Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

My husband is VP at software startup with maybe 500

Hi - my husband...

Hi - my husband is VP at software startup with maybe 500 employees. At a company sales conference last week he got into a a heated conversation (raised voices, profanity, no physical contact) with another VP. The parties involved don't seem bothered, but someone reported this to HR. Apparently a client was within earshot.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?

So now the company is "going through an HR process" deciding whether he should be fired as they have a "zero tolerance" policy for behaivor and alcohol consumption. The HR person called him today to review the incident and told him they will "be going through process" and will get back to him.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes - HR person was grilling him about alcohol consumption. Because it is in company handbook that company has zero tolerance for alcohol related offenses (company is Mormon run). My husband was at company dinner where his wine glass was refilled multiple times while he was having client discussions. Also, he was berated by 2 other drunken colleagues at same conference. Person he had heated conversation was drunkenly busy discussing physical attributes of female colleague half his age. And client propositioned him through sales person. So - a lot of bad behavior.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,574
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. (The system will automatically generate a phone call request to you. Unless I specifically state, during our discussion, that a phone call is possible, I intend to just use this chat format as I am not in a position to accept a phone call).

While it certainly sounds like there was a lot of bad behavior going on, I'm not sure how that figures into any question you may have here. The employer can legally choose to hold him accountable singularly, even if others were not behaving appropriately. A client heard the exchange, making it relevant to the workplace and so the employer can take action based on that.

You are certain welcome to follow up with any questions that you may have, but I see nothing illegal in the facts that you have outlined so far.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Please DON’T rate my service until after you have asked any follow up questions that you have, so that I have the best opportunity to earn all 5 stars. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,574
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified
Allen M., Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
They seem to be focusing on alcohol consumption. Does a company have the legal right require my husband to attend a company dinner, refill his glass repeatedly without his knowledge or consent and then institute an hr process to consider firing him for violating the company's "zero tolerance" on alcohol related incidents?

They can focus on that, if they wish. There is nothing illegal about that.

Yes, they can require that he attend a dinner where there is alcohol. Having alcohol at a location does not necessitate alcohol related incidents, so there is nothing illegal about having a "zero tolerance" policy related to alcohol related incidents. There is no fundamental conflict there.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
You seem to be ignoring that waiters repeatedly refilled his glass without his knowledge or consent.

Ma'am, I am not ignoring that at all. It is just not legally relevant.

I want to be delicate here, because I'm not trying to be insulting at all. Waiters can only refill a glass that is being emptied. Some responsibility then is placed on the person emptying it.

The fact that the waiters refilled his glass is common in many restaurants. The issue here is that there was an alcohol related incident and just because alcohol is present somewhere does not necessitate that there will be an alcohol related incident. That typically requires excessive consumption and responsibility for that can legally be placed on the consumer.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have spent thousands on Just Answer legal advice. You are the first lawyer (?) I have encountered who is made no effort to provide thoughtful advice. Most I have been incredibly impressed by. You have outed yourself as a misogynist with little interest in performing the service for which you are being paid.

I am simply being honest about the law here.

The attempts to insult me and call me names, while understandable given that I can't give you the answer you want here, are without need or effect. I am an attorney of a few decades and have practiced in this area for a long time. I take no pleasure in giving you bad news. I'm just respecting you enough to be honest with you.

As for the "mysognist" remark, I'm not sure how you see that. I'm from the south and Ma'am is a term of respect. As a JAG, I specialize in prosecuting sexual assaults, so I'm fairly secure in my respect for women.

Again, I'm sorry that I cannot give you the answer you want to hear, but nothing that you have described is illegal from an employment law stand point.

Take care.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have consulted qualified, thoughtful employment lawyers in the past. Let me give you an example as to how a higher level attorney approaches things. I was in a group that was drastically downsized. They didn't want to get rid of me as I was one of very few senior women at firm. They gave me insulting job assignments. They lawyer I consulted said that short of handing me a broom I had no cause under employment. But he gave me a bunch of things to look out for. One - if company explicitly said they were not longer engaging in business for which I had been hired. They did ultimately admit this and I got 1 years severance and a hefty bonus. So if that attorney had just given the cursory "Ma'am, I want to be delicate here..." you have no case... I would be short $500k. So thankfully, I have encounters with lawyers vastly more thoughtful and competent than you.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have consulted qualified, thoughtful employment lawyers in the past. Let me give you an example as to how a higher level attorney approaches things. I was in a group that was drastically downsized. They didn't want to get rid of me as I was one of very few senior women at firm. They gave me insulting job assignments. They lawyer I consulted said that short of handing me a broom I had no cause under employment law. But he gave me a bunch of things to look out for. One - if company explicitly said they were not longer engaging in business for which I had been hired. They did ultimately admit this and I got 1 years severance and a hefty bonus. So if that attorney had just given the cursory "Ma'am, I want to be delicate here..." you have no case... I would be short $500k. So thankfully, I have had encounters with lawyers vastly more thoughtful and competent than you.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
You never asked what state we live in - you are not legitimate.
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an employment lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Allen M., Esq. Your Own Question
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,574
20,574 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Allen M., Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

20,574 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,490 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,478 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,029 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

2,893 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I am a woman and work at a place where I am constantly
i am a woman and work at a place where I am constantly bullied and harassed by a Vice president (male). I have worked at this engineering firm for over 14 years. I had meetings with other senior mgmt.… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,526 satisfied customers
I was summoned to a client meeting the other day, along with
I was summoned to a client meeting the other day, along with the consultant and our management team. (Group Insurance Client, effective 1/1/14). I am the account manager. Implementation went well, kud… read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,007 satisfied customers
I filed an HR complaint against a Director that was not my
I filed an HR complaint against a Director that was not my direct supervisor (although he was the lead for our team). The HR person told me it went beyond harassment to an ethics violation. My claims … read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,007 satisfied customers
I received an email from the vp of sales that said: My HR non-compliant
I received an email from the vp of sales that said: My HR non-compliant comment for the day...you look great in those jeans. My husband saw the email too. I met with the VP of HR and the HR Manager. T… read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
2,893 satisfied customers
Hi, Id like to run my scenario by you for legal advice.
Hi, I'd like to run my scenario by you for legal advice. I have no issues with any coworkers or anyone in my company other than my boss who has been regularly threatening and demeaning. Example: drunk… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
I just found out that my company has launched an official investigation
I just found out that my company has launched an official investigation regarding the remarks made in my presence by a Sr. VP hat I asked you about previously. I am now going to have to face him at so… read more
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Doctoral Degree
8,421 satisfied customers
Both employees are coordinators within the same department,
Both employees are coordinators within the same department, one employee sent an inappropriate email to an employee, the other employee had a verbal configuration and used profane language to another … read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
20,574 satisfied customers
I believe I may have a case against my current employer for
I believe I may have a case against my current employer for creating and perpetuating a caustic work environment. I am a Business Development Manager specializing in projects for the Air Force and Air… read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
Are there any specific laws which target verbal abuse at the
Are there any specific laws which target verbal abuse at the workplace? Our office is in the state of Virginia.… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor
3,071 satisfied customers
I have been in my current position for only 6 months, although
I have been in my current position for only 6 months, although I worked in another division for 13 years. I am 61 years old and am constantly being criticized by my hiring manager. (We previously work… read more
AttorneyTom
AttorneyTom
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor, BSBA
1 satisfied customers
I have a very distraught 37 year old male friend. He was recently
I have a very distraught 37 year old male friend. He was recently fired from Aramak at the Johnson and Johnson Co. His boss was an old friend and felt he could berate my friend when ever he had a bad … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,766 satisfied customers
Im 57 yrs old and employed as a Director of Marketing Communications
I'm 57 yrs old and employed as a Director of Marketing Communications by Fortune 500 company since 2007 but without a contract and under its at-will employment policy. I'm considered an "exceeds expec… read more
AttorneyTom
AttorneyTom
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor, BSBA
1 satisfied customers
My boss is wanting me to write a contract up for only one of
My boss is wanting me to write a contract up for only one of our employees stating that this person can not have any alcohol at any time or this person will be fired. Even in this persons off time whe… read more
JPEsq
JPEsq
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,086 satisfied customers
My wife is 49, a professional in a just-under sixfigure positition
My wife is 49, a professional in a just-under sixfigure positition with 13 years in the industry. She took a lateral position with a new company 6 months agao and her direct report (The national sales… read more
JPEsq
JPEsq
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,086 satisfied customers
I refused to let an employee whom I directly supervise to travel
I refused to let an employee whom I directly supervise to travel overseas because he had been away from the office and we were short handed. He kept insisting that a high level individual wanted him t… read more
Loren
Loren
578 satisfied customers
IM DEALING WITH EXTREME PROFANITY DIRECTED AT ME IN THE WORKPLACE.
IM DEALING WITH EXTREME PROFANITY DIRECTED AT ME IN THE WORKPLACE. I AM CURRENTLY SEEING A DOCOTR B/C OF THE STRESS AND ISSUES IT CAUSES. CAN MY BOSS DO THIS?… read more
N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney
JD
6,798 satisfied customers
Company in CA has a customer that constantly berates its sales
Company in CA has a customer that constantly berates its sales people, customer service, and many others. He is known throughout the industry and is extremely difficult to deal with. People tolerate h… read more
AttorneyTom
AttorneyTom
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor, BSBA
1 satisfied customers
At a sales meeting last year in May, I was shoved by a drunken
At a sales meeting last year in May, I was shoved by a drunken VP into the President who pushed me back and the VP forcibly shoved me back and I hit the ground - mild to moderate disc herniation. At a… read more
Ronald Frederick
Ronald Frederick
Principal
Doctoral Degree
86 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x