What price can I put on bullying in the workplce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What price can I put on bullying in the workplce?

I was a guitar teacher at a guitar center and the managers bullied me for 6 months. They would make me clock out early for every one of my guitar students that didn’t show up for their lesson; that’s stealing from my wages. Also, when one of my students would did not show up, the managers would then glare at me and walk towards me to where I wouldn’t know which way to step out of their way. They wanted me out of the store in the 110 degree weather waiting for my next student.

Asked on June 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no price that the law puts on bullying and no compensation for it. The law of this country is "employment at will": among other things, that means that the employee has no right to a job or to be treated well or fairly at work, and the employer can make the job as unpleasant or downright awful as they like. Your boss may be mean to you or treat you badly and your only recourse is to seek a different job.
1) You can *never* get compensation for someone "glaring" at you: the law provides compensation for actual physical harm or economic loss, not for hurt feelings.
2) It is legal to have you clock out when there is no work for you to do (e.g. no student); that is not stealing.
3) An employer can tell you wait outside in the heat--there is no obligation to make you comfortable; if you don't like doing that, again, your recourse is seek other employment.

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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