UAE legal Q&As: Can manager be taken to task for swearing at employee?

A reader asks about a manager using foul language to express his frustration at an employee's mistake, while a parent worries about her son mistakenly becoming embroiled in a drugs case.

Does a manager’s use of the ‘F’ word constitute a criminal case when he is expressing his frustration at an employee’s mistake? It was not used directly towards the employee, just in frustration at the situation. The employee admitted the mistake but when he asked the manager to apologise for using vulgar language, the manager refused. The incident was in public but just the two of them were present. Are there any possible legal actions available to the employee against either the company or manager in question? The employee is worried about being sacked over this incident and would like to know his rights should action to dismiss him begin.

The law is quite clear that the use of foul language against anyone, employee or otherwise, is not allowed. A person who insults another using inappropriate language is breaking the law and can be reported to police. A case could end up in the misdemeanours court with the charge of issuing insults. If convicted, an offender can face prison or a fine, or both. The employee should also know that the manager has no right to fire someone just because they reported him to police. If this were to happen, the employee can lodge a complaint with the labour court.

My son was arrested with a friend who was being kept under police observation for involvement in drug abuse, which my son did not know about. The friend gave him a tablet when my son complained of a headache, and it turned out to be an illegal substance. Can my son be deported?

The circumstances under which your son had taken the drug will not stand up in court since traces of the drug would be found in his blood and this would be confirmed in court by a police medical report. It is also not relevant whether your son knew that his friend was involved in drug offences – the fact that stands up in court is that your son consumed a drug. According to the law, he may face a prison sentence of up to four years for consuming drugs, followed by deportation. You can file and appeal to a special committee to look into deportation orders, explaining your reasons for the appeal and that he is your only son. After looking into your request, a decision will be made as to whether to remove the deportation order.

Yousef Al Bahar is an advocate at Al Bahar and Associates Advocates and Legal Consultants.

If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to with the subject line “Know the law”.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

Published: September 10, 2016 04:00 AM


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