An employee at North Landing Ltd., a major East Coast seafood importer and supplier, has filed a lawsuit claiming that her boss slapped her in the face and told her to "go home and think about what you just made me do" after she voiced repeated concerns about the company's alleged illegal practices.
Denise Chadwick, 58, filed a complaint in New Jersey's Passaic County Court alleging that her boss, Dorvenir Amaral, slapped her during one of many confrontations about the company's operations, Courthouse News Service reports. She alleged that starting in 2008, when Amaral and two other businessmen took over operations, the company began using illegal chemicals to treat fish, passed off cheap Salmon as "Scottish filets," and concealed their practice of adding saline solution to the fish.
On March 9, 2012, Chadwick claims that after she expressed concerns about company practices Amaral "verbally berated" her before slapping her.
Then, according to the complaint:
[Chadwick] protested loudly that he was violating the law by terrifying her, screaming at her, threatening to fire her and physically attacking her ... Approximately 45 minutes later defendant Amaral returned, took [Chadwick] aside and said, 'Now I want you to go home and think about what you just made me do.'
Chadwick is currently seeking damages for battery, negligence and employment law violations, according to Courthouse News.
One month after Chadwick's ordeal, another company came under fire for physically and verbally abusing an employee. On April 2, Jacob Logan Johnson filed a complaint in Alabama claiming that his employer, a Korean boss at a Kia supplier, repeatedly hit him, called him "stupid" and insulted him for being an American, according to the Ledger Inquirer.
Johnson also claimed that his supervisor slapped his head, punched him in the arms and back, and hit him in the legs with a rubber mallet, according to the complaint.
Threatening behavior may explain in part why less than half of all workplace conduct goes unreported, according to a study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board, a Virginia consulting firm.
Employers often fail to report misconduct in the workplace because they "fear retaliatory action, including losing their job, failing to get promoted, failing to get a bonus," Thomas Monahan, chairman and CEO of Corporate Executive Board, told Fortune magazine.