Let’s protect adults from bullying, too

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We do everything we can to protect our children from being bullied. We as adults have to set a better example for them of respect and civility toward each other in all settings, despite our differences.

10678851_10152259898276890_2465289428681783057_nWhat constitutes a violation of the city’s respectful workplace policy? Does it have to do with a lack of respect for employees based on age or gender?

Does it have to do with a hostile work environment where employees are bullied, threatened and intimidated, and they fear loss of employment and their emotional and physical well-being is affected by the actions and statements of a superior?

The work environment under a previous city finance director was so bad four women employees chose to leave employment because they could no longer endure. They exhausted all efforts to have it remedied by upper management. The end result was these four women’s lives were inexcusably affected by the lack of management skills at many levels. Things finally got even worse to the point that this finance director had to be escorted out of City Hall by the police.

wave5Now who was responsible for this mess? Was it her superiors, who knew about her bad behavior and allowed it to continue, or was it just a glimpse of the atmosphere and attitude at City Hall?

In most cases, people who exhibit this kind of bad behavior have done it before and in almost all cases will do it again if their employers do not act accordingly based on the seriousness of the issue. (This statement is an opinion and based on Internet research on this subject). Does that also mean these employers, who are willing to tolerate this bad behavior, condone it? If that is the case, how effective are they as leaders and is that really who we want leading our city?

The law asks whether a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstance would find the hostile conduct offensive, and if that conduct is coming from a supervisor or manager in a position of authority, it is viewed as more serious by the law.

Go to the Internet and enter “Hostile Work Environment,” “Workplace Bullying” or “Employment Retaliation.” You will be amazed at how prevalent these situations are. This bad behavior happens at every level of government, educational institutions from school districts, to colleges and universities, to private industry.

sweet-kissThere are numerous federal and state agencies and laws to protect employees from illegal discrimination and retaliation from their employers. After an employee has provided notice to their employer of a hostile work environment, employers have an obligation to take action to make that conduct stop.


Gary Hagen & Albert Lea – Article Published 9:56am Monday, January 19, 2015


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