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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...]


Episode #13: How to Never Give Up and Never Be Alone. An Interview with Our Forum Den Mother, Lulu

Den Mother cub scout patch

Episode 13 features an interview with our forum Den Mother and bully boss fighter, Lulu. Lulu joined our forum feeling alone and confused about how her long, stellar career could start crumbling when a much younger manager took over the department where Lulu worked. … [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...]


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...]