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Hostile Work Environment Definition
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New Video: The One Real Key To Getting Unemployment Benefits

UnemploymentVidScreenPic

This video explains the one true key to making sure that you get unemployment benefits. If you applied for unemployment benefits and you were turned down, then this is the key concept that you must understand. It simply is not true that if you get fired you WILL get unemployment. Another myth is that if you resign you will not get unemployment. Watch this video and find out how unemployment benefits decision are really made. If your story sounds at all similar, be sure to get my FREE "7-Secrets of Work Law" e-mail course. Learn how to fight back against a bully boss. Primary Email   Your email will never be shared, sold or revealed. If you need all the help you can get right NOW, then get my book, Work Laws Exposed and you will receive the full power … [Read more...]

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What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? (PART 3 of 3)

Bully Boss Confronts Employee

Lenora's Journey Through a Hostile Workplace In two previous articles a 52 year old nurse named Lenora was harassed and abused by her new (younger) boss and former co-worker Michelle. Feeling distressed and sick, Lenora stayed home from work and called her brother in law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt. Although he usually works on the side of the employers, he wanted to help his family member. Talking on the phone and over lunch Curt explained the difference between legal and illegal hostile work environments, and explained why the concept of "employment at will" is so crucial to fighting back against a bullying boss. Lenora wants to turn her boss Michelle into the hospital's human resources department for "unfairly" attacking Lenora at work. Curt is trying to persuade Lenora … [Read more...]

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What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? (PART 2 of 3)

A Bully Boss Can Turn What Was Once a Great Work Place into a Hostile Work Place

Step One to Fighting Back: Understand Employment At-Will In a previous post, a 52 year old nurse, Lenora, felt sick and distressed about the hostile work environment her new supervisor (and former co-worker) was subjecting Lenora to. The new supervisor and head nurse, Michelle, was acting like a tyrant, but only toward Lenora and not the other nurses. Feeling alone and dreading going into work, Lenora stayed home and called her brother-in-law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt. Curt explained that an illegal hostile work environment has to be based on a protected class like race, religion, national origin, gender, disability or age. Lenora was even more despondent, because she and Michelle were both women, so Lenora doubted the law would protect her. In Lenora's mind, Michelle … [Read more...]

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What Is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? (PART 1 of 3)

Nitpicking Boss Causes Hostile Work Environment

Question: What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? Answer: There are actually two types of "Hostile Work Environments": 1) legal; and 2) illegal.  To see which you are experiencing, consider the story of Lenora. Perhaps you have experienced something like Lenora, a conscientious nurse who loved her patients and felt valued at work -- until her co-worker became her boss. Lenora worked as a nurse at a hospital in California and felt fortunate to have her job, until administration promoted Lenora's co-worker Michelle to be the new Head Nurse. Sure Michelle was a good nurse, but after her promotion Michelle dramatically changed from a pleasant if shy co-worker into an angry tyrant. Michelle raised her voice at many of the nurses, but singled Lenora out for particularly harsh … [Read more...]

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Free iPhone App For Documenting Your Wage Claim

DOL Time Sheet App

A neat little new app for Smartphones – brought to you by our friends at the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division – lets employees independently track their work, break and overtime hours. It’s currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and updates are being planned for other Smartphone platforms. What is it and why should I get it? The DOL’s Timesheet App for Smartphones was released in May. Employees can use it to keep track of the hours they work. According to the DOL, “this new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers can now keep their own records.” Employers are required by the Fair Labor Standards Act to maintain records of their employees’ hours, but – ultimately - who owns those records? Yep - the … [Read more...]

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How To Document a Hostile Work Environment

Man taking notes on what bad boss is doing

Visitors to the Forum and the Academy know that regular posters like Littlelulu, msliberated, Curt and I are always harping on the importance of DOCUMENTATION. And folks have asked: “What does that mean?” This article is going to give you the nuts and bolts of documentation, so you can protect yourself from any rogue activity that your employer or supervisor may engage in. By “rogue activity”, I mean your employer manufacturing documents and supposed incidents that occurred. It would help, I think, to start with the Dictionary definition. From my Webster’s Dictionary, “Documentation” means “the act or an instance of furnishing or authenticating with documents.” What’s a “Document”? As a Noun (a thing), a Document is “…an original or official paper relied on as the basis, proof, or … [Read more...]

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How To Request Job Accommodations From Your Boss By Using the ADA

By Mary, The Undercover HR Director ("OnYourSide" in the Forums) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. For all the kicking and screaming by employers about making accommodations, you’d think accommodations cost them millions of dollars – but it’s not true! Accommodations for people with disabilities are usually extremely low or even no cost. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) conducted a study recently that showed as many as 56 percent of workplace accommodations cost NOTHING. Of those accommodations that did have a cost, the average one-time cost was $600. What other kind of investment could an employer make in their employees that would buy them so much goodwill? What conditions … [Read more...]

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More Insider HR Tips: What Are HR Pros Saying About You?

HR Knicker Twisters, by Mary The Undercover HR Director ("OnYourSide") in the forums Welcome to my second article! I’ll be writing articles periodically when I have news to share with you or an opinion on current events. I hope you had a chance to read my first article. I promised to share with you some “HR Knicker Twisters” gleaned from the recent SHRM® 2010 Annual Conference and Exposition that I attended in San Diego, California. Californians: you have a seriously gorgeous state. I can see why California is in such danger of earthquakes. There must be so many jealous transplants from other states weighing it down that if a really big earthquake happened California would just crack off and drop into the Pacific. As your intrepid Undercover HR Director, I attended the SHRM® … [Read more...]

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Attacking a Bullying Victim, Again: Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Prince

A lawyer who is defending one of the bullies that drove high schooler Phoebe Prince to suicide just published an article in the online magazine Slate. The outrage comes from the slant of the article, which "reports" as objective news that Phoebe brought the bullying upon herself. She's painted as being a "self-mutilating misfit bent on suicide." The apparent purpose of the article is only too obvious to people who have been the victims of workplace bullying; the purportedly objective investigator makes the bully appear less awful by heaping blame on the victim. How many people have complained to HR of a "hostile work environment", only to be called in to HR and disciplined for poor performance while nothing happens to the bully? This happens so often it's sickening. But this attorney … [Read more...]

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Insider H.R. Tips From SHRM, The Biggest H.R. Conference in the Country

Mary's Butterflies

Inaugural Article By Mary, the Undercover HR Director ("On Your Side" in the Forums"): I’ll be writing articles periodically when I have news to share with you or an opinion on current events.  I recently returned from The SHRM® 2010 Annual Conference and Exposition, held in beautiful San Diego, California. I thought you might like some insight into what those dastardly Human Resource folks are cooking up. I attended the Conference in my “day job” capacity as a Human Resources professional, and as your Undercover HR Director.  But first – a question: What do you call one hundred HR professionals on the bottom of San Diego Bay? A good start! No, wait – that’s lawyers. Lawyers on the bottom of San Diego Bay! (Apologies to Curt) A little background: SHRM® stands for Society for Human … [Read more...]