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Cynthia Okonkwo
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Human Resources Professional

INTRODUCTION: Hello Workplace Warriors. I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome to another video. If you’re here for the first time, please consider subscribing to my channel. I’m on a mission, one video at a time, to help you live your best career life. So, do me a big favor and like this video to let YouTube know that you want more workplace-related content. Then, hit the notification bell so you know when I release new videos. Also, share it with others who want to live their best career life. And, consider subscribing to join the Workplace Warrior Community if you haven’t already.

Today, my Workplace Warriors, I want to share an email that I received recently from one of my blog readers. This person wrote to ask me what would happen if he filed a lawsuit against his manager at his current job. He shared that his manager framed him and falsely blamed him for damage to workplace property.

You may be able to relate to being treated unfairly by a manager during some point in your career.

Imagine this scenario: You’ve had enough. Your manager, the very person meant to lead and support you in your career, has falsely accused you of damaging company property for personal gain. But here’s the kicker—it wasn’t true. Understandably, this false accusation has left you feeling betrayed and confused. Your lack of confidence in your manager is definitely understandable.

Now, you’re considering the ultimate retaliation…suing your manager personally only, not as a fellow company employee. But how do you do that? Will it impact your employer although you know that your manager acted outside of company policy? This is why you want to sue your manager for professional malpractice.

The challenge with this type of claims is that professionals such as doctors, lawyers, or accountants are typically targeted by these claims because their misconduct or negligence might directly harm their clients or patients. Now, in your case, if your manager’s actions as a supervisor were negligent or abusive, and harmful (such as reputational damage or emotional distress), a professional malpractice claim just might apply.

The Core of Personal Lawsuits: When you decide to file a lawsuit against your manager personally, you’re targeting them as an individual, not your employer. This means that your legal action is directed at their personal conduct and responsibilities, not the organization they represent. The grounds for such a lawsuit typically involve claims like defamation, harassment, or wrongful termination, where the person filing the suit directly attributes the manager’s alleged misconduct to the individual.

EMPLOYER INVOLVEMENT WILL BE INDIRECT, BUT SIGNIFICANT Company Considerations: Despite targeting your manager personally, your employer will inevitably become entangled in the legal web. That’s because the employer has a responsibility to defend their employees and reduce the potential negative effects a lawsuit can have on the company’s reputation or operations. Here’s how things will likely play out once you file your lawsuit:

  1. Did the alleged behavior occur within the scope of employment? Your employer may step in to provide legal representation for your manager, especially if the alleged behavior is related to your or your manager’s job duties in any way. The fact that you are a company employee and so is your manager, would likely be enough to meet this requirement.

  2. The company will also consider the financial impact to its bottom line: If your lawsuit leads to a judgment or settlement, the company might be financially impacted, especially if they support your manager in legal matters.

  3. What is the reputational risk: Most businesses want to avoid scandals at all costs. A lawsuit involving an employee and their manager can tarnish the company’s image, damaging the public’s perception of the company as well as investors’ and other stakeholders’ confidence in the organization.

Employee Considerations: Filing a lawsuit against your manager can have a ripple effect beyond legal consequences. It’s a decision with profound personal and professional repercussions. So, think about these very real impacts on your personally:

The emotional toll – Even though you are the person filing the lawsuit, litigation can be emotionally taxing. The process will dig up any past grievances and will strain your workplace relationships. Potential impact on your career – In spite of existing legal protections, suing your manager could have a negative impact on your continued career within the company. Employers try to avoid lawsuits, so other employers within the industry that you work in might hesitate to hire you if they know about your suit against another employer. Public Scrutiny – Be prepared to face public scrutiny and potential media attention, especially if someone exposes your case on social media. So, one of your most important considerations should be your mental health during this time. If the pressure proves too much to bear, not surprisingly you could sink into a dark place. Before moving forward, determine if it’s all worth it. Decide, on the front end, at what point you should cut your losses and move on with your life and career. IN CONCLUSION: Suing your manager personally for professional malpractice is a bold step. It demands careful consideration of the legal nuances, potential consequences, and your personal resilience. While targeting your manager as an individual, be prepared for your employer’s indirect involvement. Also, research and consider how such action could negatively impact your professional journey.

Remember, legal battles are multifaceted. So seek guidance from experienced professionals, such as employment law attorneys. They can help you weigh your options, and brace yourself for a journey that goes beyond established legal protections. It’s about asserting your rights, reclaiming your dignity, and forging a path towards justice in the workplace.

So, are you ready to embark on this legal odyssey? The decision is 100% yours. Remember to choose wisely, and may justice prevail in your pursuit.

The information shared here is meant for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. Only employment law attorneys can provide you with legally-sound advice. Their advice will be based on your state’s laws and the specific details of your case.

As we wrap up, remember that I am on a mission to help you live your best career life one video at a time. If you got value from this content, please like this video to let YouTube know that you want to see more videos like this. Share it with others who want to live their best career life. And click the notification bell so that you’ll know when I release new videos.

The links to my upcoming live sessions are in the description below this video. You can also schedule a personal workplace or job search coaching session with me, using one of the links below if you’d like to work more closely with me.

Until next time workplace warriors…Career Success to You!

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