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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am a supervisor franchise owner. He's not the easiest

Customer Question

I am a supervisor for a franchise owner. He's not the easiest person to work for and sets high expectations. Which is fine because I'm an over achiever. However, can I be held accountable for the results if he is constantly interfering with how my managers run the store? I've grown to be very knowledgeable in our business and working on the front line and I have to report to him before any action happens. Can he take credit for my work. Also in many recent events he has humiliated me in front of employees and it's getting to the point where I don't feel comfortable going to work because the fear that my boss will yell, swear, threaten to replace me, or so many other things. I've never been bullied, especially not by an employer. No one should be allowed to demoralize.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Do you have a written contract for a specific term with the employer or are you an at will employee?

Is he doing this to you based only on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin and for no other reason?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's an at will employment. He did have me sign a contract also.
I've been with the company since 2010, it's always been a roller coaster. These days when you need to have a job it's just accepted. I've seen this happen with several of my employees that quit because they refuse to receive unfair treatment. At the time I was neive and didn't understand. It's just accumulated to a point where I need help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that because I've been sticking up for myself and others, Pointing out where he's not fair or in the wrong is upsetting him. There's many things that have lead to this. However, the fact that he as an owner has been escalating the situation rather end it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, he did try to put his hand on my leg and I reacted and stopped him immediately.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, under the law, workplace bullying is not legally actionable. The only legal causes of action if you are an at will employee is proving the sole reason for his actions are based only on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin. The US Supreme Court has been very clear on the point that workplace harassment is only legally actionable if it is solely based on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee and the laws did not intend to create a code of civility in the workplace (See: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore).

So, him being a jerk and a loudmouth with using foul language in the workplace is not legally actionable under law, despite the fact it is not proper conduct and that it does cause workplace strife and issues. Sadly, the laws do not allow suing the employer for being a jerk, only for the specific reasons I mentioned above, and as the owner it is his business and if he cannot properly treat employees but is not violating the statutes, the employee's only recourse is to document the conduct and quit for good cause and seek unemployment.

I understand this may not be what you wanted to hear, but legally the laws are so very specific as to what the at will employee can sue the employer for regarding workplace conditions and we are constrained by those laws in what we can tell customers.

If there was conduct towards you based only on age/race/sex/disability/national origin, then your first step is to file a complaint with the EEOC, as the requirement is to file a complaint for them to investigate to exhaust your administrative remedies and they have to issue a right to sue letter. You have 300 days from the last incident of the unlawful act based on age/race/sex/disability to file a claim if it was ongoing violations and 180 days from the act if it was a single instance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to do any major damage for my background or the company. I'm taking into consideration too, that I. Not just representing myself either. My employees as well. We all cannot afford to just quit and find another job. He is well aware of it too. That's not going to stop him from taking advantage of the employment relation.As a supervisor I should not have to ask what my rights are either. I've educated myself over time and shouldn't the employer provide training for myself and at least store managers for legal situations? When I asked him this he. Responded the dumber you keep people the less of a head ache life becomes.
I suppose an individual suffering from an addiction isn't considered a disability? Even if this is how the individual copes with the pressure from the boss.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You are in a situation with a jerk for an owner/employer, but again not legally actionable. Just because you are a recovering addict does not mean he is doing this to you only because of that disability, he is treating everyone like a jerk so that destroys your claim he is doing this to you because you are an addict.

The employer has no legal obligation under any statutes in CA or under any federal statutes to educate any employee. Under CA law, for an at will employee, the employer can expect the employee to show up and do their job as assigned by the employer and the employee can only expect to be paid for their work and not be treated differently based only on their age/race/sex/disability/national origin, that is pretty much the limit of at will employee rights.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that this needs some attention from whom ever makes these laws. I'm sure you are aware of the % of Americans who admit to experiencing or witnessing workplace bullying. Also, these Americans find ways to cope by many ways a huge % being the use of an illegal substance to escape their present state. The top 4 most dangerous in our country are strong and addictive. I don't understand that we are suppose to watch our citizens while doing this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well thank you for clarification.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I unfortunately hear it multiple times every day about jerk supervisors or managers or owners with no personal skills. It is destructive or workplace morale and adds undue stress on employees. However, while a few states tried to pass workplace bullying laws, not one state has managed to do so yet.

If this conduct is the workplace has caused you to suffer debilitating stress, CA law allows for filing of a workers compensation claim for job related stress, for which you would need a local doctor to diagnose you and file a claim. However outside of that claim, the laws still have not provided for protection from jerks in the workplace.

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