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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Targeted by Boss for Workplace Bullying

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Pennsylvania.

    I am an employee, working in retail. Over the past few months, my boss has been harassing me. He told me I have an unpleasant voice, and made gross generalizations (e.g. I am “always unpleasant to customers”) with no supporting evidence. He also accused me of things that I did not do in attempt to prove his point I did not belong at his store, such as manipulating an item of the workplace because “I wanted to play with it.” Never did I touch this item in this manner. He also went through my register, and (in my opinion) incriminated me, by using a traveler’s check, which we were not given sufficient instructions on how to process. He then wrote me up, not for incorrectly processing the traveler’s check (I successfully processed it), but for showing uncertainty in the beginning of the transaction regarding the traveler’s check. This is not a substantial reason to warrant reprimanding. One plastic bag I used at my register had a broken handle (the plastic bags at our workplace are made of very insubstantial material). I recognized the defect and gave the customer a new bag, but a co-worker had witnessed this and reported it to my boss. I was then told that this was part of a reoccurring pattern of incidents at my register? Incident? The bag had a broken handle, and I replaced it with a new one before handing it to the customer. I do not understand how I could get written up for happening to have a defective bag at my register (which was not the result of my handling). My boss also made baseless generalizations with no anecdotal support such as the fact that I am "always angry around customers" and "always unpleasant."

    I have a disability which impairs my physical dexterity and my numerical processing. My workplace is aware of this. My speed is not quite up to the average of other employees at the retail establishment. In the past, my register has come up short, as the result of my miscounting. I apologized profusely for the miscounting, and offered for the money to be deducted out of my paycheck. My boss did not accept my offer, and wrote me up, which is a step closer to getting fired. On multiple occasions, I have also been reprimanded for my lack of eye contact, which is also related to my disability. My boss, however, wrote me up for this. I also have anxiety issues, which my workplace has been informed of. During one incident, I made a minor mistake, nervously laughed, and apologized. I was written up for displaying an inappropriate reaction to the situation. I explained to my boss that laughing is an anxious response to the situation, and he told me that I should not be acting that way in front of customers. Should I not be protected under ADA? Laughing is not something that I can control when I am anxious.

    My boss also failed to follow the appropriate disciplinary process as dictated by the company. My workplace manual states that employees will be given a written warning. After disciplinary action was taken, I asked for my boss to give me a copy of the violations I had commited in print. He told me "no, we don't do that." Really? How about you consult the manual!

    Please explain to me what laws my boss violated, in what situations they were infringed upon, and what action I can take against him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Targed by Boss--Workplace Bullying

    None that I can see. The employer is not required to accept performance from a disabled employee that they would not accept from a nondisabled employee. The whole idea of the ADA is to provide reasonable accommodations to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.

    Company policies are very seldom enforceable contracts.

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