Can I sue the company for a hostile workplace after threats from my boss?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I sue the company for a hostile workplace after threats from my boss?

My boss constantly overworks me and several other employees when others are not expected to do anything. Our HR codes also say that we cannot be worked less that 7 hours apart from each shift and we cannot work for more than 5 days in a row. She schedules us to do more than this constantly. I have been scheduled to work 5 hours apart from my closing shift, and I am currently scheduled to work 8 days in a row. She attempted to get me and another employee to stay overnight to carry out duties that aren’t typically ours that would have caused our shifts to run from 3 pm-6 am when the scheduled time was 3 pm-12 am, a normal shift. When I got this news that we had to do this i obviously wasnt thrilled. That’s when she started raising her voice at the front of the store saying you had better smile. I put on a smile then she looked at me disgusted and said I want to throat punch you right now. Even if she was joking she likely was I took this as extreme disrespect and a tangible threat. Can I sue for all of this together? This threat was done in front of customers and

another employee, and two other employees are also subject to all of this I previously stated.

Asked on June 20, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue the employer for the manager's threat of violence. An employer is not liable for a manager's criminal actions which are outside the scope of employment. The manager is not hired to and is not supposed to threaten employees; this was not part of her job or employment, and the employe is not responsible or liable for it.
In theory you could sue her personally, but don't bother: in a lawsuit, you can only receive compensation for the injuries, losses or costs you actually incurred due to the wrongful behavior. You suffered no injuries and incurred no losses or costs--therefore, you are not entitled to any compensation.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption