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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38911
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I feel like my boss has belittled me for a time and it is

Customer Question

I feel like my boss has belittled me for a long time and it is taking a toll on my health. He has made comments about my weight, both when I've lost it and gained it, my first husband died about 10 years ago and he continues to make comments about him even though he knows it upsets me, and now he makes comments about my second husband. Do I have any recourse?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: at will full time salaried
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have vacation benefits outlined in my employee handbook and my boss criticizes me for taking the time as it is outlined? Also wondering if there is a legal expectation for working a certain number of hours per week as a salaried employee. My boos keeps adding hours to my job.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 10 months ago.


In order to make a valid legal claim about an employer's verbal abuse, you must show:

1. That the abuse was intentional and intended to inflict extreme mental distress (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: IIED); or

2. That you have (a) received professional mental health or medical care for your distress (depression, anxiety, etc.), (b) notified your employer of your condition; and (c) that the employer has continued the abuse after that notification (disability discrimination).

From what you describe, you may be able to make a valid claim for #2 -- but, probably not for #1 (because the abuse is not sufficiently extreme). However, you need to be able to document your proof. That is, you must be able to prove that you have seen a mental health professional or physician, and that you have notified your employer of your condition (in writing). So, if you haven't done both of these things, then now is the time to start. Without this sort of careful proof, your claim will fail.

Once you have that proof, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) -- or, you can hire a private employment rights lawyer to demand damages or sue.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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