I have a few issues, I have a boss who is also the owner.
I know that legal advice cannot be offered here so please do not block my question as i will look into legal options later on down the road if necessary.
I am the Sr. Systems Engineer at my workplace and I am the only I.T. employee here and i support 40 users across 2 offices.
My boss outlined that every person she has ever hired (these people were all IT Consultancy's not W-2 Employees) in IT as rotten bad individuals, she does ALOT of bad mouthing about employees she does not like to current employees and regularly would discuss who she wants to fire or she thinks she should fire.
Many of these comments or discussions have occurred in front of me or she has tried to have them with me and stopped once she saw i wasn't really interested in discussing that with her.
My boss regularly pushes AGAINST my recommendations, we are a medically based clinic and must follow HIPPA laws, it's commonplace in the workplace to have some form of anti-virus, as the systems engineer I have made numerous requests to supply the business with certain things that are needed to ensure that we do not destroy data or lose sensitive data by not being smart and having these tools.
I have been here for 1 year and she has pushed against almost every single recommendation i give to her, I send emails daily that require her approval in order for me to continue my job and sometimes NEVER EVER receive a response at all.
Usually when i remind her about an email that i needed her to respond to she will ALMOST ALWAYS cut me off and say she never got it - in the beginning i believed her but then thought it was strange that no other users inside of the company have the issues that she says she has - she on a constant basis will report she has email troubles but wont do anything i ask her to do when offering support and when i physically test her email client with internal and external emails i find that everything works EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Which recently led me to look up times and dates of when i sent material to her and i have had to physically check to verify the email is currently in her inbox as she is about to lie to my face and tell me she never received it, one such example occurred a few days ago and when i gave her a date and time she was able to locate the email in front of me after i insisted it was in her inbox waiting to be read.
I spend most of my day answering support tickets for employees and the employees here are AWESOME, i love working here but i cannot be the productive individual i want to be if she refuses to answer email.
She has a boyfriend who is not an employee and has visited the office a few times, last time he came i was extremely busy that day, i was pulled into her office and scolded publicly (i say publicly because her door was open and i am sure others could hear) the following day because i was not pleasant or i did not approach her "partner" or "boyfriend" - i actually did not approach them at all - rather i focused on my work and got that done instead.
She scolded me for not being polite, not talking to him and she also stated that he told her that i appeared to have a bad attitude, NOW, this is where the plot thickens - I was never around her and her friend at all that day, i actually spent most of my day in the server room and at the remote office 17 miles away so i was a bit floored to hear her say what she said to me. She lied to my face yet again about something that literally never happened.
I am not sure what to do, i also work at the same workplace with my mother who is the operations manager and my boss has now turned on her - my grandmother passed away on feb 24th, we asked for 1 week of time for bereavement, we were told that she could offer us 2 days unpaid bereavement and she offered us the ability to take a leave. I returned to work after the week because i do not make very much money and cannot support my family on zero pay and my boss knows my living and financial situation.
I feel like there is something that can be done legally but i am at a point where she will not even allow me to use my available PTO for the days i was offer on bereavement.
I have bent over backwards for her, doing tasks and jobs that are outside my pay range/grade and i have even helped her do server forensic work that got her out a 15K + lawsuit she was being sued over from the previous IT consultancy.
I am still grieving for the woman that raised me my whole life and cannot even do that in peace watching this woman torment my mother or operations manager.
My boss believe she needs to build a case against everyone she fires which is not true since California is "AT-WILL" but i feel like I'm caught between leaving or resigning and just sticking it out because its been tough for me to find work at times.
Also what can i do to protect myself from slander or defamation if i resign and find out she is telling employees she fired me for insubordination or something else untrue? I have seen her do this before.
Also, when other IT people have left, i have seen her contact them repeatedly for passwords or other documents that exist on her server or email she chooses not to look for them but pester ex employees by calling or using her lawyer to threaten them, since i have seen that i am concerned about what i can do to protect myself before or if i leave this job? what would be common practice to make sure i document things to protect myself?
I should also add that since things have become difficult here i get so stressed out that i don't really have any alternative to relieve stress, i have no health insurance because its not affordable so i can't see a doctor and go on a medical leave for anything like that.
Please offer advice, i am sorry this is so long.