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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12941
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am a store manager of 30 years have never dealt with an

Customer Question

I am a store manager of 30 years have never dealt with an employee that has issues taking direction she lets myself and my assistant know she is 56 and don't need to be told anything. She lost it at me I could not even talk or reason with her so I asked her to punch out and go home. My boss came in next day we both sat down with her she again lost it my boss could not talk to her at all and in the end she called me a bullier, lyar and was sure I have some kind of medical issue. Now there will be an investigation by my bosses boss I let him know I will not take the name calling lightly. Want to get my ducks in a row to see how I should move forward?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. I am sorry to hear about this problem employee. However, I am unclear as to what your question is. Clearly, this employee is deserving of termination or at least discipline. So what is your concern? What do you mean by getting your ducks in a row? I think I will be able to better assist you if I know what your concerns here are.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, I'm not set up for phone calls. However, your request is being passed on to others who may be able to fulfill your request. In the mean time, if you would like to proceed through this online forum I am more than happy to assist you. I just need you to respond to my questions above.....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My concern is if she is allowed to keep her job what rights do I have as her boss to proceed with legal action against her for the name calling?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Unfortunately, there probably isn't any legal action that an individual in your circumstance can take. Name calling is impolite and unprofessional, but not illegal. Making factual untrue statements can give rise to a claim for defamation, but you would need to link this employee's statements to a financial loss of some kind in order to have a claim, and unless you are fired or demoted because of the statements you don't have that. Furthermore, you would have the burden of proving that the statements were false, and it's almost impossible to prove that you "aren't a liar." The "bullying" statement is a statement of opinion, not an objective statement of fact and so can never give rise to a defamation claim.

Then, on top of all, this, the best case result of a defamation suit is a judgment that will most likely be uncollectable because this employee won't have the assets to pay it. Really for all these reasons, defamation actions against individuals are almost never practical to bring.

So, as a practical matter, all you can do is continue to document this employee's offensive and unprofessional behavior and "build a case" so to speak so that your boss will give you the authority to take the disciplinary action you believe is appropriate. As her manager, you should already have this authority but some employers like to keep a tight grasp on hiring and firing authority and so situations like these are not unheard of. Basically, you need to deal with the situation on an interpersonal level, being mindful of the company politics at play. Regretfully, the law is not going to be much help to you here.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is there any legal action I can take against my employer for allowing this employee to do this?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately no. An employer has no duty in this circumstance to take action against the offending employee. All you can do is attempt to persuade. I am sorry.