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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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).


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