Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello. He sounds like a few of the winners that I have worked for in my lifetime. If this man is being abusive towards you and singling you out for abusive treatment due to your race, disability, gender, age (over 40), sexual orientation or religion, there is nothing in employment law that protects you from this behavior and if you tell him off and they terminate you for it, your actions can still be found to be insubordinate and you would not have grounds for a wrongful termination suit. You see, in the US, in every state, unless you are protected by a union or you have a written employment contract with the company (which is rare and usually only with upper level employees like CEO's), then you are an employee "at will" -- which means that so long as they pay you the minimum wage and you are not discriminated against for any of the above referenced reasons, the supervisors and the company can treat you any way they choose and there is very little you can do about it except to quit the company.
However, applying for and receiving unemployment compensation if you quit this job is a different matter entirely. The standards used by the unemployment compensation commission are a bit stricter against the employer and if you can get some proof of this behavior towards you then you will most likely be awarded unemployment benefits if you quit or get fired for telling him off (either in the form of a witness statement or testimony at the unemployment hearing or abusive emails he may have sent -- just something concrete that shows the manner in which he treated you is fine). To protect yourself for a potential unemployment hearing you should sit down and pull together a timeline / journal -- write down dates, times, people present and what happened in each incident. If you keep it brief, the hearings officer might accept this timeline into evidence to show what occurred when -- and because of the contents of the timeline it will work as some of the proof submitted of the abusive behavior. You will need either witness statements or to bring a witness or two for your side (persons who have observed his treatment of you) or he will have to admit to this behavior at the hearing (or someone from the company will have to admit to it).
I really wish I could tell you that you have a lawsuit against the company, but under these circumstances, the unemployment benefits might be the only avenue open to you -- and it will bother the company if you do receive them because their unemployment comp premiums with the state increase for every person collecting benefits under their employer identification number!
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