Can I be fired for asking my employer to stop using profanity in my presence?

I found myself apologizing to God for him constantly. He would say f*** me f*** g** d****** f*** me. All the time. When I brought the Office Manager in to speak with him to have as a witness he just said I f**** g***d**** f***** pay you so I can f***say what I g** d***** f***** want. There is only 10 employees and he is a bully to the 2 females. He laughs and makes fun of them if he makes one cry. Can he fire you for defending your religion and not wanting to be bullied?

Rita Risser Chai replies:

It depends on the size of the company and what state you’re in. The federal law that prohibits discrimination based on religion and sex only applies to companies with 15 or more employees. Under federal law, companies are required to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees. Federal law also prohibits bullying one gender more than the other. So all of this sounds illegal under federal law—but that doesn’t apply to your old company. Some states, such as New Jersey, prohibit discrimination if a company only has one employee, but Texas law only applies to companies with 15 or more employees. So it looks like you are not protected by your state’s law. However, you should contact a local attorney to be sure. Hopefully in your next job you can find an employer who is more respectful. Good luck.

Posted 09-11-2018

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.