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What Should You Do If Your Boss is Abusive?

Most people have occasional issues with their bosses, but sometimes, these issues cross the line into abusive situations. Employees must put up with a lot in the workplace, but when things become downright abusive, it is time to speak up. Employment laws are designed to protect employees from certain kinds of abuse and if you believe your boss has crossed a line, you have the right to take action. Unfortunately, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to defending yourself against an abusive boss.

If you have been exposed to any of the following, you might have a case against your employer:

Assault: If you are afraid you are going to be physically attacked, it could be a case of assault. Has your boss thrown anything at you or made a motion to hit you? These are instances of assault. However, it is important to realize that proving assault, because there is often no injury, can be very difficult. Your best bet is to keep a record of occurrences and follow the appropriate channels for reporting the occurrences in your workplace. You should also consider having a witness with you whenever you need to spend time with your boss.

Battery: Battery occurs when there is any kind of unwanted touching. Again, you must prove these events occurred and should follow the same protocol as you would with assault.

Emotional distress: Just about everyone could claim his or her boss caused emotional distress of some kind at one time or another. In order for there to be legal action, you need to consider whether the emotional distress was the result of physical harm or discrimination or retaliation.

Discrimination: If your boss is abusing you in ways that are related to your age, gender, race, religion, or other protected status he or she is breaking discrimination laws. There are federal, state, and local discrimination laws in place to protect employees. If you can prove harassment is based on your being part of a protected class, you can take legal action against the abuser. Take note of patterns of abuse and keep detailed notes about things that are said and done.

If you are the victim of abuse in the workplace, you need to think carefully about whether it is worth filing a complaint. Often, people who complain about small things find they are worse off after filing their complaint. Retaliation in any form, however, is also illegal. However, if you are truly facing an abusive situation, you need to take action. There is no reason why you or anyone else should be forced to deal with abuse in the workplace.

New York has aggressive employment laws designed to protect employees from harassment and other forms of abuse. If you would like to learn more or you believe you are in an abusive employment situation, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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