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Is yelling at work appropriate? Isn't this verbal abuse and illegal?


vaporleak

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There has been a lot of drama at my job lately, and today, I actually had the dreaded "office * * * * * ", yell at me, HARDCORE. I calmly said, "Under no circumstances are you ever allowed to scream at me, and when you calm down we can talk about this later." Then I walked away... and I think while walking away I should have grabbed a shovel so I could go dig my own grave. Did I mention she is one of my bosses? Isn't it illegal to verbally assault someone at work? If she fires me over this do I have any legal backing? I'm really worried because everyone is afraid of her, and I think I may have been the only person to stick up to her in a long long time. Yet, I also don't think it's ever acceptable for anyone to abuse you mentally or physically, so I'm not sure how I could possibly get fired over this. Any advice would help. Thanks.

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That is completely unacceptable and unprofessional. Document everything to protect yourself in the event of anything happening. Take note of any witnesses as well.

 

Oddly, she may end up respecting you more if you are the first to stand up to her - it's happened to me.

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Screaming and yelling by a superior to a subordinate, IMO, isn't actionable, unless it can be proved that they're being discriminatory, due to gender, race or religion. Also, it can be actionable if there's something embedded within the employer/employee guidelines and policies manual, in reference to unacceptable forms of harassment, etc.

 

Reliant on what happened, historical pattern of your behaviour and how your approach is construed, might be grounds for termination for being insubordinate, while being disciplined.

 

Btw, I agree that yelling and screaming in the workplace is wrong but whether it crosses the line from a legal perspective, isn't something anyone can answer beyond getting an opinion from a legal professional.

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I think you handled this the best way possible under the circumstances. You were calm and direct and didn't say or do anything disrespectful. You stood up for yourself and let her know that she could come to you when she had calmed down. If she fires you for that then yes I think you could most definatley file a suit against her.

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I had a boss who was a little crazy go off the wall on me one time. She took away all of my side work as a way of "punishing" me, which is how I made most of my money. I'm not a child, and I don't need to be disciplined. I basically told her where she could put her job. Only time I've done anything like that. Sometimes it's warranted. You can't let people disrespect you just because you work for them, although people do all the time. Doesn't make it right.

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Good management practice is to praise in public, constructively criticize in private. Time to polish up your resume, not because you're going to get fired but because this isn't a healthy environment to spend 40 hours a week within.

Exactly.

 

Even in environments that I've worked in where yelling is acceptable it has never been directed towards me. I don't tolerate it - period.

 

I'd start looking for a place that isn't toxic.

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Hi-- this is my first post! I joined mostly for these forums....

 

that being said... I am currently under very similar circumstances. My boss yells at us all the time. we are in an office. He once yelled at us at a meeting and told us we were all "worthless" and "replaceable" . He then proceeded to tell us that he makes "more money then all of (us) put together." He refers to other workers as names I cannot print here. He makes sexual analogies all the time that even offend the male employes. I went to HR and they basically implied that they were afraid of him too (he has a habit of screaming at whoever questions him. I just called corporate HR today. They said that I need to start documenting EVERYTHING-- which I actually already started a week ago. They also want me to get other employees to write up testomonials. There is no way you or anyone should have to put up with that crap!

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I understand that my boss only lashed out at me once, we've all had our bad days (still unacceptable to yell). Here is the thing, it doesn't bother me that she just did it to me, but that she does it to others, frequently, especially to the new people. Interns will look at her like a deer in headlights because they don't see it coming, it's pathetic. I'm the type of person to walk up to someone and confront them for hitting their kid in public, I am NEVER a bystander in life, but I feel like one in my office. Oddly, by me watching this happen over and over, I'm a participant, and that makes me feel guilty. Instead of leaving my job I'd rather do something about it. I think I'm going to take rms's advice and record everything and have the others sign it.

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If you're going to take up arms against this particular boss, make sure you have other jobs you can put onto your resume. Burning bridges is not a great way to get new jobs, particularly if you're low on experience and need their reference.

 

I'm not saying this to dissuade you from doing this, more to caution you that if this is your field of expertise, causing waves like this isn't a good way to lay down a career path. What you want is rave reviews from every previous employer.

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