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Hostile Work Environment Definition

New Hostile Workplace Book Cover Reveal: How You Voted


Thank you all so very much for voting on which cover to use for the new, greatly expanded version of my book.  Without further ado, here's the winner: The book cover image that I liked best and would have chosen came in third place!  The cover that came in first place by a wide margin and won the contest was “Breaking free of shackles”, as pictured above.  Second place in the cover voting was “Stressed worker”, which is the current cover on the book and is pictured here: This surprised me too. It obviously works as a cover, since the book as sold well over time. But, it looks dated and not as professional to me. Perhaps I am just tired of looking at it? Anyway, the current cover coming in second place, and beating out my personal favorite which came in third place, shocked … [Read more...]


Your Comments: Does Living Through a Hostile Work Environment Feel Like Being a POW?


So many of you replied to the my last article, about how living through a hostile work environment feels like living through a prison camp, that I decided to post some of the most insightful and heartfelt responses.  (I asked their permission too).  Some people think I went too far, but most of you were supportive of the point I'm trying to make: that feeling trapped by a bullying abusive boss leads to the same feelings of panic, desperation, and even PTSD that prisoners of war feel. The actual physical experiences are NOT the same. The feelings are very similar. Without further ado, here are the comments -- and please chime in with your own thoughts at the bottom of this post: From "Johnec" who works with former prisoners of war as part of his own job: "I work with former POW’s and … [Read more...]


Is a Prison Camp Comparable to Living Through a Hostile Work Environment?


I’ve been wanting to write more, and post more regularly to this blog. Like lots of people, instead of working directly on my goal I’ve procrastinated by doing any number of different things that feel like they are related to my goal, but really aren’t. I’ve compiled lists of writing ideas, written out writing schedules, got a new writing program to use on my laptop, and the mother-of-all-time-wasters: “research.” In an effort to not waste so much time clicking from article to article on the web, I decided I would shut the laptop and go back to reading some full length books. But you got to start slow, right? Not just jump into reading dense legal reference books. So I thought it would be good to read a book about overcoming adversity, since so many of the people who visit this site are … [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...]


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...]


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...]


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...]


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...]


Steps Toward Workplace Civility Law & Could You Qualify for Disability Benefits?


In Episode #14 of the Hostile Workplace Podcast we review two recent cases, both of which point toward the federal courts gradual expansion of discrimination law, inching closer to requiring civility in the workplace. Ingrid Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide (11th Cir., January 20, 2010) Indergard v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., (9th Cir., September 28, 2009) We also have a highly informative interview with Brian Therrien of Disability Digest. We've featured … [Read more...]


Is This Retaliation or Discrimination? Q & A with Derek D.

ecamination time

Academy Member and book buyer Derek D. and I have been talking about how his bullying boss has gone over the line and started to infringe on Derek's employee rights.  Of course there is a long history, with the supervisor Trent taking a dislike to Derek back when Trent was himself a machine operator. After his promotion, Trent made comments that … [Read more...]