Can I sue my employer for calling me a retard and stupid?

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2011

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Can I sue my employer for calling me a retard and stupid?

My area manager called me retarted and stupid.

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It depends--are you developmentally or cognitively or mentally challenged in some wa?y If you are, then calling you "retarded and stupid" may consitute illegal discrimination against or harassment of the disabled, in which case you may have a legal cause of action.

On the other hand, if you are not mentally or cognitively or developmentally challenged in some fashion, then these words are mean-spirited insults, but not actually legal harassment or discrimination--i.e. you can't discriminate against someone on the basis of a disability if they are not disabled.  The law does not punish people or provide compensation just on account of insults or because they are nasty. So if you are not mentally disabled in some way, you most likely do not have a cause of action or any legal claim.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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