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Hostile Work Environment Definition

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...]


The Abusive Boss Who Lost in Court

Download PDF Transcript Abusive bullying boss ruining your work? You need to hear about Joe. Joe is a hospital perfusionist (the person who operates the heart-lung machine during an open heart surgery).  Well Joe's boss, a surgeon, yelled at Joe, cussed at Joe, shook his fist and threatened Joe's job. Joe got sick.  Literally sick.  As in having to go to his doctor and get anxiety medication, dreading every single work day morning type of sick. Joe didn't just turn the tables on his boss, Joe freakin' flipped the tables over.  Here's how: The Bully-Boss Surgeon Joe Doescher's "boss" was a cardiovascular surgeon named Dr. Daniel Raess. Dr. Raess behavior included yelling, screaming, and swearing at Joe with "clenched fists, piercing eyes, beet-red face, [and] popping veins." The final … [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...]


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): 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 rights … [Read more...]


Hostile Workplace Podcast #5: “I Don’t Know What FMLA Is, But I’m Sure YOU Don’t Qualify For It”

Download PDF Transcript Have you heard a supervisor admit they don't know about something with one breath, but then proceed to tell you what you should do about that thing in their next breath?  Listen to one of my readers, Vicki, tell her story dealing with that exact scenario. Once Vicki used FMLA, others at her work wanted to use FMLA leave too.  This angered her supervisors, who launched a campaign to "get" her. Listen to Podcast Episode #5 now to hear how Vicki has fared against her company's attack (and don't expect a nicey nice happy ending). You can listen to Podcast #5 through the player here on Or, if you have iTunes you can click on the link below to listen there and subscribe to the podcast for … [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...]


Hostile Workplace Podcast #3: Straight-Male to Straight Male Sex Harassment

El Acoso Sexual del Mismo Sexo

Download PDF Transcript Episode #3 of the Hostile Workplace Podcast, by the Undercover Lawyer To access this podcast through the iTunes music store (for free) click HERE. Announcements In Epsisode #3 I mentioned that you can follow me on Twitter. In you are not familiar with it, Twitter is a “micro-blogging” site, where people can post short, text message length updates about what they are doing each day. You can see it for yourself at .  My username on Twitter, if you would like to follow me, is “Undercover_Lawr”. Quick Tip For the Quick Tip, we talked about how employees have zero expectation of privacy for anything done with their work computer, or their work network (like signing in from home – still utilizes work network). Feature Segment – Straight Male to … [Read more...]


iTunes Selects The Hostile Workplace Podcast for “New & Notable” Recognition


"The Hostile Workplace Podcast" is currently a "New & Notable" selection in iTunes.  Thanks so much to everyone who has visited iTunes and subscribed to the podcast and left a postive comment in iTunes.  Each of those things is like a vote that the Hostile Workplace Podcast should be featured more prominently.  And it's working.  This is just one small way that we can bring more awareness to the issue of bullying bosses that turn good jobs in hostile nighmares that no one deserves. If you would like to see for youself where the Hostile Workplace Podcast is featured in iTunes just follow these steps: 1) Open the iTunes software; 2) Click on iTunes Store; 3) Click on "Podcasts", then "Business", then "Careers".  The "New & Notable" box is the top center feature.  You may have to … [Read more...]