Can I Sue My Manager Personally

Can I Sue My Manager Personally

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Can I Sue My Manager Personally

Yes, it is possible to sue your manager personally. However, this will depend on the specifics of the lawsuit. In some situations, suing your manager personally is impossible, even if they broke labor and employment laws. Other times, you may be able to hold them personally liable for their conduct.

For this reason, knowing the different scenarios when you can or cannot sue your manager personally is crucial. At Morgan and Morgan, we have handled numerous lawsuits targeting managers for their unlawful conduct. We might be able to help if you or your loved one is a victim.

To do this, you will need to tell us about your case. This will help us determine whether you have a valid reason to sue.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • My Manager Discriminated Against Me. Can I Sue Them Personally?

    The correct answer to this question depends on the unique circumstances of your case.

    Federal laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, protect managers against personal lawsuits. It is also important to note that the manager can be named as a defendant in such a lawsuit. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are personally liable.

    Some laws also allow personal lawsuits against managers, supervisors, and other officials up the corporate ladder. Examples of these laws include:

    • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
    • The Immigration Reform and Control Act
    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • Equal Pay Act
    • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Can I Sue My Manager Personally for Wage Violations?

    Yes, you can sue your manager personally for wage violations. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your employer might have violated the Equal Pay Act, ERISA laws, etc.

    For example, if they fail to pay you overtime, you may be able to sue them personally for this violation. To do this, you will need the help of an experienced overtime attorney.

    Not sure when to contact an overtime attorney? Here's a useful guide.

  • Can I Sue My Manager Personally in My State?

    This will also depend on the laws of your state. While most states allow employees to sue their managers personally for certain violations, there are some exceptions to this rule.

    Take Ohio as an example. Even though the state limits an employee's ability to hold their manager liable (as the 'employer') for certain violations in the workplace, it does not rule out the fact that the manager can be held personally liable for certain actions. In other words, in Ohio, a manager might not be considered an 'employer' in certain lawsuits targeting the company or organization.

    However, this does not mean they cannot be held responsible for their actions. For example, when a manager participates in an unlawful practice in the workplace, they might be held personally responsible for their actions.

  • For What Other Reasons Can I Sue My Manager Personally?

    There are many different ways you can sue your manager personally, as discussed below.

    Employee Discrimination

    In most states, you can sue a manager for discriminating against you at work. But, again, this depends on the unique circumstances of your case. For example, cases such as sexual discrimination can lead to individual lawsuits against a manager. For example, think of a situation where a manager refuses to approve an employee's request for leave as provided by the FMLA because the employee refuses to have sexual relations with the manager. In that case, the manager can be liable for sexual discrimination.

    Discriminatory Interview Questions

    Some questions are considered inappropriate, especially when asked during a job interview. However, some potential employers ask some of these questions out of good faith, not necessarily to discriminate against the job seeker. That said, some recruiters know that they might get away with asking some of these questions if they play their cards right.

    For this reason, speaking with an experienced labor and employment attorney is the best way to find out whether the potential employer discriminated against you when they asked a particular question. But, of course, this will largely depend on the circumstances of your case.

    Here are some examples of interview questions that could be considered discriminatory:

    • Do you have children?
    • If so, how old are they?
    • If you do not have children, do you plan on having them when you get hired?
    • How do you identify sexually? Are you gay, straight, or anything else?
    • Do you have a disability?
    • If you have a disability, could you briefly describe it?

    Unfair Dismissal

    All US states, except Montana, are at-will employment states. This means that employers have the right to hire and fire you as long as they do it legally. In other words, even though the employer can hire and fire you as they wish, their actions cannot derive from unlawful practices such as employee discrimination. For instance, suppose you got fired for raising the alarm in the workplace about certain violations, such as unpaid wages or child labor. In that case, you may be able to sue your manager personally if they fire you.

    However, for this to work, you must be able to prove that you were fired because you participated in protected activities in the workplace. If you can prove that, you will have a higher chance of winning the case against the employer.

  • What Are Protected Activities in the Workplace?

    Below are some common examples of such activities per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

    Complaining about unfair payment: For example, take a situation where a female worker finds out that she's being paid lower wages than her colleagues in their position, even though she is equally qualified or even more qualified. If they decide to raise these concerns with their employer but end up losing their job instead, this could be a case of discrimination based on gender, which also doubles up as a protected activity.

    Requesting accommodation for disability: Disabled individuals have a right to request reasonable accommodations for their disabilities without being punished by their employer.

    Advocating for the rights of other employees: When you realize that your employer has been violating the rights of other employees and you chose to intervene on their behalf, the manager should not retaliate against you.

    Failure to obey unlawful orders: The same applies if you refuse to obey illegal orders. For instance, to cut down operation costs, your manager orders you to hire only underage workers because they will earn less than adult workers. If you refuse to obey such orders and you get fired as a result, you may have a valid case against the manager.

    Providing information about the employer's conduct: If investigators contact you to request certain information about your employer and you agree to provide the information, this counts as participating in a protected activity. As a result, you can sue your manager personally if they fire you for providing such information to investigators.

  • How Can I Sue My Manager?

    Before you even decide to sue your manager, there are certain steps you should take to increase your chances of obtaining favorable results. The steps are as follows.

    Discuss it with your employer.: Filing a lawsuit isn't usually the first step when dealing with such issues. Some states require that you exhaust other options before settling for a lawsuit. If possible, speak with your manager about their actions. If nothing changes, you may file an official complaint with the appropriate agency in charge of protecting workers' rights in your state.

    Document everything: Pay attention to what your manager says or writes about you. Did they make any discriminatory remarks? For example, did they make discriminatory comments against immigrants, yet you are an immigrant worker?

    Gather witness information: Did anyone witness the incident? If so, collect their information. Their testimony could come in handy later when you file a lawsuit against the manager.

    Stay calm and control yourself: When managers sometimes realize that they have broken the law, they might attempt to turn everything around by blaming the employee for whatever reason. They do this to justify their actions, such as termination of employment. Therefore, avoid giving the manager an excuse to justify their unlawful actions.

    For example, do not be disrespectful towards them even if you are frustrated by their conduct. Rather, keep calm throughout the process.

    Contact a labor and employment attorney: Such an attorney understands your state's labor and employment laws. Keep in mind that these laws vary from state to state. In addition, what you might think is illegal conduct by your manager might be perfectly legal.

    The same applies at different levels; a manager's conduct might be legal at the federal level but illegal at the state level. Having an attorney comes with peace of mind knowing that you have an expert who understands these complex laws.

  • What Are My Rights as a Worker?

    As a worker, your rights and protections in the workplace include but are not limited to the following:

    • The right not to be discriminated against based on protected characteristics such as nationality, race, pregnancy, age, skin color, genetic information, age, or disability.
    • You are also protected against discrimination based on your marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
    • The right to a safe workplace—in most states, certain employers are required to have worker's compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of workplace-related accidents.
    • The right to some privacy on certain personal issues.
    • The right to take leave to care for yourself or a family member's serious health condition.
    • The right to work in an environment that is free of harassment.
    • The right to be paid for the hours you have worked. If your employer or manager refuses to pay your hard-earned money, you may need to speak with an experienced labor and employment attorney.
  • What Damages Can I Sue For?

    It depends on the manager's conduct. For instance, if they physically assaulted you and you suffered serious injuries, the court might order them to pay your medical expenses. On the other hand, if they refuse to pay your hard-earned wages, you may be able to recover the lost wages, including back pay, attorneys' fees, and court costs. 

  • How Much Compensation Can I Recover if I Win the Lawsuit Against My Manager?

    The compensation varies from case to case. To have a better idea of the amount of compensation you may be able to recover, consult an experienced labor and employment lawyer.

  • Where Do I Find the Right Attorney?

    Regardless of where you live or work in the United States, there is always a Morgan and Morgan attorney near you ready to fight for you. This is because we are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States, serving clients from coast to coast.

  • How Can Morgan and Morgan Labor and Employment Attorneys Help?

    At Morgan and Morgan, employment and labor cases are very much part of what we handle on a daily basis. To put things into perspective, a recent study showed that our firm files the most labor and employment litigation in the US.

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