My Manager/Boss is a Narcissist
There are few things more frustrating than dealing with a narcissist manager or boss. You know the one who spews out negative feedback, never takes responsibility for his/her own shortcoming, takes credit for things they didn’t do, who yells at his/her employees, who spins situations, who thinks he/she is always right. It is sometimes hard to put a finger on what is actually going on when you are in the situation, and as time goes by you start to believe that you are a bad employee and that you just are not good enough. Stop right there!
So what can you do about your narcissist boss? While it is true that narcissism alone is not illegal under any employment laws, many things that narcissist bosses do are illegal. Breaking it down into three categories will help you understand if you have a legally actionable claim against your narcissist boss.
Narcissist bosses are very set in their personal viewpoints and think that there way of thinking is always right. This usually means that they discriminate against those they do not like and/or treat people they think are less than them in any way they please. While this may be okay if their viewpoint is that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than a peanut butter and honey sandwich, it is not okay if they think that men are better than women, etc. In fact, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its corresponding laws state that a manager/boss cannot discriminate against individuals based on race, disability status, gender (including sexual harassment), national origin, religion, age, pregnancy status, and genetic information. Sometimes this manifests itself by comments made by the narcissist boss. Other times, it manifests by way of pay disparity, being passed over for job promotions, or being assigned the worst shifts. The Family Medical Leave Act and the Arizona Paid Sick Leave law additionally prohibits a boss from discriminating against an employee for taking qualifying leave.
#2 Illegal Activity
Because narcissist bosses believe that what they are doing is right, they often fail to adhere to all the laws because they do not think they apply equally to them. Unfortunately for them, the laws apply equally to all employers. Often times narcissist bosses will misclassify their employees as overtime exempt, when really the employee should be paid overtime. (Remember that just getting paid a salary or being classified as an independent contractor does not alone make you exempt from overtime). Other times, narcissist bosses will justify forging signatures, manipulating accounting records, covering up work related injuries, not paying employees timely, or defrauding customers or the state/federal government. These are all illegal actions.
Narcissist bosses do not like to be challenged or told that they are wrong. This usually means that if you challenge a narcissist boss, they will retaliate. While being retaliated against by a narcissist boss for challenging a decision they made on how to run the business does not give rise to claims, being retaliated against for reporting a violation of state law or reporting any discrimination or illegal activity outlined above does give grounds for a legal claim. Because narcissist bosses always think they are right, they tend to fall into this problem a lot.
As you can see, having a narcissist boss does not alone mean you have any legal claims. However, it is likely that a narcissist boss will disregard the law at some point which will bring rise to a legal claim. If you feel like you are experiencing discrimination, witnessing illegal activity, or the subject of retaliation from your narcissist boss, then please contact Brad Denton at Denton Peterson PC at (480) 325-9900 or send an email to [email protected]. We are here to help you.