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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12638
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have question. I am an engineer in US, working a company

Customer Question

I have question. I am an engineer in US, working a company total over 250 employee.
Head company in Japan has over 6000 employee, and located branch in China.
Currently, I am afraid to president of company. Because he is very violent.
Always yelling, smashing table, employee said any opinion, always stated "I will fire you"
Force me to work 16 hour everyday, include Saturday and Sunday.
I am a single mother of 6 year old son. I need work. That why President coming my personal residence to yelling too. If I said anything any words, president smashing the table, yelling, and said; "I will fire you. because you has nothing! or do you want me to smashing your nouse ? " This is power harrasment. All manager knows about this situation. employee quit continue. I need advice. I am treating like a insect. Should I recording all president harrasment ? How could I legaly has employee dignity and human right ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

Unfortunately, the laws in this area strongly favor the employer. Absent an employment contract guaranteeing you employment for a specified period of time, you are what is known as an "at will" employee. More specifically, California Labor Code Section 2922 provides that: "employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other." What this means is that your employer is free to terminate you for any reason whatsoever, even a reason that is entirely unfair, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of California law. Accordingly, an employer can threaten to terminate an employee or actually terminate them for just about any reason they please.

There is also no law requiring civility between employer and employer. There are, however, laws prohibiting harassment on the basis of being part of a protected class. Unless your employer is harassing you on the basis of your race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation his or her treatment of you, however disrespectful, is probably not illegal. (See Govt. Code 12921.)

Typically, harassment must be sufficiently "severe or pervasive" to be actionable. Therefore, where there is a single harassing act, it must be shown to be particularly severe or egregious. Where there are numerous acts of relatively less serious harassment, the conduct may be viewed as "pervasive" in the aggregate, thus allowing a case to proceed.

Threats of physical violence are impermissible and may qualify as violations of OSHA or as a "common law" tort of "intentional infliction of emotional distress." To prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, one typically must demonstrate that the employer's conduct exceeded the "bounds of human decency." It takes truly egregious acts to satisfy this legal standard.

In short, there is typically no legal remedy where an employer is rude, mean or threatens termination. However, an employer cannot make threats of physical violence against employees and a cause of action may arise from such circumstance if the employer's conduct is severe and egregious.

I sincerely hope that this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

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