Few options exist to do battle with tyrannical boss

legal action limited

Can They Do That?

Your Money

January 25, 2004|By Carrie Mason-Draffen

We work for a doctor who is a tyrant. He took back our paid holidays. He added maintenance to our job duties because he fired the cleaning staff, so people like myself who were hired as medical assistants now are housekeepers as well. And if the work isn't perfect, he berates us on the spot. On top of this, we haven't had a raise in eight years. What can we do about all this?

Your options are few, I'm afraid. You'd have cause for legal action only if the doctor promised you a raise and didn't deliver. As long as the doctor pays you the minimum wage and complies with overtime rules, you have no legal remedies. On the other hand, since the doctor radically changed your duties, you could resign and possibly qualify for unemployment benefits by claiming "constructive discharge." Generally, when employees quit, they don't qualify for jobless benefits.

Carrie Mason-Draffen is a columnist for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. E-mail her at yourmoney@ tribune.com.

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