What to do about a boss’s constantverbal abuse?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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What to do about a boss’s constantverbal abuse?

My boss is constantly verbally abusing me and calling me a liar. He has also called me other names and I want to know if any action can be taken against him? I have been working here for around 16 months now, and I have proof that I did not lie in any of the cases that he mentions that I lied. I want to know if I can take any permanent action against him. I am working on a H-1B visa.

Asked on August 3, 2011 New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is, unfortunately, no law against a boss being abusive, disrespectful, insulting, rude, etc. If your boss is the kind of person who treats people this way, he is allowed to do so.

If he has made untrue negative factual statements about you to another person, statements, which damage your reputation, you *may* have a cause of action for defamation. But they must be made to a third party--he can say anything he likes to you--and they must be untrue factual statements. True facts or opinons do not give rise to a claim. So, for example, say that told John Doe that you stole from the company when you did not; that may be defamation. But if he says that "That guy, he's so bad at his job that when he cashes his paycheck, it's like he stole," that is not actionable, since that is an opinion or value judgment, and those are not defamation. Or if he said, "Jane Doe often comes in late and leaves early," if it's tru that you do that, that would not be defamation, either.

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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