It is a really upsetting experience if your boss yells at you. I empathise with you. First and foremost, you do not need to take it upon yourself.
Yelling, a form of aggressive communication, can create discomfort and a toxic atmosphere within the workplace making you think, ‘Can a boss be fired for yelling?’. This article delves into the professional implications and consequences associated with such conduct.
The short answer is, yes. However, it depends on the severity or degree to which the yelling has taken place. If the boss you’ve been working under has usually been a person with a calm demeanour and this was a one-off case, perhaps, it was your boss’s disturbed mental state that caused such behaviour.
However, if you get the vibe that this is the typical way in which he/she behaves, then, it’s not you who needs help. They need to work on their behaviour. They need help. Consistently yelling is a form of workplace bullying that can have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
Also, there is a sea of differences between a “boss” and a leader. A leader would never need to yell at you to get work done. Rather, they coach their subordinates, create excitement about work and generally see to it that everyone has a positive work environment.
Understanding the Legal Aspects
In most jurisdictions, yelling alone might not constitute a direct breach of employment law. However, certain circumstances could change the narrative. Harassment, discriminatory behaviour, or creating a hostile work environment are serious issues that can be addressed through appropriate channels.
Different organisations may have their own policies and procedures in place to deal with such matters. Consulting the company’s employee handbook/resources or the HR department can provide some insight into the steps you can take when facing these challenges.
The following is an excerpt of a case study from WorkSafe Victoria, Victoria’s workplace health and safety regulator:
S, M, L and J were part of a group of employees at a commercial bakery where they were required to perform tasks including baking, sandwich preparation, general food preparation, cleaning and delivery of orders to local businesses.
They alleged they had been subjected to verbal, physical and emotional abuse by their employer over a period of two years. The abuse included:
– being called ‘pig’, ‘porky’, ‘dog’ and other derogatory names by their boss
– being sworn at, with their boss using foul and abusive language
– their boss yelling and grunting at them for no apparent reason
– having items such as sticks thrown at them or at their desks
– their boss threatening them with physical harm, including being attacked by dogs and
– being dissolved in acid
– having trolleys pushed into the backs of their legs
– being labelled as ‘useless’ and ‘a waste of space’ by their boss
– being told by their boss to ‘go away and die, and make sure you die quietly’
The employer in the actual case was found guilty of offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, and was convicted and fined $50,000.
Note here that a boss’s repeated yelling can be reported to the authorities and your boss can be taken to task. You would be eligible to apply for an order to stop the bullying through the Fair Work Commission.
Let’s Take a Look at Possible Consequences
While direct termination solely due to yelling might be less common, continuous behavioural concerns could lead to disciplinary action or termination. Companies often prioritise maintaining a healthy work environment, emphasising mutual respect and professional communication.
If yelling becomes a recurring issue, it might reflect poorly on the manager’s leadership capabilities. Such behaviour can demoralise you, resulting in decreased productivity and in general, an increase in employee turnover rates. Employers might take these factors into account when assessing the manager’s suitability for their role.
How Can You Address This Issue?
If you find yourself in a situation where your boss’s yelling is affecting your work environment, consider taking the following steps:
1. Understand Your Rights: Familiarise yourself with the company’s policies and relevant employment laws to ensure that your rights are protected.
2. Document the Incidents: Keep a record of the instances when you’ve been yelled at, along with any witnesses or evidence that might support your claim.
3. Communicate Effectively: If possible, address your concerns with the boss in a calm and professional manner before seeking further help. However, this depends entirely on the level of rapport you have with your boss. For instance, how approachable your boss is. While having a word with your boss, highlight how the behaviour affects you and your work.
4. Seek Professional Support: Talk to a mental health professional if you’re finding it difficult to sort things out on your own. More often than not, talking to a therapist would help you gain a level of clarity and an outlook or approach towards the situation that you would otherwise not have thought of. There’s no telling that your next job might have a better boss. Building mental resilience would equip you to handle any adverse scenarios your professional or personal life throws at you.
5. Contact the HR department: or a higher authority within the organisation to discuss the matter confidentially. They can guide you on the appropriate steps to take.
6. Look for a New Job: This is also an option that you have at your disposal. Although you could follow all the above procedures, perhaps because finding another job isn’t going to be easy, you’d rather be better off prioritising your mental health over toxicity. While you may try to make things work at your current job, there’s no harm in trying to look for an alternative opportunity elsewhere. Perhaps your boss may make amends and be nice to you temporarily, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll remain that way if they’ve been a chronic yeller.
Create a Positive Work Environment for Yourself
While dealing with a boss’s yelling can be challenging, understanding the legal perspective and organisational policies can provide clarity on the steps you can take to deal with such a situation. By effectively addressing the issue and promoting open communication, you can contribute to creating a positive and respectful work environment.
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Disclaimer: The information and views expressed in the above blog article are individual and inspired from the writer’s experience and study in Mental Health & Hypnotherapy.