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Do I need a lawyer?

Sterling Heights, MI |

I am a lead of a snack bar at a bowling alley for the last 9 years. And the manager, assistant manager, and several of the counter employees (mostly the assistant manager) are consistently swearing at me, screaming at me as they are calling me names, reminding me they can fire me if they want and I am also told I deserve to be belittled. And this is just a few of the things that are told to me. I have tried to go to my direct manager that is not located at the center and I have even tried to go higher up the company but I am told there is nothing they can do. I also need to add I am sick and need a kidney transplant and they know this. They have been known to get rid of sick people.

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Attorney answers 4


I am sorry that you are going through this difficult situation. Workplace harassment is illegal if it is "severe and pervasive" and related to a protected characteristic (race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability). If you feel that you are being harassed because of one of those reasons, then you could file a charge of discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Good luck.


I am sorry to hear of your situation.depending on the content or reason for the harrasment you may have a potential civil right case. Regarding your health issues, certain remedies available to you as well.

As all of these issues are driven by specific circumstances and facts it is important that you seek counsel from a professional. Only after there is a complete exposition of your situation can a firm legal opinion be formed.

Were it not for the fact you have the health issue my best advice to you would be to find a different place of employment.

To the PROSPECTIVE client, my answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement. For an appointment please call please call 586-778-0900 or contact via email.


Buy a pocket audio recorder and wear it at work.
CATCH these yahoos on audio recordings to
show how abusive they are. They'll suddenly
find "Jesus" once they know they were
recorded. You can use the recordings to
report them or sue them . . . OR BOTH.
Good luck with your health.


James M. Osak

James M. Osak


Forgot to add . . . I've been helping employees for over 25+ years as a union steward, chief steward, and now as attorney. I'm right next to Sterling Heights, MI . . . CALL ME to discuss your situation: (248) 515-9807. ---I'll meet you to discuss.


I like the idea of covertly recording your co-workers and supervisors being abusive to you, especially if you get one or more of them to mention that your illness is the or a reason for their abuse. It is always good to have evidence to support your complaint, because you know that they will deny it. Do a better job than just "trying" to go to your higher management. Put your complaint to them in writing, and specifically allege that you are being subjected to this abusive treatment because your are ill with this kidney ailment. If in fact they have discriminated against employees with disabilities before, identify those people and the circumstances in your complaint, to demonstrate that you have the ability to prove that they have a past practice of abusing people with disabilities. If the Center has an employee handbook with an anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure, refer to it in your complaint. Then, if upper management ignores your written complaint, you can also complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Detroit. They are charged with enforcing the anti discrimination laws. You must understand, though, that viability of your legal claim hinges on your ability prove that your kidney ailment and need for a transplant is your co-workers' motivation for harassing you. There is no law that requires your coworkers or managers to be nice or decent to you. If it is a case where they simply dislike you, personally, think you're stupid, or maybe you're just not part of their clique, and they do this to other people they don't like, whether they have an illness or not, there is nothing illegal about it. Just because you have an illness does not make it illegal. It's illegal only if they are doing it because of your illness.

Also, assuming that your job as a lead in a snack bar is a near minimum wage job, with no Company-paid health insurance benefits, you should start looking for another, and better job. Because of the way damages are calculated in wrongful discharge and discrimination lawsuits - i.e., you can recover the wages that you lost and the value of your mental and emotional distress - you won't find many contingent fee plaintiff's lawyers who will be interested in taking on your case. Even though you may get a lot of sympathetic responses to your post, you should not interpret that as meaning that you may have a big money lawsuit down the road. Low wage earners mean low damage potential, as far as a lawsuit is concerned. Low damages cases mean small contingent fees, which make the lawsuit a money losing venture for the lawyer. What I am saying is that you are probably better off finding another job and getting out of that abusive environment, than spending alot of effort on pursuing a claim, because at the end of the day, there won't be much if any financial payoff from the claim.

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