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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18808
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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My Son is 25 years old and has been working 4 months small

Customer Question

My Son is 25 years old and has been working 4 months for A small local non union electrical contracting company in Nassau county ( 4-6 employees) as a electricians helper making approx. $16.00 per hr. Two months after starting the boss started picking arguments with him telling him he had to work faster and was working to slow and that he could not possibly have 3 years experience in the field. At times his yelling turned into cursing and then chest bumping. My son remained respectful and did not argue back because he heeds this job because he is saving for his wedding in Sept. He is constantly picking on my son and encouraging his immediate supervisor to ride him till he breaks. He does not do this with any of the other helpers. During some of he would ask my son if was he on drugs or had a drinking problem. My son does neither. My son is never late or absent from work. Prior to this job my son worked for 3 years for another local company in the same field but gave notice and left that company on good terms for an increase in hours and a $1.00 more an hr. with this new company. He never had any work problems with his old company in the 3 years he worked there. Today his boss again told my son he had better start looking for another job and gave him till Friday to give him an answer. Also my son was told that all his overtime $ was going to be paid off the books and this also makes my son nervous because they are not taking out any taxes. My son said he was to nervous for his job to ask to be put on the books for his OT. This new boss had told my son that he would get a $2500.00 bonus at Christmas. My son would like to look for a new job just because of the treatment he is receiving from his boss and supervisor. I recently found all this out and am worried for my son he hates going to work. Is there anything my son can do. Thank you for taking the time to review my sons situation.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for your question today. I have some questions to better help me address your concerns.

Any evidence that your son is being discriminated against based on his race, religion, gender or disability?

I know you stated he was not with a union employer. Did he have a contract of employment stating that he couldn't be terminated without cause?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 12 months ago.

I'm not sure if you saw my questions. I asked them because they are legally significant.

In employment law, generalized harassment is not illegal. This comes from our Supreme Court, who noted that our employment laws are not meant to be a civility code. Instead, only certain forms of harassment are illegal....harassment based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent FMLA use can be considered illegal.

So, without being able to allege discrimination on one of those factors, he can't really do anything about the general treatment. Without a contract of employment like the one I mentioned, he doesn't have any means of suing for wrongful termination or constructive discharge (where an employer is essentially forcing you to leave), because those require contracts to work.

He does have a complaint here though about being paid off the books with his OT. For that, he needs to file a complaint with the Department of Labor in his state. Such a payment situation is illegal and is an attempt by the employer to show proper reporting of OT and pay in general.