior towards you is unprofessional at best, it does not violate the law.  There is no legal obligation to treat employees fairly, respectfully, politely, etc. Companies, supervisors, and the like can be downright rude if they like, and the can certainly favor one employee over another.  What an employer can't do is to discriminate against an employee on the basis of a protected category (e.g. race, religion, age, disability status, or gender).  Also, this behavior would be illegal if it violated company policy or an employment/union contract is some way.

However, if you believe that you have been discriminated against, you can file a claim with file with CA's Department of Industrial Relations or you could file a lawsuit (consult with an employment attorney as to this).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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