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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33782
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Today my employer, seemingly for no reason, said f**k you

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Today my employer, seemingly for no reason, said 'f**k you' to me and left. She arrived back a few minutes later and told me if I didnt change my attitude I was reciieving my last check today. I asked her what was wrong, repeating the conversation as I heard it befor the 'f**k you'. She again told me, waving a finger in my face that my poor attitude was to change or it was my last check. I asked for examples of what she ment by my attitude, she could give me none. I asked for an appoligy for cussing at me in fround of all our customers, she said no. I told her she couldn't treat me like that and I would take her to the labor board if she fired me. She said 'f**k YOU BITCH" and walked out. I have asked again to sit down and talk this out so I would know what I was doing wrong, she told me she didnt need to talk to me. She is taking my 8 hour shift from me tomorrow. Can she talk to me like this? My fellow employee didnt know why shewas saying those things to me. She didnt fire me. She told me I was also not coming in for the extre hours I was to work on Mon. So I asked if I was to come in Wed for my regular shift, she said if I wanted to. I feel stressed and humillated because she did this infront of many customers. I feel shes going to cause me diress and adding this docking of hours, to try and make me quit so I cant get unemployment. what should I be doing? She also doesnt let us take breaks, if a customer comes in the resturant we have to stop break or lunch and work, and there have been many days where I have not been able to sit or eat in my 8 hour shift.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

The issue with the meal and rest breaks is different from that of the abusive language.

If you are not receiving breaks as required by law, then your recourse is to file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Click here.

The abusive language is a bit more difficult, because an employer can verbally discipline an employee, and there is no recourse for the employee, other than to quit -- unless (1) the employer has a written disciplinary policy (employee handbook or other written document) that is being violated by the employer, or (2) the abusive conduct is related to discrimination based upon race, color, creed, nationalty, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, equal pay between sexes, age or disability.

Unlawful discrimination claims are difficult to spot. Sometimes what seems to have nothing to do with discrimination actually does, but the employee doesn't always realize that the employer has some class-based bias. I can't tell from your facts whether there is anything to the discrimination charge, but you may want to think about what triggers your employer's bad conduct, because it may have a basis in something that you're not considering.

If you think of something, then to file a discrimination charge, see this link.

There is one other possibility: a lawsuit for defamation of character. This means that the employer's comments are false, reputation injuring and made in front of others. If you could prove all of that, then you would have a claim for defamation -- however, even if you do, getting damages from the employer can be very difficult, because you have to show exactly how the employer's statements injured you and cost you money. Most employees cannot show any actual damages, consequently a defamation action won't work.

But, I would encourage you to think about this, too, because maybe you can think of a reason why this would cost you money. If you can, then you can sue.

If you come up with something, then for an employment rights lawyer referral, see this link.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is her taking away of hours, like my 8 hours today count as damages, or loss of wages due to her anger? Also her slandering my name may indeed make it harder to find another job. So you are saying an employer can fly off the handle for seemingly no reason and cus you out? Than make you work under diress? I work in a resturant with only 3 people, she and I work closly together and shes never disciplined me pryor to this event.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Is her taking away of hours, like my 8 hours today count as damages, or loss of wages due to her anger?

A: Under California law, the employer can suspend you from work, without any reason! So, your employer's anger is not really an issue, because she could have told you that you were the most wonderful employee that has ever lived, and then suspended you for 8 hours, and you would have no recourse against her. It's her business, and she can manage it as she wishes -- unless you can show unlawful discrimination.

Also her slandering my name may indeed make it harder to find another job.

A: If you can prove that the slander/defamation prevents you from obtaining future employment, then the lost wages from the slander are recoverable against the employer.

So you are saying an employer can fly off the handle for seemingly no reason and cus you out?

A: Yes, for no reason at all. Labor Code 2922 -- unless she slanders you, engages in unlawful discrimination, or some other unlawful act.

Example 1: "You are an f'ing a**! I'm suspending you for 8 hours." [legal]

Example 2: "You are an f'ing n-word! I'm suspending you for 8 hours." [unlawful race discrimination]

Than make you work under diress?

A: Okay, now this is really important. No one can make you work. It may seem like you have no choice other than to submit to your employer's demands and bad actions -- but the truth is you do have an option: you can quit. If you need money to eat, then quitting may seem like an impossible option -- but, in my experience exactly the opposite is true. There are always other restaurant jobs, and if you're a good worker than you can get them, and not havie to put up with your current employer's nonsense.

I can't tell you what to do, but if it were me, I would not hang around and suffer abuse. I would just start interviewing for other jobs in my time off, and as soon as I got one, I would quit my current job and that would be the end of the matter.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What I still dont understand is you replied f'you n is harassment....a reference to skin color....yet my boss yelled f'you b...a negitive reference to my sex.....still harassment
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
The phrase "f*** you, bitch" is certainly derogatory. But I think you would have a great deal of difficulty getting a jury to believe that the speaker was referring to you negatively as a female, rather than as an individual.

It would likely be the same with an, "F*** you, n-word," if spoken by one african american to another. Moreover, you need to prove a pattern of abuse. A single outburst by an employer will not get a jury's attention -- and that's the botXXXXX XXXXXne. You have to be able to bring enough evidence of abuse to the court so that the jurors all think that your employer deserves to be sanctioned for her abusive conduct.

Otherwise, you'll lose.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 33782
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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