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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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Last Friday, my wife suffered a severe nerves breakdown triggered

Customer Question

Last Friday, my wife suffered a severe nerves breakdown triggered by her bully boss. She was admitted at emergency in the hospital where it was found that she was close to have a heart attack. The boss was hired about 6 months ago and he has picked in her since day one, frequently screaming at her and humiliating her in public. She is the International Finance Director, worked for the company for 8 years and always receive excellent evaluations for her performance, from different bosses in the past. Her boss is the CFO, seems to be insecure, explosive and disrespectful who seems to have an agenda against my wife. The doctor wrote a letter recommending my wife not to have any interaction with him. Last Friday, when my wife told her boss in writing and verbally that she was not feeling well and needed to receive medical attention. Instead of helping her, the lunatic of her boss screamed at her asking to go to see HR in a threatening tone. My wife felt like fainting and kept telling her boss that she was not well and needed medical assistance and walked to the elevator. Her boss continued screaming her all the way from her office to the elevator, trying to prevent her from going to seek medical help. There are at least 3 witnesses of this incident. I went to pick up my wife and drive her to the hospital where there ran several tests. She had her blood pressure extremely high, very dizzy, severe headache, and emotionally affected. The doctor said she could have had a heart attack and advised to follow up with her private doctor and cardiologist. She is temporarily at home resting but feels terrified to get back to work and having to deal with her maniac boss. I understand it's not illegal to by a bully boss, but this is beyond bullying, it's preventing my wife from receiving medical help when needed. What to do? My wife is planning to file an official complaint with HR, but I don't think it would be possible to continue working with such lunatic boss.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I need you to be more specific in your question(s) if you could. When we answer general ones like "what do I do", "what are my rights" or "what are my options" we have to give general answers and, invariably, the customer responds with "I already knew that". This type of forum works better if you ask specific questions so we know exactly what you are looking for.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Based on the described event, what can my wife do? What the boss did, trying to prevent her from seeking medical attention, is considered illegal. What's your advise?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Your response seems to be a pre written standard answer. Is this all from you, or are you preparing a reply to my questions?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
The first paragraph is a standard intro I use. I am working on an answer now but it will take a few minutes.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options. Her injuries are limited to a workers comp claim. It's the exclusive remedy for on the job issues.There isn't anything illegal about trying to stop her from going to seek medical attention although it could be against company policy and is certainly immoral. As you mentioned, it's not illegal for a boss to be a bully.What I'd recommend she consider doing is going to a local lawyer that does employment law and discuss the possibilities available under the Americans with Disabilities Act. the ADA is a very powerful piece of legislation but it is also purposely written in an extremely vague way. The lawyer will want to sit down and go over the specifics of this incident as well as potential solutions that she may be able to use through the ADA.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
I am assuming that her heart and nervous condition will qualify under the ADA, but I think it is likely it will.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
The ADA covers serious health conditions or situations which an employer considers a serious health condition. Your wife is probably covered under both definitions.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
The ADA requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations if it will assist the employee in completing their job.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
As I said, the language is general so the lawyer will want to discuss in detail what your wife does, what the boss does, how the company operates, etc.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
She will also be required to file a complaint with the EEOC, but she doesn't want to do that until she talks to the local lawyer and goes over the plans. Anything the EEOC has will be provided to the other side and she has to be careful as to what she says and how she says it because people often phrase things in a way that hurts them in a lawsuit later. That's one of the reasons she needs a lawyer now, to help her prepare her EEOC papers in a way that doesn't hurt her and can actually help her if she has to file a lawsuit later. You have to assume everything will be an exhibit in the lawsuit.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
There is a limited amount of time to file with the EEOC as well, it cna be as short as a few months. If a charge of discrimination is not filed with the EEOC then a lawsuit cannot be pursued.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.
However, it may be that the lawyer can help her make the request for a reasonable accommodation in such a way that it resolves the issue and a lawsuit is not necessary.