Government Shutdown Will Halt EEOC Discrimination Investigations…

The shutdown is looming and hanging over us with a deadline that’s just a few hours away — this HUFFINGTON POST article has important information for those of you filing discrimination claims with the EEOC. The impact on OSHA puts workplace safety in jeopardy. Continue reading

Lawyers and the Office Bully

The Workplace Bullying Institute website warns attorneys who defend targets of workplace bullying:

• bullied clients present challenges because of their strong negative affect – they feel wronged, treated unjustly by both indifferent employers, inadequate laws and betrayed by their union, coworkers, HR, and senior management

• because of the stress-related health consequences…, they may actually be incapable of rendering good decisions and weighing options rationally

• if traumatized, clients will present themselves angrily and be unrealistically demanding.

How can targets be better prepared if they are seeking legal advice? In this second excerpt from the new book, MOBBED! A Survival Guide To Adult Bullying and Mobbing, Dr. Janice Harper offers advice and tips on what to expect… Continue reading

NEW APP: Which States Have The Most Harassed Workers?

We crawled over the figures from the EEOC and BLS to build a map that let’s you see how your State ranks nationally based on the number of EEOC Claims filed in 2012. Keep an eye on all the figures –  while California has slightly less claims than Florida it also has half as many employees making California much less toxic.  Ohio and Tennessee both show up in the low 3,000′s but Ohio has twice the work force making it twice as hostile.  New York looks pretty good as a big employer and only 3.9% of the national average and Massachusetts shines. However, Georgia looks like a place to avoid. You’ll find plenty of data to play with so let us know if you can figure out why some states have more claims than others! Continue reading

Will Supreme Court strengthen or weaken harassment protections?

We’re in a university setting here, so let me give you a university hypo. There’s a professor, and the professor has a secretary. And the professor subjects that secretary to living hell, complete hostile work environment on the basis of sex, all right? But the professor has absolutely no authority to fire the secretary. What would the Seventh Circuit say about that situation? [Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan]

Would the Professor be considered the Secretary‘s supervisor in an harassment case — making the employer liable for his actions? I’ll give you the short answer offered up by the Obama Administration’s Deputy Solictor General Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan – NO. Today’s Supreme Court hearing on Vance v. Ball State featured intense questioning from the justices.  Vance’s attorney, Daniel Ortiz, argued “as Justice Kagan’s question revealed, it produces truly perverse results. Someone who can tell you what to do in your job day-to-day, manage you during the whole job period, what kind of tasks you have to do, was not necessarily considered a supervisor, while the person upstairs in human resources that you may never see or even know would be considered your supervisor.” Continue reading