What constitutes illegal behavior by an employer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What constitutes illegal behavior by an employer?

My fiance is an Army Veteran. He went to culinary school to pursue his dream of being a chef. Currently, hes working as a line cook for a local bistro. His boss is the biggest jerk around. Employees don’t get any kind of breaks during 8 hour shifts. The boss makes fun of his employees who have disabilities. My fiance has hearing aids and he says derogatory things about it. The boss hired someone who is deaf and he makes obscene hand gestures behind the persons back. My fiance cut his finger open one night but the boss told him not to go to the hospital. After 4 hours of bleeding, I made my fiance go and he got like 5 stitches. The boss intentionally makes my fiancé work on days he asks to have off, like my birthday or our anniversary. On New Years, the boss made everyone work until 11:30 pm for no reason knowing people were waiting in the parking lot to pick up people for plans. That night my fiance asked him not to spray champagne on him because his hearing aids cannot get wet. The boss sprayed champagne right into my fiance’s ear. New Link Destination
night, a patron of the bistro had a heart attack and the boss made fun of him and made obscene gestures. My fiance wants a new job but he;s struggling to find a new one in the retirement town that we live in. We need help on figuring out what to do.

Asked on January 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The work hours are legal, as is not letting people have requested time or days off for anniversarys, birthdays, holidays (New Year's), etc.: the law lets employers set their employees' schedules and does not require them to let employees days off. 
Not letting your fiance go to the hospital is legal: an employer can put the employee in the position of risking losing his job by leaving work if he wants medical care. The employer is not responsible for the employee's health or well being.
But mocking or making fun of disabled employees, including your fiance (his hearing loss) is NOT legal: it is a violation of federal law (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]). Your fiance or the other deaf employee can file a complaint with the EEOC.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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