Workplace Humiliation Questions
Is verbal abuse and public humiliation acceptable disciplinary action by an employer?There are two ways that an employee can protect themselves from an abusive employer. The first way would be if you have a contract with your employer that specifically states that the employer cannot react or discipline you in certain ways, such as verbal or workplace humiliation. The second way would be for you to prove that your employer is abusive towards you based on your age, race, gender, religion, or disability. If your employer is discriminating against you based on the second example, you have grounds to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Once you file your complaint, the EEOC will investigate your claim and determine if there has been a violation made by your employer. If they find a violation committed by your employer, you can then go to court and sue. If your employer has broken the terms of your employment contract, you would be able to take them to court and sue for breach of contract. However, if there are no violations, you are considered an At Will employee which means that your employer can treat you however they wish (if done without violating any rules for a protected class; age, race, gender, religion, or disability). The employer can also choose to demote or fire you without cause.
Can an employee sue an employer for humiliation and hostile work environment?Not all employer humiliation and harassment is illegal and generally isn't enough to warrant legal action. The exception to this would be if your employer is treating you differently based on your age, race, gender, religion, or disability. This also applies to a hostile work environment. Your employer isn't required to be polite and can choose to be a tyrant as long as their reasons are not based on your age, race, gender, religion, or disability. You should consult with an Employment Lawyer in your area because he/she may be aware of a loophole in the state laws that my affect your individual situation.
Are there federal or state laws that prohibit an employer from employee humiliation?There is no state or federal laws that prohibit an employer from being mean or rude to an employee. The exception to this would be if your employer acted on the workplace humiliation on the grounds of illegal discrimination; such as your age, race, gender, religion, or disability. Although mean and abusive language is considered unprofessional, it is legal.
If an employer humiliates an employee because they don't like the employee's voice, is that a form of discrimination?In order for this to be considered unlawful discrimination, your employer would have to base his/her actions based on your age, race, gender, religion, or disability. If your employer's actions are motivated by illegal discrimination, their actions would be illegal. However, if your employer's actions were not motivated by this type of discrimination, it would be legal. If you think that your employer is unfairly discriminating against you and you have exhausted all of your options within the company, you can contact the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and file a discrimination complaint.
If an employer humiliates an employee with sexual remarks, would that be considered sexual harassment?If an employer makes sexual remarks directed at an employee, this is considered sexual harassment. If your supervisor is exhibiting this type of behavior, you should report the situation to your HR department and the Department of Labor. If you wish to sue your employer for sexual harassment, you should include workplace humiliation as part of your claim. Usually, a company will discipline or terminate a supervisor for sexual harassment; however every company has its own set of policies and protocol for handling individual situations.
If you find yourself in a sticky situation that requires a legal perspective, ask the Experts. The Experts handle a wide variety of workplace humiliation questions and are ready to provide you with a solution to your individual problem. The thousands of Employment Law Experts can answer your legal questions in a fast and knowledgeable manner.