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Hostile Work Environment Definition

Hey Grinch Bosses: No Holiday-Time Terminations!

No Holiday Time Terminations

No employee should be terminated after the first week of December until after New Years. This is because any employer who fires an employee during this period will be the embodiment of Scrooge in the eyes of a jury. There’s really no acceptable reason for an employee to get terminated during this holiday time period, outside of theft. And even then, if the employee was stealing in order to put food in the mouth of Tiny Tim, the employee still gets a pass. In other words, no terminations during December. Period. If the employee does something so incomprehensibly bad that they must be kept away from work, such as sexually assaulting another employee or stealing cash out of another employee’s purse, then a smart employer will simply keep the employee away from work through New Years. … [Read more...]


Has Your Bully Boss Said Anything This Stupid?


Sometimes the stupid stuff your boss says is SO overwhelmingly stupid, that it's funny. And because being someone who is fighting back against harassment and bullies is stressful, I wanted to give you something to help you laugh a bit. I'm generally a serious guy, but sometimes you just need to laugh, you know? So, I hope this can put a smile on your face and give you the brief mental break that you need and deserve. So here's the list of 32 dumb things managers say included. 1. "Am I the only one around here with half a brain?!" 2. "I know my plan won't work, but don't disagree with me in front of others." 3. "I only say those things to look tough. I'm reshaping my image for advancement." 4. "I tried to e-mail you to tell you that my e-mail wasn't working, … [Read more...]


Video: Here’s the Only Way to Stop a Bully Boss from Giving a Bad Reference


Is your bully boss keeping you under his or her thumb by giving you bad references, so that you can't escape?  Or have you escaped the abusive boss, only to find he is still trying to ruin your life by giving you bad references? Here is the one and only way to force the boss to stop sticking their mean words into your hopes and plans to move on.  It's simple, and I event give you a letter template to use.  Just watch the video (which gets right to the point).   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 … [Read more...]


Meeting “Efficiencies”

One reader of Undercover Lawyer contributed the following piece based on his own experiences at a large employer in Southern California.  Our guest writer, Brian, followed the advice in "Work Laws Exposed" and filed claims with California 's DFEH.  He has now retained a California attorney to further fight back against the Hostile Work Environment he had to live through.  Here are Brian's insights: MEETING "EFFICIENCIES" Every now and then a company needs to “meet efficiencies”, which also means to get rid of employees for whatever reason; (over budget, employee complains, don’t like, asks for training, wants a raise, etc). How the game works: A manager is usually asked to lunch by his/her supervisor. During lunch the supervisor will inform the manager that the company has a problem and … [Read more...]


Avoiding the Axe…Part Two — by Jenn S.

Here are a few more tips for keeping on the straight and narrow at work and avoiding many of the common pitfalls that I have seen result in many lost jobs… DON’T gossip. It’s hard, I know. I have a hard time following this one myself. Gossip is just so fun. Though talking about other people’s faults and foibles can be great entertainment, it can also cause a lot of problems. Generally speaking, people don’t like to be gossiped about and when word gets around that you’re one of the folks spreading other people’s business to all parts of the office, you might become the target of some unpleasant commentary yourself. Office dramas and rivalries often begin with what some might characterize as harmless gossip and end with someone losing a job or at least being moved or demoted. And be … [Read more...]


STEP 5 of Walking The Plank Toward Termination: Is Your Boss Hassling You About Tiny Aspects of Your Work?

If you feel like your boss has suddenly started hassling you about tiny, and seemingly irrelevant aspects of your job, then a red flag should go up in your mind.  This is another tell-tale sign that your boss is on the hunt for an employee to terminate -- you. Your boss may be trying to "build a record" of documented mistakes you have made, in order to justify terminating you. Your boss probably has not given you any negative feedback for years, if ever. And when the boss evaluates the major parts of your job -- everything is fine. So, instead of noting your solid performance and moving on, your boss redoubles his or her efforts to find something, anything, that you are doing wrong. This leads your boss into the tiny minutiae of your job -- items that you can't really say are … [Read more...]


10 Steps of Walking the Plank Toward Termination: STEP 3, Your Good Work Gets No Rewards

A law firm partner who wanted me fired used to sing my praises, calling me a "golden boy" and going on and on about how I seemed to have a "magic wand" that would solve all the partner's problems.  Now, this partner's inability to remember to take all their pills each morning was not my doing, but it was nearly my undoing (ever had a boss like this?). One day I had obtained an especially good result for a demanding client in a challenging case.  I was exuberant as I bounded into my boss's doorway and blurted out "Did you hear how the judge ruled on our Rule 11 motions? Granted! We got them!"  I fully expected my boss to jump out of their chair and hug me, or at least shake my hand and offer to call the client and give me credit for the victory. Instead I got a cold emotionless stare, and … [Read more...]


10 Steps of Walking the Plank Toward Termination: Step 2 You Have a New Supervisor

Note: If you missed Step 1 in this series you can read it HERE. If a new supervisor takes over your department, brace yourself.  New supervisors change everything, and employees HATE that. What you need to understand is that it is unthinkable to a new supervisor to not change everything.  A new supervisor feels like they need to PROVE that they were the right person for the job.  How do they prove it?  By making changes. It doesn't matter to your new supervisor that everything was working just fine, thank you very much.  Your new supervisor is going to make changes for change's sake.  Your supervisor believes that their changes prove that they are making their mark, shaking things up, raising the bar, blah blah blah. In your new supervisor's mind, this is now their kingdom, their way … [Read more...]


Does Your Boss or Co-Worker Create Problems To Solve and Take Credit For the Solution?


Many of the people who contact me for help with a stressful workplace are dealing with a new supervisor who is causing chaos in the employee's formerly peaceful workplace.  Why does a new supervisor feel the need to upset everything and everyone? To look good. That's right, to look good by fixing a big mess.  And don't think the supervisor will take responsibility for causing the big mess.  The employees who "can't accept new ideas" will get the blame. New supervisors are under a lot pressure to look good fast; they need to demonstrate that they deserved to be hired or promoted; they desperately want to show their own boss that he/she "made the right decision" in choosing who got the open management spot. A Wall Street Journal article touches on this scenario (the WSJ piece describes … [Read more...]


Podcast #4: Michelle + Dan = Retaliation

La Represalia en el Trabajo

Download PDF Transcript Michell and Dan began their working relationship as friends.  Dan supervised a group of 8 employees; 7 young men plus Michelle.  Michelle was only 21. Before work each morning, however, she had to drop off her young son at her mother's house.  As a result, Michelle often arrived between 5 and 15 minutes late. But Dan was sympathetic to Michelle's struggles as a single mom.  He was the only other person at work with children.  Plus, how could you not like Michelle?  She worked hard, she was cute, and she could talk "like one of the boys."  In fact, sometimes she made the boys blush! Yet, little voice in the back of Michelle's head kept telling her that the crude sex talk at work wasn't something to be proud of.  In fact, she admitted to herself that she wouldn't … [Read more...]