Hostile Work Environment Definition
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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...]

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Podcast #6: 10 Tips for Anyone Facing Termination, Including Negotiating a Severance Package

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Download PDF Transcript If you want to listen on your iPod via iTunes, you can use this link (will open iTunes and take you to the podcast): http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=284065741 You can also listen through this website using the player below. The primary message of Episode #6 of the Hostile Workplace Podcast is "You Are Not Powerless When Facing Termination!"  This episode shows you how to fight back and try to keep your job, PLUS, we cover how to negotiate a severance if you decide to leave.  Negotiating a severance would also apply to anyone who is facing layoffs at their company. Tips 1-3: Fight Back by utilizing protected classes and turning the tables on your supervisor. Tips 4-7: Slow the Process Down by knowing all your due process … [Read more...]

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10 Steps of Walking the Plank Toward Termination: STEP 4 Your Boss Switches From Harassing You In-Person to Harassing You In Writing

When your boss goes to Human Resources and asks "Can I fire this employee right now?", do you know what the H.R. Rep always answers?  H.R. says, "What documentation do you have that shows your employee is not doing their job?" You know what happens next?  Your boss looks down at his or her own feet, and their face starts turning red.  Then they look back up at the H.R. Person and say something like "Goddamnit, don't we have at-will employment in this state?!  It used to be if someone didn't do their job they got fired!  Plain and simple.  How come all you ever say is 'no'?  Why don't you ever help us get things done around here, instead of just putting up road blocks all the time?!" The H.R. Rep responds to this tirade with something like, "I take it you have done no documentation of … [Read more...]

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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, … [Read more...]