What can I do when threatens and harassed by co-worker and boss laughs at me about it?
Verbal abuse laws vary depending on the context. For example, on the workplace, it may be governed by anti-discrimination laws if based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran. If a threat of harm is conveyed, then harassment charges may apply and a restraining order may be sought.
In a verbally abusive situation, words are used to attack, control, and inflict harm on another person. Verbally abusive behavior goes far beyond mean behavior; it involves inflicting psychological violence on another person, attacking the essence of an individual's being and attempting to destroy his or her spirit. A number of behaviors are considered verbally abusive, including, among others, angry outbursts, screaming rages, and name-calling. Verbal abuse often includes verbal putdowns, negative prediction, negative comparison, scapegoating, shaming, cursing and swearing, and threats. Some employers adopt policies on bullying and provide training in preventing bullying for staff.
Assault and death threats are criminal matters, but is possible to be also used as evidence in another case. Legal remedies for workplace treatment are based on certain protected categories of discrimination or a union or employment contract term. Not enforcing rules in an employment contract or union agreement may be a breach of contract. Otherwise, discriminatory intent must be proven.
Defamation is an act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. The law of defamation protects a person's reputation and good name against communications that are false and derogatory. Defamation consists of both libel and slander. Libel is any defamation that can be seen, most typically in writing. Slander is an oral defamatory communication. Specific requirements that a plaintiff must prove in order to recover in a defamation action differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Generally, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff, that the defendant made an unprivileged publication to a third party, and that the publisher acted at least negligently in publishing the communication.
The basic elements of a claim of slander include;
1. a defamatory statement;
2. published to third parties;
3. which the speaker or publisher knew or should have known was false; and
4. that caused the plaintiff injury as a result of the statement
Unlike libel, unless the slander is defamatory per se (on its face), damages caused by slander must be proven by the plaintiff. Damages for slander may be limited to actual damages unless there is malicious intent. It does not have to be proven that actual harm to your reputation occurred to collect damages for slander if it is defamatory per se, such as:
* The communication affects your business, trade or profession (loss of business, discharge, demotion, etc.),
* Implies you committed a crime,
* Leads on that you have a loathsome disease,
* Or suggests that you are somehow sexually impure.
Defamation is a difficult wrong to prove, as there are various factors that are to be taken into consideration. The court must evaluate the defendant’s investigation, or lack there of, concerning the accuracy of the statement. How thoroughly the investigation was handled will reflect upon the nature and interest of the person who communicated the statement. Generally, defamation damages will not be awarded if the defendant had an honest but yet mistaken belief in the truth of the statement.
Generally, it is not illegal for a person to be a difficult person to deal with and unfair treatment must be based on one of the protected categories to be able to sue an employer. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran is prohibited by titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Pregnancy Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Amendments of 1978, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and other federal and state statutes and regulations. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, and includes, but is not limited to, applications, admissions, access to programs and services, and employment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in broad areas of the employment relationship. It applies to most employers engaged in interstate commerce with more than 15 employees, labor organizations, and employment agencies. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq., prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, national origin and religion. It also is unlawful under the Act for an employer to take retaliatory action against any individual for opposing employment practices made unlawful by Title VII or for filing a discrimination charge or for testifying or assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title VII. Sex includes pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. It makes it illegal for employers to discriminate in hiring, discharging, compensation, or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Employment agencies may not discriminate when hiring or referring applicants. Labor organizations are also prohibited from basing membership or union classifications on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
It is possible for an employee to file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. Anyone who feels that he or she has suffered workplace discrimination because of his or her race, age, physical disability, religion, sex, or national origin is eligible to file a complaint with the EEOC. Complaints or charges are generally filed at an EEOC office by the aggrieved party or by his or her designated agent. All charges must be filed in writing, preferably but not necessarily on the appropriate EEOC form, within 180 days of the occurrence of the act that is the reason the complaint is being filed. Complaints may be filed at any one of 50 district, area, local, and field EEOC offices throughout the United States.