A discount store employee from Virginia is seeking $1 million in damages, claiming that she began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after her male boss flew into a rage and began to verbally and physically assault her, according to Courthouse News Service.
On March 4, 2016, Patricia Morgan, an employee at Roses discount store in Chesapeake City, Virginia, was called by her general manager, John Brophy, to fix a computer problem caused by the office manager. Ms. Morgan told Mr. Brophy that she did not know how to fix it so she had to call over a co-worker. Mr. Brophy allegedly began to verbally abuse her, adding that, after he speaks to the corporate office about this, “there will be hell to pay.”
After the computer problem was fixed, according to Ms. Morgan, Mr. Brophy continued his profanity-laced tirade towards her. Fearing for her safety, she positioned herself between a stairwell and a hand truck loaded with boxes. Mr. Brophy continued to curse and yell at Ms. Morgan and started to push the boxes and hand truck onto her, pinning her legs and abdomen against the staircase.
Despite her pleas to stop, Mr. Brophy allegedly continued to push the boxes against her. Ms. Morgan says she told him, “What are you doing? You’re hurting me!” In response, he punched into the boxes. During the incident, she says a co-worker saw this occur but did not attempt to stop what Mr. Brophy was doing. According to Ms. Morgan, the assault ended only after Mr. Brophy’s arms got stuck in the boxes.
On May 26, 2016, Ms. Morgan filed a complaint, stating that, after the incident, she went into the store’s restroom to compose herself, then became physically ill. She waited until he left the store to go home. The complaint also states that Mr. Brophy came up to Ms. Morgan the next day to apologize, only to fly into a rage again. This time, the incident was caught on the store’s surveillance cameras.
As a result of the incident, according to the complaint, Ms. Morgan has experienced severe panic attacks and headaches, loss of appetite and stopped visiting friends and colleagues. She has also been diagnosed with acute PTSD.
An incident such as this constitutes workplace bullying. The first sign of workplace bullying is that one employee is being verbally and/or physically abused by their supervisor while that person’s co-workers are not subjected to the same treatment.
Those who are bullied should know it is not their fault and did nothing to bring it upon themselves. If they are constantly victimized at work and all their options to resolve this problem have been exhausted, they should immediately consult a lawyer. If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact an experienced New York employment law attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected. Call Steven Mitchell Sack at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com.