Top 10 Signs Your Boss is Bullying You

Updated on March 7, 2018

Workplace Bullying Is More Common Than Assumed

An employer may admit that it has one rogue supervisor, but most companies will not admit that bullying in the workplace is a widespread problem. This is why Zogby's 2007 poll has not gotten the attention it deserves -- because it proves that U.S. workplaces are deeply infected with the disease of bullying supervisors, but businesses fear the treatment more than the disease.

Zogby's survey found that workplace bullies caused actual damage to the health of one third of Americans at work today. In other words, more than 54,000,000 employees have been severely bullied at work. To make the issue more personal, think of two friends: one of you has been abused so badly at work that he or she needed medical care.

Why does this continue?

Do You Dread Your Boss's Phone Calls?
Do You Dread Your Boss's Phone Calls?

It continues because it's legal.

The U.S. Supreme Court has specifically said that courts will not get into the business of enforcing a "civility code" in the nation's workplaces. With the law turning a blind eye toward civility and respect at work, bosses are free to push their employees to produce more and more by employing threats, humiliation, and fearmongering. It may be immoral, but none of it is illegal.

Some companies take a long term approach and reognize that rampant abuse of employees at their company will only increase the number of employee resignations, decrease the number of employee applications, and grow the use of sick time and workers' compensation claims.

If you are reading this, however, chances are that you are not working at one of the precious few companies who does take the long view. Instead, you at least suspect that you are being taken advantage of at work.

More likely, you know in your heart that you are suffering through workplace abuse but you have been denying it; some people fear that taking action against a bully will be even more difficult to endure than the everyday abuse that's been grinding them down.

Many Employers Ignore Bullying Problems

If you are one in either of these groups, take a look through this list of the Top 10 Telling Indicators That The Boss is Bullying You. After going over the list click on the survey at the end to report how many of the signs you've experienced in your own work life:

  1. Your boss consistently blames you for the problems at work, while boasting to others that his or her own skills are responsible for the good outcomes
  2. You've found that your boss scheduled key meetings knowing full well you had a conflict at that time
  3. Your boss sabotages your success by claiming to be "too busy" to sign off on your work or give you needed feedback, making your work incomplete or late
  4. You are kept out meetings your supervisor schedules, your work station is moved further away from your supervisor, or you are conspicuously left out of work lunches
  5. You learn that your supervisor or someone in his or her peer group is gossiping about your work, or even your life
  6. When upset or stressed your manager will bring up a mistake you made long ago (even years ago), as a way of shifting focus from the current problem to something that was your fault
  7. At night and on the weekends you feel completely exhausted and have no energy for pursuits you used to enjoy
  8. A co-worker is allowed by your boss to put you down, insult your work, and humiliate you with co-workers present, or, your boss does these things to you directly
  9. You feel like every day your manager only gives you criticisms, but your performance reviews are always positive and you are know at work as a good worker
  10. You long for each weekend, but you are full of anxiety and even become sick with dread the evening before the work week starts

Readers' Poll: How Many Have You Experienced?

How Many of the 10 Signals of Being Bullied at Work Have You Experienced?

See results

Ranking Your Results

So what should you do if this quiz indicates that you have been the victim of a work place bully? First, although the quiz asks what you've experienced in your whole career, the need to take action depends upon how many of these indications you are currently experiencing.

  • 1 to 3 of the indicators: Your boss needs counseling or Prozac
  • 4 to 6 of the indicators: You need to prepare yourself for a confrontation. Learn your legal rights which are far more powerful than you probably realize
  • 7 to 9 of the indicators: You are in the thick of a drawn out conflict with your boss. You must learn all of your legal rights now to fight back against this hostile work environment. Also consider seeing your doctor for time off work to decompress.
  • All 10 of the indicators: You've already quit or been terminated, but you still have rights. Be sure not to let the EEOC's 180 day deadline pass for filing a complaint, and make sure to immediately file for both unemployment benefits and the new subsidized COBRA health benefits continuation program. Also, stop and smile because you are free of that awful place!

Start Fighting Back


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    • profile image

      Mags 5 weeks ago

      Best thing to do is get another job. A leopard doesn't change it's spots.

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      PO'd 7 weeks ago

      WardahAyan, do not quit. That was the mistake I made. Document everything she says, does, witnesses and dates. I did have the attorney general investigate my agitators but they had advised me that by quitting, I made the ability to file charges a lot harder. Just smile and know you have the upper hand.

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      WardahAyan 8 weeks ago

      Thanks for the informative article! I have a really truly very insanely horrible boss. And she exhibits ALL of the top ten signs of bullying me. I repeat all ten signs! I am planning to leave the job after working for her for 7 months! Which have been undoubtedly the worst years of my life!! She has on every occasion bullied me in front of the external people (customers etc) and in front of co-workers. She spies on me. She gossips behind my back. She threatens me to fire me, this has been happening ever since she hired me. I'm still on probabtion, she threatens she won't be making me a permanent employee any time soon. She just talks bad about me behind my back too. (I know this obviously through other co-workers, cause they seem to know what only she was supposed to know). She humiliates literally every other day adn usually its everyday. I have been so sick after joining this organisation that I have never been this sick in my life. She abuses, she disrespects.. I am not even sure whether to call her a human or a pure devil. If I come sick she yells at me for coming when I was sick, if I take a day off because of being sick she would yell at me, when I come back for showing "unprofessional behaviour" and "non-serious attitude" towards work. The kinda mistakes I did with at work I have seen almost all , and I repeat ALMOST ALL of the employees doing those negligible mistakes, but she would pinpoint my mistakes and highlight them and issue warning letters to me owing to the same mistakes others did. She only brings me in the limelight, although she is abusive and rude to ALL the employee from the janitor to the Manager everyone dreads her and hates her.

      I am planning to leave the job without a month's notice. And planning to leave her in the crucial time for the company just because she deserves that adn even worse than that! May she go to Hell (amen)!

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      PO'D 2 months ago

      I started working for a grocer/hardware store in Wisconsin in 2016. I was offered the job as assistant manager of Hardware at 40 hours a week with the promise of great health insurance and pay raises after an interval of 3 month review, this was all lies. Over the course of 9 months I endured numerous death threats by the hardware manager (who had no experience but his brother was in construction?). I been told I have no rights because I wasn't born in this country. I contracted food poisoning from spoiled food sold by the store, poisoned by chlorine gas, harassed and spied upon by cameras . Store manager also hides on the other side of the isle and ease drops on employee's conversations. I had my hours cut by 80% and was blamed for other people's actions and was accused that I could potentially steal money out of the tills on my last day of work even though I only stayed on so the other employees could actually have a weekend off. I told the store manager two months prior that I was returning to school and he immediately told me that I would be cut to part-time (8 hours/week), even though he could easily adjust my schedule to have very little hours cut . Close to 40 employees have been either fired or forced to quit like myself in the past 9 months. My daily job duties as of the last day of employment were; evening manager of both grocery and hardware stores, emergency maintenance, hardware assistant manager during day shift, receiver, shelf stalker, janitorial, customer service, set up displays, meat room bathroom cleanup and many other duties in which no extra compensation was ever given. The women working there and grocery patrons shopping have made remarks of how creepy the store manager was and how he would stare at them. He would yell at the employees because they were removing expired food from the shelves. As for the owners, oblivious to what is happening, their phony attitudes that they care about the workers and community are gut wrenchingly hilarious. No one has received a raise in 9 months , and when asked why, the only response given every single time is that we have to get the sales numbers back. After quitting and returning to school, the store manager continues to disrupt hearings I have with the UI judge even though it took almost 6 months to receive any benefits. Many other incidents happened in that store such as massive amounts of rodents, bugs, putrid smell of garbage in the summertime which is thrown in a dumpster divided by a leaking steel door, No lawyers want to take this but the harassments continue.

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      SG 4 months ago

      My boss lies and takes credit for my work. She also calls my phone when I am on break. If I come back 10 minutes late, she has made comments about it. Everyone else can work in peace, but she is constantly at my desk asking trivial questions. What is this?

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      Lex 6 months ago

      So just wondering if my manager constantly says we are all replaceable...he doesnt care about us and calls us babies belittling us in front of that bullying? I was called into work on my birtbday and went in on my day off the day after. And all theaw things werr said aloud and to customers because i asked for a break when i had someone meeting me on thier lunch break only then sent me home early after. Is this unjust or is it me?

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      John 17 months ago

      The worst thing to do i would say, is to allow a co-worker or boss to gossip about you without defending yourself. You cant defend everything, but if you even overhear someone talking about you, you owe it to yourself to make your presence known and say "Were you asking me something?". Either they will admit it and confront you or play it down but the worst thing in a work place is to let gossip go unchecked, because gossip is a wildfire that if its not stopped early it will go out of control and lead to other problems - your boss may bully you aswell then, you lose respect etc...Even if its the boss gossiping, he needs confronted. Just my 2c.

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      Sally 17 months ago

      What if your husbands boss and coworkers are making it so he doesn't want to go to work, and he is stressed and its affecting his marriage and family? Is there anything that can be done? Can I do anything?

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      Johnny 17 months ago

      Don't give in or give up. Use up PTO, go to EAC, if affecting health, take PTO, take an FLMA. The point is, if this is a good move for your resume, or the salary, or both, you are there for YOU. If you can take it, dig in your heels and @@@k them! Two can play at that game. Hell, maybe they will give up trying to make you quit and move on!

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      frustrated in florida 18 months ago

      My boss is actually my husband. However, the owner is his boss and they have known one another for 23 years. I was having a lunch today with both of them and the owner gets into telling me how I was responsible for the company's loss of 4mil. I asked how was that, and in so many words he tells me because my husband wasn't aloud to remain at the other office where this potential money maker project was because he had to go running back home to me. WTF??? Seriously? I have done nothing but support my husband's traveling over the years. We have two children. I have been the amazingly awesome supportive wife and employee. I couldn't' believe he said this to my face!

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      Debra 19 months ago

      Yea I wish I can quit or move on. My boss is my brother an he's making my life hell cleaning his daughters daycares you have no idea it interferes with my other jobs I do he's got me feeling so low he stresses me to a point I get headaches chest pains diaria my stomache always nervous I never know if I'm gonna get paid he already owes me 3 weeks pay. He gives me cash so I can't prove it I live in his house because my husband passed away I had no. Where to go he is always threating to fire me he can get someone cheaper as pay which us probably illegal person he's done things o can. Prove to me an my husband but if I file a complaint an loose I be homeless I can't stand the site of him I have to drag a steam machine back an forth to two daycares carried one up an down stairs to clean the stairs an the rugs upstairs I'm at a breaking point I don't know what to do like I haven't been paid in two weeks as 4 weeks ago I clean both daycares he felt I didn't spend enough time he only knew if one day but decided not to pay me for the two weekends I never missed a day in 4 years he cursed at me every curse word an f word he punish me for 2 weeks I'm suppose to get pay this week I'm not sure if I am I gave no money I don't get my husbands SS checks till next year I'm at lost my email any suggestions I found this site by mistake not sure if I can again is why I left my email I just do t know what to do

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      Killerdorito 21 months ago

      Great article. Working with my jerk boss for six years and he has been been using his new employee as a snitch. I am ready to move on, but not without some parting shots. Someday when he passes away, I'm sending a wreath to his funeral with "ASSHOLE" written on the banner.

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      Debbie 21 months ago

      I am going through this now, and H.R. has already been fed her story

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      Fay 2 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      I am not sure that I'd class all these as bullying, but a sign of a bad manager. While others are without doubt, if done on a consistent manner, bullying. It isn't about you being an adult, because an adult would not behave in such a manner towards you in the first place, and a person in a position of power should not either. Here it sounds mild but it can be viscous.

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      Ali 3 years ago

      At night and on the weekends you feel completely exhausted and have no energy for pursuits you used to enjoy

      ...This is caused by your boss being abusive? Hmm.

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      Tamara Williams 3 years ago

      I never believed in spell casting or magic. I felt silly even looking at spell sites online. I have been in tears over the loss of my husband. I found testimonies about Prophet Esene and I have no idea why I searched "spells" but I did. I ordered a love spell from and got my husband back Thanks for simply being legit and delivering where other sites never could. Tamara Williams

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      666 4 years ago

      Who to report manager i believe she is stealing from boss paying herself more then what she is supposed to be making and being a bully. I believe she has something on boss because they don't do anything to her when we report her to hr or boss.

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      Barb 4 years ago

      my boss is a bully. When you go to her with issues of another dept. (rumors, catty talk).

      The boss demands that you tell her the names of people.....I was told I had to tell her informing peoples names--- Is this legal? The person is her right hand man (the one with the mouth) and refuses to discipline him. I quit telling her about issues. In the future how should this be handled.

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      exUSbanker 4 years ago

      I would love to sue US Bank for harassment, unfair treatment and bullying to me and a few others. I worked in a small department at US Bank, Hopkins, MN. After a few months, the department was tasked by the manager to rate our supervisor/lead in a one page questionnaire. At first, I was not going to do it. But then I decided that management should know how we felt about the lead and if management retaliated, we could go to HR. So I gave my honest rating of the lead and it was not favorable. The "lead" was mid 20s, late or on break or sitting with her head on the desk with another migraine most of the time; did not understand the job and was a horrible trainer and supervisor; she lacked the experience, knowledge, training and skills required to do her job. Anyone else in the department, myself included, would have been so much better. After the questionnaires were "anonymously" delivered back to the manager (she could tell our handwriting), a few of us were targeted. Two of my co-workers were told to not talk, email, IM or communicate at or outside of work with a few of us. We use to go on walks, lunches and dinners together often. The department changed after that and it became very hostile. I was told by two of my co-workers that they were told their jobs were on the line and they were now on probation. I was not, but I was asked by the manager if I knew of anything that they said that could be used against them. Of course, I did not tell them anything. Other than the questionnaire was a stupid idea and management should be correcting the "lead" situation. The first job offer I got, I quit and emailed HR with documentation. Of course, US Bank never responded. I wish the manager, lead and HR manager were all fired. And that 4 of us got settlements from US Bank. I think $250,000 each would teach US Bank a lesson.

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      lisa 4 years ago

      While working on these jobs I found a way to use the company while I am there and look for another job without giving them notification. That is my way of making them pay.

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      some1 5 years ago

      I'm right in the middle of it (I'm suspecting, according to close friends & family) but what if you don't live in USA, but in Europe (not even the UK) and have some kind of disability? Lawsuit? Not even. This country is falling to its doom, cant even handle a serious trial of any kind. What should I do....I love my job, only problem is this unstable, empathetically challenged person is the only setback.

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      wishingwewererespected 5 years ago

      I am sick and sad over so many of us suffering this.....I will pray every day hat the victims are held in the hand of God and that He block these torturers out....

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      vandyj 5 years ago

      i had worked for security company my co work (male) who was after me for sex i refused after that year i was never happy at all at work my boss lately calls me trouble maker at that time when im asking for a new uniform he will blow up, chase me out of his office and shout me infront of my co-wokers and make me look bad to get me fired when im at at work i would feel as if i don't have rights whilst i love the job evryone had turn their backs on me becoz of him. people come late for duty and they will change me from my post and put other people who were late for duty the other day he said both females are nt allowed to work together but the other nite he made me suffer posted both females at that nite seemed to me as a setup. on that nite i was attacked by my co-worker has an affair with the senior and very close with the manager we ended up fighting so went on hearing i got fired the co-worker is still working but security term and rules fighting on duty is dismissal but both of us fought although i was dismissed my service was good but got unfairly dismissed

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      carrie 5 years ago

      my husband is a farmer his boss is threating him he don't get not 1 day off he works 12-14 hr days no lunch break his boss drinks excessively his boss has hit him in the past he gets 300 a week salery im a stay at home mom we don't make enough to save so he can quit and find another job we still have two babies in diapers please help this is tearing our marriage and family apart

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      Angela 5 years ago

      I an being bullying at my workplace because of the Manager and supervisor, I have twenty years of services with provinicial government. For month now I have been off sick due to the stress and anxiety. Now I am preparing to put thing in places something happen to me at my workplace because of the Manager and supervisor. I cannot take it anymore, I cannot get anyone to believe me. I the victim here, no one seen to care what I have been through or what I am going trhough. The only thing that keeping me going right now is my daughter and my grandchildren. I just want to end it all. Everytime I tries to fight back I keeps coming up against a brick wall. I want to put a sucide letter in place in case something do happen to me at my workplace that would link back to the manager and superivisor in charge

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      australian girl 5 years ago

      im putting this annonymously for the fear of further victimisation. the worst workplace blyying is in australia in child care industry. it drove me to an attempt of taking my life. no one cares, no one will get involved to help.....if you try to fight back they will take restraining order against you claimimng that your story emotionaly ruine them and then you are shut out completely so you wont be able to complain or take actions. they simply will tight your hands and shut your mouth to stop you to expose them

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      Therapist 5 years ago

      Self Empowerment! Read these two books by Robert Greene. 'The 48 Laws of Power' and 'The 33 Strategies of War'. Good luck!

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      Anon 5 years ago

      I can't put my name down for fear of any further reprisals. I'm one of you guys. I worked in corporate Britain for over three years in insurance had managed to establish good working relationships with all my colleagues, constantly told what a good worker I was, all positive reviews, my supervisor left and then the problems began my new supervisor was a micromanaging monster, nothing I ever did was right, only her way worked. The manager whom I fell under was just horrible, I learned since that he hada reputation for bullying others. I tried to fight back documenting the harrassment and bullying and got HR involved. I have to warn you guys if you think HR is your friend, then I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news,you are going to get a nasty surprise. Management and HR drink from the same trough and most likely will support management over you. I suffered stress and depression due to the bullying at work. My advice to you is that you need to recognise when enough is enough and seriously look at quitting to preserve your health. THAT IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, YOU. COMPANY LOYALTY IS ONLY EVER ONE WAY THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEIR EMPLOYEES HEALTH.

      I decided to quit as I'm still at an age where I can take my life in whatever direction I choose. Skill up get better, deny the bullies their power. I've recently decided not to work for anyone again. I'm trying to set up my own business doing what I love, Think about what you are good at and see if you can be your own boss. You can't bully yourself!! I just want to let those who suffered and are suffering being bullied know that you aren't alone, its not your fault and you are all in my prayers.

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      drr20072007 6 years ago

      So I have unfortunately had several women bosses that fell under the category of bullying one was completely off her rocker, she even sat outside my home and when I left for work she ran her car up right behind me as fast as she could. Keyed my car, blocked me into parking spaces, and was havig other people make obscene phone calls to me. I quit and file for unemployement of which I was awarded hands down. But what is scary is that person is now a Nurse. Not my issue anymore. However it taught me alot. SO now I have a boss that I work for five months out of the year in addition to my primary job. SO I have two jobs for the same employer. the boss that I work for pt time out of the year is a total bully and is getting away with it. I feel sorry for her. She belittles people while on the job in front of everyone, I at one time started keeping notes, and for some reason she got really nice. SO I deleted my notes thinking hmmm, she just has some kind of imbalance. Now she is right back at it again. Yesterday she started her rude behavior again, cutting me off, when I leave from work and say goodbye she will not acknowledge me let alone say goodbye. She behaves like the popular girl in 8th grade, she talks about other managers within our hospital, she even went as far as talking about how fat they all where and started walking and pouding her feet and saying "boom bada boom" . It was her impression of the fat managers we have. Clearly has a chemical imbalance, but due to the circumstances of the job she has gotten away with it for 17 years. Its a small emergency room at a resort which is part of the main hospital that I work for. Since its off campus and 38 miles from the institution we are tied to, she truly has crossed the line for years. I am so tired of innsecure women. Its not my problem that I am a happy person. I am happy because I have known pain. I have worked in mental health and have deep compassion for others over addiction, and mental health issues. My job reviews are great, everyone loves me, as I love them. I am outgoing, loving and just happy to be me. She did this to a new nurse this year as well. However she has more respect for the new nurse than she does for me the lowly admitting staff member. Ya know the first one really did me in. but I moved on. better job and am happy, and quite frankly I am too old to fall for this other persons behavior to try and get me to break. She is 56 years old and quite frankly should be ashamed of herself. The whole taking notes thing is so aggrivating, it makes me feel sneaky. Here I am the one who is so not the bullyier and I feel bad for taking notes. How do I get administrators to recognise this persons behavior with out causing a stink? Or do I really want to do that? I have already been through this garbage and its getting really old. Yet a part of me thinks , how rude, and what a shame that we (the hospital) are being represented by a person who does a dang good job at being a nurse, however behind the scenes is a total witch? She even makes fun of the patients after they leave. For instance, no wonder this patient is having a heart attack and has no business being on the hill skiing he is out of shape and way over weight' and then will go on to state that its mind boggling to her the people who come up to ski that have no business skiing. She is just a meany? why is that your business I ask? I don't even think the way she does. It take alot for me to be judegmental. The other day she openly made fun of religion and was stateing that the bible isn't true and that its all a bunch of fables. She knows I am a christian and she just does it to be mean. She doesn't care, and why should she she is getting away with it. I know will have 6 months to think it over, do I really want to return to this job when ski season starts in addition to my primary job? its so sad, because I am a good fit for the resort. Oh well there loss I guess if I don't. I have applied for another job with in our institution and kinda hope I get it. If the ski population thinks they are all that, and if our hospital has no intentions of cleaning up the act up there, then I don't want to work there. I think I vented more than I asked for advise didn't I? Sorry, I would like to say I go home and don't think about her, and honeslty most times I don't, but she once again is trying to get my goat and I don't know why? DO you think she is a bully? I even read a personalysis report on her that we all took and tried to understand her personality. IT doesn't apply to her, to me she is just a lousy lousy boss.

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      anna b. 6 years ago

      I experienced years of workplace bullying, kept daily documentation (just because I did to keep track of work, before I even knew I was a bullied target) and my bully supervisor before showing true colors had become my closest friend and we had what seemed an excellent work relationship for years. After a reorg and simultaneous stressful demanding project, she crumbled and I shined, and she commended me for being her 'rock' and 'bright spot' and reason for staying at the job. I had a history of stellar performance, zero reprimands, and same supervisor even justified paying me 'out of class' (state govt job) due to me work above/beyond. Imagine my confusion and dilemma when this supervisor started making my job and life impossible, scapegoating me for all ills and eventually was able to reframe reality to a twilight-zone-like fiction where i was 'crazy' and a 'problem employee' and then plotted with her boss to set me up for failure and scrutinized/hypermonitored me and eventually presented a laundry list to HR of infractions (lies) to begin a process to terminate me. I left for a promotion with support of a bureau director (her boss' boss) who spoke out that my supervisor was the problem, and I was an excellent employee, but after 3 months on the new job (before I got there and while i was there) she worked with a laser focus to defame and destroy me, and I knew that but figured I'd do my best and win people over with the 'real me'. No, i was sent back to abusive agency supposedly 'not meeting standards' as the new agency broke all their own policies in the process and cut my probationary period in half (all this after i confided that i was happy and grateful to be here but had suffered abuse at the previous agency at hand of my supervisor... i disclosed this thinking it would 'immunize' me to the ongoing rumour mill and defamation she kept spewing to my new colleagues; apparently my honesty served only to brand me as 'trouble' and out I was shoved). Once returned to abusive agency, now with 'proof' it is ME who is the failure, they didn't place me back in the previous position from which I was promoted, a business critical and hard-to-staff valuable unique skillset the agency head and director of HR signed off for hiring freeze waiver just a month prior) but i was told there is 'no work' in my previous position thus i was moved to a new area where I had no skillset or interest and where ten contractors already cover (whereas the job I had been specially trained and very successful went unfilled and the team was known to be struggling without adequate coverage). So set up for failure so obvious and already diagnosed with PTSD from the abuse, i spent one day back at that job, received bizarre treatment and obvious lies and pretext to the point it was frightening and creepy, i elected to go on unpaid FMLA, and to this day i cower in my home suffering a complete inability to function or even leave my home. If that wasn't enough, during the time I was out, my abusive supervisor stalked and cyberimpersonated me and now she maintains several impersonated profiles of me on sex communities and porn video sharing sites and has optimized the search engines to link this filth to my real online persona; she is putting my life in danger, and destroying every relationship i've had with friends and professional connections and now painting me a heinous pervert, and giving the public all they need to find and possibly rape or even kill me, but I fear reporting to police because I have been reporting her workplace harassment for years and never saw any help; only retaliation and further support of her. My husband with whom I worked became the target after i 'escaped'; he took a lateral transfer to another agency (lateral transfer avoids 6 month probation period during which defamation can catch up as she sure tried even to ruin him as he left but fortunately he made it unscathed to the new job; thankfully cuz now we have only his salary to live on as i lost mine and my health coverage) but his online persona is also being flooded with lies and covert threats. My former supervisor is posing as me in porn profiles, soliciting perverted and vulgar sex publicly as me, inviting strangers to come take advantage of my private parts and also posing in a blog as my husband and writing posts as his ex (his ex my supervisor met/stalked via local hiking group); she also posed on grouphug confession site as some young girl he had sex with and said he had sex with 25 younger women as he wishes his ugly old-as-dirt girlfriend (me) were younger and more attractive. So... there's more... But i recognise that this sounds insane even to those who know workplace bullying and mobbing at its worst. I feel hopeless and terrified as i cant imagine conveying the mountain of documentation, evidence and backstory I have captured over the years that anyone will have the time and broad expertise in all related topic matter to absorb and believe this without a great degree of commitment. But it is all true and if I hadn't been living it (ongoing devastating nightmare from which suicide seems only way out) i wouldn't believe it either.

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      sally 6 years ago

      my daughter worked for a company for 6 years, never had a problem, then she was asked about her manager in the dept. she worked in, they store manager told the other manager what my daughter said and it was on, from that minute they lied to her, belittled her, blamed her for petty things that went wrong and gossiped about my daughter, when my daughter got wind of a rumor that she would be fired she was told no, the other girl was lying, don't worry, she will be delt with, my daughter went on her vacation, when she returned, she wasn't in the store 15 minutes and they fired her, mean while this trouble maker is still there, is this wrongful termination?

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      Ready to Give Up 6 years ago

      My boss of a year and a half actually told another leader that he intended to "break me". As far as I know nothing has been said or done about this comment and I'm at a loss for how he can be allowed to say something like this. I've worked for this company for over 25 years and good reviews the entire tie. No work issues until he started. He's making things up now and I'm trying to document but feel like my direct supervisor is at a loss how to handle this situation. HR is finally involved and they are suggesting a coach to help us work on our communication. I don't think this is the way to go about dealing with a bully boss from everything I've read here, but feel I certainly can't say this as it will make me look bad. Am seeing a psychiatrist, who is recommending drugs to treat stress, depression and lack of sleep. Already dreading Monday morning, worrying about what he'll do next. Normally, I feel like I have patience and am a strong person, but worry that maybe he is breaking me as he intends because I don't have much fight left in me.

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      Republicans 6 years ago

      I and a colleague had been publicly humiliated by the chair of a non profit organization. There were at least 150 people present when he did this. Was our rights violated and do we have a case ?

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      denise 6 years ago

      i have a boss who is stressing me they have bipolar,and its taken its toll with me,i cant take anymore,i want to leave can i claim any benefits,

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      stressed 6 years ago

      at least now I know I'm not alone and that its not my fault. I also feel its not worth it burning up all my energies at a job I don't enjoy and a boss who's always nasty toward me...

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      Mike a 6 years ago

      Hey I'm being bullied and racially harassed at i can't take it anymore and it's really stressing me out i want to quit but i don't know if i could get unemployment from it

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      rontlog 7 years ago from England

      If you are being bullied, the trick is to not take it personally. There is nothing wrong with you. If it wasn't you it would be someone else.

      In my 30 years of working I have had the misfortune to work for or witness the antics of several serial bullies.

      Unfortunately, they won't change, if their target leaves, they are always on the lookout for the next one.

      So your choices are:

      - You can leave

      - You can build up a case against them and report them to someone more senior

      - You can stand your ground and keep your head down and given time they will move onto someone else or leave.

      I've usually stood my ground, and that person usually leaves to move up the career ladder - I always feel sorry for the people who now have to put up with them.

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      Zero 7 years ago

      You guys should look into Scarlatto, its part of the NYC Restaurant Group located around Times Square. The Assistant Manager there talks everyone down, the workers are over worked and there is NO sense of respect in that environment. That supervisor doesn't even have the decency to show some respect to his customers. Very rude and pretty much does whatever he wants. Name? Miri.

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      Canadianfighter 7 years ago

      I don't know if you can help me, but here goes. I have been working in the financial sector for about 4 years now. The first place that I worked for was a bank. The manager and co-workers were fine, until the manager decided to show everybody's sales results to create "friendly competition". The results that I yeild from my work were superior. The coworkers did not like it. I was able to be nominated by the director for Best Employee of the Year" for my efforts within my first year working there. The manager worked there for nine years and had never had a nomination. The manager started to create a toxic work environment by getting other coworkers to gang up against me, spreading mallicious rumors, telling lies. The manager even threatened to take away my job. I had tried was other "helpful" websites said like documenting occurances, maintaining my work, notifying HR about the situation - but to no avail, requested a transfer to another department but repeatedly denied. My final resolution was to leave. I made sure that I paid out of my own pocket for all the training courses I needed to get my next job at a credit union. Now when I started at the credit union, everything seemed great until they found out that I work at a bank. Come to find out the position that I was hired for, others tried to obtain it and were denied. They were peeved about this. Since I did not do the hiring, I felt it was not my problem. I did not need to justify my having the position to anyone, my merits spoke for themselves. Well, it gradually esculated from there. My first group work with coworkers to do a quarterly sales campaign. There were 3 in the group. One of the coworkers felt that she could omit pertinent information and would try to show me up at every turn. I did not return her gift, but made sure that I kept abreast of everything I needed to know and sought outside resources. Then this woman got the other 2 coworkers to collude with her by contributing little to the team. As I realised the tactic, I started to pull back my ideas, mention them in front of them and the manager (when the manager was present), and sent emails of my ideas cc'ing the manager to create a paper trail. When I asked that there be equal distribtution of work on the team, the rumors spread that I was not "nice". Will the ring leader ended up leaving the workplace for another job and all was well. Until...another coworker started spreading rumours that I was "complaining" about my position. I had never spoke to this coworker or relayed any type of distress about my position whatsoever. I noticed that my managers in speaking with me would say things such as "well complaining is not the best way to go about things as you could catch more flies with honey than vinegar". I arranged a meeting with my branch manager to find out what she thought about my performance on the job and to clear the air. As part of the discussion I had told the manager about the coworker spreading lies and even advised the branch manager about what the coworker said about her - gossip that was said about her before I even came on board. I did not hear my name associated with the word "complaint" ever since. Then another coworker who was hired on a 6mth contract came to work in my department. She had other plans - like getting a permanent position at my expense. This coworker would claim that I was incompetent, tell lies about me, claim that I was stealing sales - it was horrendous. At first, the branch manager seemed to believe her, then after a while the manager saw how she really was as the same coworker would gossip about the manager and act nasty towards her. That coworker is gone. Then another coworker who I thought was decent had joined forces with the one on contract when she noticed I was getting more sales than her. She started claiming the same things i.e. stealing sales and accusing me. I have gradually reduced contact with her. Another employee joined the team as the receptionist and was too a gossip and started to spread lies based on what the formerly decent coworker said about me. Now they too are spreading lies that I steal sales. I am a hard working person of integrity. When they invite me anywhere, I don't go in fear that they will spread more lies. I don't know what to do. I see that they do not like the fact that I am an honest and hardworking. The receptionist would purposely give me closed accounts while giving the backstabber sales. I still bring in more sales despite this. On friday the receptionist left the job. But I have the other coworker to deal with? And she is recruiting other coworkers. Help!

    • Eco_Ali profile image

      Eco_Ali 7 years ago from Central New Jersey ~Trenton/Princeton area

      I endured over ten years of hostile environment in my state job, but it really got bad the last four years when our new exec director brought in a real Nazi buddy of hers to supervise staff and my old nemises, the deputy director and his confidential secretary, set about to sabotage and undermine my credibility just when I thought I was finally getting out of the hole. Well, after disciplinary action, diagnosis of Bipolar and ADHD, then Civil Rights and EEOC complaints (that found in THEIR favor) I went into extensive outpatient treatment for two months. When I came back I found that the Nefarious Nazi was rejecting all my work and sending me curt nasty emails about how I'm not getting my work done properly, and then for the next three years they failed me on my performance evals. I was told that back in 2006 the exec director asked HR what would be the steps to take to have me removed...thus the three failed PAR's. So this summer I got wind that they were going to shoot the final bomb, a termination notice Violation so I left on medical leave and went back into therapy, this time a PTSD program. While there, I decided to go with it and applied for disability retirement, which was just approved..YIPPEE...but I still must go back and complete "seperation docs" and clean out my cube. I'm worried that they may ask me to sign a confidnentiality agreement...but I don't want to be silent. I'm thinking that there's nothing they can do to me at this point short of retaliation. What if I refuse to sign the confidentiality agreement? Is that within my rights? In the meantime, I'm enjoying my freedom and stressfree life. I've enrolled back into the Master's degree program I started in 2006 and am looking forward to a happy future.

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      DD 7 years ago

      I have been increasingly bullied mostly since my boss got a gigantic promotion which seems to have caused her to think 1) she can treat me (her assistant) any way she pleases and believe me she does and 2) she is a Really Important Person and 3) I am a doormat.

      It escalated quickly and I was crying in my car every time she attacked me for a missing space or something equally as consequential. Meanwhile, she is missing BIG stuff of great consequence but that is another thing-

      Anyway, I finally couldn't take it and felt on the brink of not being able to work there- literally feeling sick all weekend much less actually going there- waiting for the attack. I went to the senior admin officer who (as you desribe HR people) listened sympathetically. She encouraged me to go to HR. Which I did not- she is not HR. A strange thing happened to me. I expected to be public enemy number one- pack your bags, retaliation time. But it did not happen. She STOPPED all her overt bullying behavior cold. She still has left me out of all projects including a giant project for 5 years coming- in which she promoted a clerk to team leader and left me out entirely. I felt so tossed out- then she screamed and yelled and shook her hand at me, I was just overwhelmed. So she has been reigned in. It is like a stay of execution. She can't fire me right now- (morelikely to kill me in my sleep). She cannot shriek at me and shake her hand at me evidently has been told that is a hostil work environment. But she STILL leaves me out of all work- except the most menial humiliating (make the binder labels match. tossing empty coffee cup on my desk etc.) but she has stopped the worst for now. She glares at me and I expect to drop dead from her hate- but that is STILL better than before. Reading your article I realize that I am the only member of a particular religion in the entire department. That is probably not really the reason for her nasty narcistic bullying behavior- but it sure is odd. THe place is FULL of 25 year old blond girls with long hair- they are nice and bright- but definitely the look and it sure isn't what I am. So I am job hunting furiously and still stunned- WHY WHY WHY. I am so mad and hurt and wondering what I did- everyone else seems to be doing great there- they are getting lots of opportunities to grow- not me. I'm stuck on an island surrounded by one alligator- with no future no growth at all. Suggestions welcome. Plus I'm 57 and in no mood to start over. But what choice do I have? I can't make her be nice to me- make her offer me growth and opportunity- apparently she has to stop shrieking but does not have to treat me like everybody else. CRAP.

      Feedback welcome

    • keverp profile image

      keverp 7 years ago from Waynesboro , PA

      I am not sure if this helps. A few Manic-Depressive people have burned me but this is the first time I have a Boss that is manic-depressive. Manic-depressives are very smart and very good at manipulation any blame away from themselves. I do not like politics or mind games.

      I am not quick witted, and I am not a quick worker, so it is very easy for people to manipulate my enviroment. My short-term memory bites. Yet I am very good at making customers happy by solving problems. I just started by new job in Feb. Being a Pisces does not help when a boss start having you list your tasks you've done every half hour. Feels like someone is Horse whipping me. Anxiety and dread is here and I have not felt this way in over 15 years. I am an optimist and strong willed, but this situation is bringing willies to my elbows.

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      Joe 7 years ago

      I was call wet back , from my supervisor I told my mng about it he didn't care then the next day my sup said that I was a lie and everybody I guess bolive him , even if I went home sick that day , I went to the doctor next day and she said that I have high blood pressure and she put me on depression medication ,,, I was offended 2 weeks ago and now no body talks to me no more at work. But. The. Eeoc. Is doing an investigation but I don't know if I have a good case ..... Can some one help what can I do about this problem ???????

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      Concerned 8 years ago

      Great article thanks for the info.

      At the company I work at we have a district manager who is great at sales but terrible with personel. He recently taunted an employee about a medical condition in front of other employees and then wrote the employee up for having to leave work early due to the condition despite the store manager giving permission for the employee to go home.

      The worst part of it is that this DM has violated several rules and regs in the past and not been written up or in the case of wrecking a company car and being ticketed not being fired and now employees are terrified and upset and the employee who was taunted is threatening to sue if the DM is not fired.

      I believe the employee has a case as I am HR yet the boss just lets him continue to do these things. I have no idea what to do. Anyone who has spoken out about this DM has been fired eventually as the DM creates a hostile work environment for them and then writes them up until termination is the only option.

      I have not idea what to do. I feel that if this behavior is left unchecked it could cause the whole company to go under. We are already losing the best managers and employees due to this. Over 40 people will lose their jobs if we close.

      Any suggestions??

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      Nauman Nazir 8 years ago from Pakistan

      few of the points are horrible..

      I cant believe a boss can intentionally do #6

      Kindly post a hub about what an employee can do if he/she finds such boss.

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      just started 8 years ago

      Hi, I just started at a company as one of four assistants to a manager who I am finding is a "bully boss." I have found there has been lots of emotional abuse and turnover in the position before I came. I am subjected to being yelled at over ridiculous things - many times over things that happened before I even started. I am given an unreasonable amount of work and then being interrupted by "bully boss" every few minutes and sent on wild goose chases that waste time. The work is piling up and other assistants have been fired for not keeping up with the demands! The assistants I work with are unhappy over the treatment they receive as well and I was warned that it will not get any better. With the current local economy I feel I have little choice but to stay. Previous employees who have gone to HR have been retaliated against and eventually were fired or left. I have begun documenting daily all the incidents and keeping demeaning and degrading e-mails. I will also study the company's HR policy and will employ the "Professional Persona" advice given in another article on this site (it is actually similar to the tactics I already use to deal with "Bully Boss). But after researching the law I am discouraged. Myself and previous employees who suffer physically the chest pains, stomach aches and headaches brought on by the onslaught of her attacks, do not fall under any protected class. We are all young women - but not all - no disabilities - and race/nationality is not an issue. Is there any other avenue to put an end to this? Since this is causing stress-related physical illness - can we submit a medical related claim?

    • Undercover Lawyer profile image

      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      Wow, thanks Harry! I appreciate that a lot.

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      Harry Paul 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the information. I’m going to share this article in my network of friends and relatives. I have given a stumble to your post

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      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      Pshippey58, Thanks for letting me know you find the site helpful and extra thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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      PSHIPPEY58 8 years ago

      THANK GOD that I found your website! I now see that I have been at the hand of a bully boss who is using my co-workers to create a hostile workplace enviroment.

    • Undercover Lawyer profile image

      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      Disgusted, I am so glad my articles could help you through such an awful situation. If you would like to talk more about what happened with more privacy you can reach me through my profile here on HubPages.

      kung fu librarian: Thanks for writing! Not knowing anything about your complaint, I would say EEOC. EEOC enforces Title VII discrimination claims. Also, beware the 180 deadline, and less if you worked for the feds (like Library of Congress or something).

    • kung fu_librarian profile image

      kung fu_librarian 8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This is a great article! I experienced these problems at my former job. The biggest decision I am facing right now is if I should file a complaint with the EEOC or the U.S. Department of Labor. Should I do both? I quit before my boss had the chance to fire me.

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      Disgusted 8 years ago

      I worked for a very large and repected non profit. It was discovered the officers in charge had been responsible for misappropriation of funds for the constituency of which we served. I reported this to a board member after I had notified the headquarters and they refused do anything about it.

      After that happened the harrassment was so intense I went to the EEOC as you had stated and provided the investigator with a lot of documentation, however, my complaint was difficult to process due to the stipulations in the state of where I live. I ended up with a settlement from this charity which has millions upon millions, it was the worst experience of my professional life, if the trusting public only knew what I know...

      Your blog and post helped me, otherwise, I would have been clearly out of luck. Thanks you.

    • Undercover Lawyer profile image

      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      Debbie, Take a look at my other Hubs that explain employment at will. Although your boss may have acted unreasonably, the fact that he was unreasonable does not make your termination illegal. However, if you were "laid off" and then your position was filled by someone else 2 1/2 weeks later, it certainly looks like the boss had a plan to replace you the whole time, and just didn't want to tell you what the real reason was. I would suggest you learn a bit more about your employment rights. However, an appeal of sympathy to whomever is running the pre-school while this bad boss is out is certainly worthwhile.

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      Debbie 8 years ago

      I have just been "laid off" I was replaced by another preschool director 2 1/2 weeks before my boss laid me off. Can he do that? He tried to write me up time after time. one week later he had a nervous break down, can I get him for wrongful termination, that he was not stable when he laid me off? Do I have a chance to be re-instated?

    • Undercover Lawyer profile image

      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      M you can fight to get unemployment. Basically you want to say that you were were "constructively discharged" (forced to resign) by the company repreatedly violating wage and hour laws and retaliating against you for speaking up about those violations. Also, you can file a wage and hour complaint with your state's dept of labor to recover some money for not getting breaks or lunches. I'm really not supposed to promote my site in these comments, but you can find an article about filing for unemployment on my site which I think you would find very helpful.

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      8 years ago

      I have left employment due to the work enviorment.

      I could no longer con't to work 1-12 hours a day with out a break. I was salary so there was no time clock. When I brought this to the owners attention they stated if I got my work done than I could take a break. When I tried to leave early they would call a last minute meeting. Meeting were scheduled when I had asked off for personal time with my childrens activities. 2 business were housed in the same building I was asked to do work for the other company I did not mind when I had extra time. But when it interfered with my main job and I spoke up I was considered not a team player.

      The owner started to ignore me send mean emails.

      I tried I asked I emailed to try and fix all of this but now they are fighting me on unemployment.

      What can I do?

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      Susan 8 years ago

      At my georgia medical college, the EEOC director reports to the Provost and our Dean. No conflict of interest there! We had an Indian faculty member who other faculty were allowed, or directed by the department chair, to insult her native dress when she wore it, and even to try to trick her into eating meat (she was Hindu and a vegetarian.) She complained and EEOC did nothing except give them a heads up, and the harassment got worse.

      This dept. chair should have been fired long ago, but managed to get tenure a few years ago. She lures new faculty in with the offer of tenure-track. Then as soon as they come, she sets about to sabotage them getting tenure. She forces them to write grant applications, then during her "review" changes their name from being the P.I. and puts hers down instead, even though she knows nothing about their research. I could write a book.

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      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      E Green,

      I'm glad to hear that you did file with the EEOC, even though their slowness is frustrating you. You probably know that it's CRUCIAL to fiie in time with the EEOC after being wrongfully terminated, or you can't fight through them or the federal courts.

      To answer your question, the EEOC has many offices that are totally overwhelmed right now with complaints. They are supposed to hiring more case investigators, but hiring is never a quick process. If it's been more than six weeks since you've heard anything at all, I would politely and professionally call and ask for a status report. Thank them for their time and efforts and be sure to say something like "I know you're probably swimming in employee complaints right now, but I wondered if I could have just two minutes of your time for an update on my case." Believe me, they have plenty of people being rude and mean to them on the phone right now. If you are nice and polite, you will stand out in their mind and they will remember you.

      What happened to you, being dismissed after 35 years, is outrageous. I so hope you get the justice you deserve.

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      egreen 8 years ago

      This was the sort of harrassemt Isuffer from my supervisor, She also lied about my performance after 35 years of service I was dismissed because of a temporay who lied. Why dose it takes the eeoc so long to solve a case?

    • Undercover Lawyer profile image

      Undercover Lawyer 8 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA

      Thanks Debra! That would be sort of funny if Undercover Lawyer was a textbook author for school children. But you are right -- college kids, for instance, are trained to be good employees but never taught what their legal rights are as employees. Hopefully we can spread the word via the 'net.

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      debra watson 8 years ago

      this information is dynamite! it is a shame the American working public do not know their rights when it comes to a hostile working environment or the ever popular Boss who has it in for you no matter what you do! Why don't they teach this in school-instead of biology?!

    • MGomez077 profile image

      MGomez077 8 years ago from Texas

      I'm not sure whether to be depressed or encouraged by this, but it IS informative. Guess I'm not alone, at least.