Hostile Work Environment Definition
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New Hostile Workplace Book Cover Reveal: How You Voted

Final_Cover

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...]

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The Hostile Work Environment That Brought Down Paula Deen

Paulas_Home

Many people do not realize that Paula Deen's troubles do not just stem from her admitting that she used the N-word, but that she admitted using the N-word during a hostile work environment lawsuit filed against her.  Even if you are a huge Paula Deen fan, you probably have more in common with the employee than you have in common with Paula Deen.  Do any of these things sound like something you've experienced at work? You suffer through work days under a supervisor who: Makes sexual comments Utters racist remarks Looks up dirty jokes and pictures on his office computer Promotes only people who remind him of himself, and Threatens anyone who questions him When you or a co-worker finally muster up the courage to say something to your boss’s boss, one of three things happens: You are … [Read more...]

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Do Nurses in a Hostile Work Environment Have a Duty to Second Guess the Doctor?

Nurses_SpeakUp

When a patient sues a doctor, the patient often wants to sue the nurses too. Why? Because if the patient can convince the jury that not only the doctor, but also the nurses, made a mistake then the doctor’s insurance and the hospital’s insurance are on the hook. It’s about finding as many deep-pockets as possible. Often times, the nurses didn’t make any mistakes. The nurses are supposed to follow the orders given by the doctor. And they usually do. So how can a patient and his/her lawyer sue a nurse who simply followed doctor’s orders? One of the most frequent tactics is by claiming that the nurse failed because the nurse followed the doctor’s orders. That’s right, the patient argues that the nurse should NOT have followed orders, but instead should have spoken up to stop the … [Read more...]

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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...]

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

Comments

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...]

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

unbroken

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...]

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Has Your Bully Boss Said Anything This Stupid?

bossAngelDevil

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...]

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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...]

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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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