Bridgewater, MA asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts

Q: My boss/the owner of the restaurant I worked at slapped my hand out of frustration. What are my options?

I recently got a new job at a small business pizza place. The owner of the establishment was also my boss/supervisor, whathaveyou. He was training me and I accidentally messed up a customer's order. He struck my hand out of frustration and walked away after muttering something to me about not paying attention. I finished my shift, left, and texted him I wouldn't be returning to work for him. As it is a very small business, there is no HR department I could have turned to. There is nobody higher than him in the chain of command as he is the owner of the restaurant, so I feel lost in terms of what my options are. I was recommended to file an assault charge against him, but I worry it would not get anywhere because I don't believe there were any witnesses. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers

A: Unless the slap was hard enough to seriously injure you, I think you've done the best thing that you could do in quitting. One of the benefits of the employment-at-will doctrine is that you are not legally beholden to your employer and can quit for any reason at any time. While it may be customary to give two weeks' advance notice, in the absence of a contract, there is no legal requirement that you provide advance notice. If the owner feels at liberty to physically slap your hand, I can foresee that type of conduct escalating over time.

You might consider leaving a review on Glassdoor, Fishbowl, or Yelp.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II

A: I agree with Mr. Frick: you also have the option of filing a small claims lawsuit against the manager for battery. You don't have to have medical expenses to get emotional distress damages, and a physical assault like this is outside the worker's comp system. I recommend you contact several attorneys in your area that practice this type of law, as soon as possible. Thank you for using Justia ask a lawyer.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.