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What can I do after being verbally abused at work and fired?

Seattle, WA |

I worked for a company for three days I went to my boss because of the lack of training I recieved soon after I was fired for complaining. I was called several choice names from my boss and issued a no trespass. When I got my check the owner my boss said I messed with the drug test I asked how and he flipped me off. I would ask a question and he would tell me to shut the f@#@ up and listen.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Unfortunately, the answer is "not a whole lot." Verbal abuse sometimes happens in the workplace and is likely not actionable as a single episode such as this. As for the no trespass, it sounds like a place you wouldn't want to go back to, anyway. I am not sure what to say about the drug test -- it sounds as though you were tested initially as a condition of employment, and your boss accused you of interfering with the results? ...

    Without knowing more about the circumstances, I would say that you should be eligible for unemployment benefits, provided you have accumulated enough hours in your base year and meet the other threshhold criteria.

    Good to get out of there while you can. The best thing you can do for yourself now is file for unemployment and try to find a new job.

    This does not constitute legal advice. You should consult an attorney who can assess the facts of your case and discuss your legal rights and obligations.


  2. I am sorry to hear you had such an awful experience and agree with the prior attorney answer that verbal abuse by itself is typically not capable of redress. However, if the abuse was centered on a protected class status (gender, race, disability, etc.) then you may have a claim for damages under the Washington Law Against Discrimination. Further, there is an outside chance that if the training you did not receive was mandatory under state or federal law your complaint for not having recieved it, and subsequent termination, would support a claim for wrongful termination. You may or may not have a legal claim, but regardless I would encourage you to write a letter expressing your complaint to the owner that you were abused by your boss. A law suit is just one way to stand up for yourself and oppose mistreatment -- a well written and thoughtful letter can go a long way as well. Best of luck to you.


  3. While I will not in any way discourage you from seeking a face to face consult with an attorney the only way I can address this question properly and fairly is to pretend you have called me on the phone and given me this fact pattern and asked me to take your case off these facts alone. Under these facts alone I would very likely tell you I was sorry, but would be unable to take your case. I differ in opinion with another writer about whether or not you have a good chance of getting unemployment as it is unlikely that you have sufficient hours of work to qualify for unemployment after three days of work AND on top of that you have what amounts to a "swearing contest" as to what happened. I'd still suggest you fill the application for unemployment benefits out, but I would not go spending the unemployment checks before you get them or even before the appeal process on that is done. If you were seriously troubled by this bad experience and wanted to invest the time and money into having an attorney spot issues better (including the drug test issue) there might be some things worthy of sitting down with an attorney about. Another thing might be to apply for unemployment and see how the employer responds - as how they respond may help understand if there is anything worthy of pursuit.

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