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Harrassement Question - Michigan

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  • Harrassement Question - Michigan


    I have a small problem that has been escallating over time. My boss finds it humorous to make fun of or "pick" on me. He seems to pay more attention to me and what I am doing than any other employee and likes to point out my flaws to an extreme.

    About 6 months ago I was writen up for several reasons, almost all were based on performance and were the result of another employee writing a three page list of things I had supposedly not done. Since then it has been found (as I knew all along) that these allegations by the other employee were based on her fear that I was going to get promoted above her. For some reason my boss decided that her word was better than mine.

    I have always busted my tail there, with very few slacking days (just not working excessively). I cover any shifts handed to me without question, I am never sick (3 days in 2 years - 2 where for my sons emergency hospitalization), I am never late (though my boss likes to say I always am) and I work hard. Yet my boss is insistant on grilling me about things that have gone on in shifts before me (of which I have no knowledge) then turning the problems on me.

    Two days ago while at work (I work in a party store/deli) my manager (not the boss) was kidding and going to toss a 1/2 gallon of alcohol at me. I said
    "No! Don't!" because I can not catch things (I am under physicians care and going through diagnostics for problems with my motor skills). My boss then grabbed the bottle from my manager and threw it at me. I missed, it smacked me in the arm and hit the floor and then he proceeded to tease me about it for the rest of the day. Aside from the sore arm, my pride was seriously injured and the embarrassement I experienced infront of the customers forced me to choke back tears the rest of the day. One customer in line must have seen my embarassement and commented that "I am one of the picked on too..dont let him get to you". Which made it worse.

    Then today I was at work, doing as much as I could, though clearly not in a very chipper mood. It is hard to be in a chipper mood when you constantly are worried that your job is at stake and that another barb is coming your way at any time. (My boss threatens constantly that he has a "stack of people that can replace you"). I was on the register and he stops me and says "why are you using the cash button?" The cash button on the register gives you the total change you have to give to the customer and that is how I have done it for the past 2 years (I am not quick enough to figure and count back change). I told him that and he looked at me and said "If you can't count back change then you will cease being on the schedule" and "If you use the change button again you will not have a job." Mind you that he has watched me work before in the past 2 years and has never said that to me prior, though a long time ago my manager had and when I explained that I cant count back fast she blew it off.

    I am sick of feeling scared, worried and hurt at work because of the things my boss says. He likes to get a rise out of me and then say "You're so cute." because I have reacted to what he has said (offcolor or rude things). I can't afford to lose my job but I cant go on feeling like I want to just cry every day over this stuff.

    What can I do to get him to stop and is what he is doing illegal?

  • #2
    Nothing you have posted is illegal. Your boss is permitted to believe an employee who writes up a 3 page long list of duties you aren't performing over you. Singling you out for closer scrutiny because of this is not in any way illegal. He can take you off the cash register if he feels your math skills are not sufficient to do the job.

    Tossing the bottle at you was juvenile but it hardly rises to the level of assault or illegal harassment. Did your boss even know you are having motor problems?

    Have you tried talking to your manager or this person who teases you and explained how it upsets you? Some people just like to tease and are truly oblivious to the fact that it bothers others. Legally you can't make him stop but he might on his own if he knows how much it bothers you.

    If the job upsets you that much, it is time to dust off the resume and find a new one. No job is worth feeling miserable.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      Sorry but I have to reply on this one... Throwing the bottle at you is, in fact, a crime... that IS assault and battery... not a juvenile act.


      • #4
        I have to agree with Elle, it was juvenile but not rising to the level of assault in this case.

        I don't see anything either in the post that is illegal. You may have to put up with your boss or look for other employment.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


        • #5

          I do not understand what "level" is being referred to here. A tort of battery under common law is defined as intentionally and voluntarily bringing about an unconsented harmful or offensive contact with a person. The contact could be directly between the tortfeasor and the victim, or the tortfeasor may bring about the contact between an object and the victim.

          A person throwing a bottle at another person with the intent of hitting him/her and having the bottle make contact meets the common law definition of the tort of battery.

          As to whether OP's fact pattern constitutes criminal battery will depend on the criminal code definition for the State of Michigan.

          Mr. Pink


          • #6
            I am sorry for the way that some think here...but IN FACT... that is a crime.


            • #7
              Whether playfully tossing a bottle at someone which hits their arm when they miss catching it is assault is a matter for the police. Somehow I very much doubt Michigan law enforcement has nothing better to do than arrest people for horseplay with coworkers, but in any event, it has nothing to do with employment law. Pressing charges over such a minor incident isn't likely to improve the situation at work either. They certainly aren't going to like you more after the fact.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


              • #8
                I love how you term it as "playfully" tossing a bottle when the OP stated that she yelled "NO! DON'T!". I don't find anything "playful" about "tossing" a 1/2 gallon of alcohol at anyone. Especially when it's your boss.

                As for Michigan Law Enforcement having "nothing better to do"... nice attitude to have, I sure hope that your not a lawyer... lol. I wonder where you would draw the line? If not at a boss throwing an object at an employee...then where? LOL


                • #9
                  Further... It sounds like they don't like her as it is and are going to either keep on teasing her and making her life hell till she quits or they fire her ... sooo... it's either roll over and take it or go down fighting. The only way this "boss" will know that he can't act in this manner is if someone stands up to him.


                  • #10
                    The OP herself said they were playing around. I didn't read anything into it. They didn't throw a bottle at her in anger or to cause her physical harm. The OP is welcome to talk to the police or a lawyer if she likes. I just wouldn;t expect much to come of it and I certainly wouldn't expect the coworkers to suddenly start liking her after she reports their playing around as assault. Like it or not, that is the way it works.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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