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Hostile Work Environment Definition

The 12 Steps of “Restructuring” Jobs to Eliminate Older Workers

The 12 Steps of “Restructuring” Jobs to Eliminate Older Workers |

A bully boss will go to great lengths to terminate an employee they no longer want.  Frequently age discrimination, a kind of senior-employee-phobia, is the root cause. As both a defense lawyer advising companies, and in my role as the Undercover Lawyer advising individuals, I've witnessed the following pattern many times: 1.)  First Time Supervisor is in his/her 30's and nervous about being in charge of other employees 2.)  First Time Supervisor is intimidated and scared of employees who are in their 50's and 60's, but doesn't want anyone to know it 3.)  Employees in their 50's and 60's get micro-managed and nit picked by the First Time Supervisor over minuscule issues, which are the only issues the First Time Supervisor understands 4.)  Older Employees get sick of being nattered at … [Read more...]


Video: Stopping Age Discrimination, How Two Women Did It


Many of the people who utilize the phone conference I offer to book buyers tell me that they just feel bullied and picked on, but it's not because of any "protected class". But then I ask them how old their boss is compared to them. "Well, she's quite a bit younger than me, actually." Then I ask if she has any favorites? You know what comes next... "Why yes she does, and they are even younger than her." Finally I ask if anyone has been hired or fired from the department since this new boss took the helm. "You know one person was given a severance package and left suddenly... and he was even older than me. The boss hired one of her own friends from her old company as the replacement. Didn't even advertise the opening." Age discrimination can be blatant (yelling "You're a … [Read more...]


Age Discrimination Among the Unemployed, and Movement on a Workplace Harassment Bill


Good News / Bad News The Illinois State Senate passed a version of the Namie's anti-bullying bill. The bill was introduced by Illinois State Senator William Delgado, who said "Being in an abusive work environment is intolerable. This legislation will finally give workers some means of relief from the abuse they may be tolerating in their work environment." At the time the Bill was introduced, it was written to apply to public and private employees, to make harassment from bosses and from co-workers illegal, and would have made managers and co-workers individually liable for bullying. The bill even went so far as to make it a criminal act for a manager to retaliate against an employee who complained about bullying. (Read more HERE). But you know how politics work. Business groups … [Read more...]


Podcast #10: Bully Boss Creates Hostile Work Environment by Forbidding Bathroom Breaks!

No Bathroom Breaks

Don't Have iTunes on Your Computer? Free Download from Apple w/ easy install instructions. Main Segment In the Main Segment of Episode #10 we tackle the issue of "Bully Bosses Who Forbid Bathroom Breaks."  This craziness happens much more frequently than you may think.  Can you guess who the primary victims are? #1 Spanish radio station in Miami The radio show I mention during the show is 98.3.  My thanks to Frank, the Undercover Lawyer community member from Miami who got the book and called in to 98.3 to talk about it.  Thanks Frank! All Spanish UCL Site Now Launched: www.demandas-empleos.comNew Segment -- The Q & A: We also debut a new segment in Episode #10, the Q&A.  In you have a legal question about work that you think other listeners would be interested in, send it to me … [Read more...]


You Are Not Alone in Dealing with an Abusive Boss

Not Alone

One of the things I've tried to emphasize and acheive with is convincing people that they are not alone in their pain.  Thousands, if not millions, of people across our country suffer each day at work as they labor under an abusive and hostile boss.  Many people blame themselves.  Other victims of bullying management simply hunker down alone, unaware of how many other people share their plight. The wide spread nature of discrimination at work snuck into a couple of headlines this week in two high profile media outlets, bringing much needed publicity to the issue of hostile work environments with particular emphasis on age discrimination. The first article appeared in the Wall Street Journal's "Personal Journal" section, titled "More Workers Cite Age Bias After … [Read more...]


Podcast Episode #7: Your Boss Can Be Liable to You For Creating A Hostile Work Environment Based on Age

Download PDF Transcript In Episode #7, we discuss how your boss can be liable to you for creating a hostile work environment based on age.  The main example we cover is Elizabeth Parks v. Lebhar-Friedman, Inc., 2008 WL 4449345 (SDNY) (Oct. 2, 2008). Parks' worked for her employer, Drug Store News, for 26 years.  Even after that much time with nothing but good reviews, Parks felt like her boss was trying to make life miserable for her and push her out.  Her boss concocted excuses to "write her up" and criticize her work for vague reasons that no one could understand, much less act upon. Parks' boss, however, wasn't planning on Parks pushing back.  To learn how she did it, and how she got some smoking gun evidence against her boss and other executives at her company, just listen to the … [Read more...]


Does Your Boss Harass You Like This?


One of the most frequently recurring patterns of conflict in the workplace is when a New Supervisor joins a department and ruins everything the senior employees liked about their jobs. Company Executives often assign the New Supervisor the task of “clearing out the dead wood” or “cleaning house.” Excited to have his or her first supervisory job, the New Supervisor charges into the task of “cleaning house” with all the delicate subtlety of a pro wrestler. Is the New Supervisor just doing their job, or buying into a company policy and practice of age discrimination toward older “dead wood” workers? True Story: A New Supervisor at Best Buy bought into the task of clearing out 54 year old Jolyn McDonald, big time. McDonald worked at Best Buy for 17 years before the New Supervisor, Ed Stald, … [Read more...]


Hostile Workplace Podcast #3: Straight-Male to Straight Male Sex Harassment

El Acoso Sexual del Mismo Sexo

Download PDF Transcript Episode #3 of the Hostile Workplace Podcast, by the Undercover Lawyer To access this podcast through the iTunes music store (for free) click HERE. Announcements In Epsisode #3 I mentioned that you can follow me on Twitter. In you are not familiar with it, Twitter is a “micro-blogging” site, where people can post short, text message length updates about what they are doing each day. You can see it for yourself at .  My username on Twitter, if you would like to follow me, is “Undercover_Lawr”. Quick Tip For the Quick Tip, we talked about how employees have zero expectation of privacy for anything done with their work computer, or their work network (like signing in from home – still utilizes work network). Feature Segment – Straight Male to … [Read more...]


Age Discrimination or Disciplinary Policy Exception: Why Does the Text Message Generation Get More Chances?

Girl Texting

Does your company state that it will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, color, nationality, disability or gender?  Does your company also have a written progressive disciplinary policy? Do your supervisors always follow each step of the progressive discipline policy?  A new court ruling says that if they don't, you could successfully sue and win significant money damages pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Real Case of Cynthia and Leann: Cynthia Kildoo and Leann Richter worked as retail sales associates (RSA's) at a Cellular One store. Both were over 40. The company set specific sales quotas for its RSAs.  For those who failed to meet their quotas, like Cynthia and Leann, Cellular One instructed its store managers to follow its written … [Read more...]


Age Discrimination: Beware a Sudden Change in Your Performance Appraisals

Getting fired

Starbucks announced it is closing 600 stores. American Airlines announced it is laying off 900 flight attendants. Polaroid is shutting down two manufacturing plants. The computer chip maker AMD is cutting 10% of its workforce. From coffee to cameras, to computers to planes, people across all industries are facing mass layoffs and the potential to lose their jobs. As an employment lawyer, I always advise companies that the only safe way to conduct a layoff is to follow this simple rule: “Last hired, first fired.” Defense attorneys love this way of selecting employees for layoff, because it is objective. There no way for discriminatory motives and biases to creep into a system that is based solely on dates of hire. But do companies use “Last hired, first fired”? Usually not. Sometimes the … [Read more...]