Evil Landlord #1

new-headerMe in da KitchenFirst I want to apologize, it seems I have missed a whole day, with moderating the sites and the start up of the new affiliate business, it’s been crazy busy getting the pages set up, and it’s not finished yet, and I have fallin behind on my readings, but I will get to them. This post will be yet another addition to “My Story”, I want to take you back to Sept 4, 2009, I was living in Mississauga, Ontario and still working at horror hell “SunGard”. It was sort of their last ditch effort to get rid of me, SunGard that is, any way the story begins with a friend appearing at my door late June of 2009. After a couple of weeks went by I came to find out he was running from the “Law”, to make along story short, he now had to be back in Renfrew Ontario for 5 pm for a meeting with his probation officer, it’s now 12:55 pm, a five hour drive to get him there, knowing it was next impossible to accomplish. So I picked up the phone and placed a call to the officer in question, this gentleman was very upset and yelling on the phone, refusing to give any lead way, saying if he was not on time for his meeting, he would call the police to pick him up and they were going to incarcerate him for one year. After twenty minutes or so, begging and pleading, I managed to convince him to wait as we were leaving immediately. PT CruserWell needless to say while en route I would end up almost losing my vehicle, a new 2008 PT Cruiser only a couple months old to the Ontario Provincial Police due to speeding, she clocked me going 50 kms over the speed limit and in a construction zone no less, current legislation included confiscating the said vehicle and double the normal fine in construction zones for speeding, but for reasons unknown she (the officer) said she would not take my vehicle, and would not double the fine, but I did get a $375 speeding ticket. We arrived in Renfrew one hour late but the guy was in his office waiting, now I had the task of convincing him not to lock a 17 year old boy up for a year with harden criminals, which would do him more harm then good, but he did agree to release him into my custody for 90 days and to return to Mississauga with me, needless to say the boy was as happy as a pig in shit 🙂 I did what I did because I knew him from the day he was born and he has held a special place in my heart and still do, like the son I will never have, even though he is afraid to be seen with me now or to speak to me for that matter. The KitchenThe fact he was going to be living with me for three months, caused issues with my landlord, once he knew I had company living in my unit he wanted more rent. I have been living in this unit for more than 3 years at the time, but to keep the peace I was paying $600 a month, I suggested an increase of $40 a month, he agreed and I assumed that was the end of it, but nooooooooooo I was wrong.One evening I received a call from the landlord regarding a leak under my shower, leaking down to the unit below me, he had to remove my shower to repair it and wanted permission to enter my unit the next day, I granted him the permission, butThe Horror Washroom I would live to regret it though. Arriving home the next day we would find the plumbers in the unit just finishing the shower uninstall, but they had to order a new one, and they would not be able to install it until the next day, leaving us with no running water in the washroom at all, not even for the toilet, I was not impressed but what can you do. I would call him every day for the next four days, inquiring to his intentions for the install of the shower, having to take time off work, 4 days due to no running water, we proceeded back to Renfrew to wait it out. On day four I called one of my brother’s in Brampton and requested he place a call to him for me because he, the landlord had not returned any of my calls or messages. My brother placed a call to him right away but got no answer either but left a message, Me SunGard 2007so on day five I left and headed back to Mississauga, not being able to loose any more time from work, but once I arrived late that night around 11 pm, I was surprised to see the plumbers working so late installing the new shower, it was certainly a relief. It also felt good the next morning, day five to wake up, shower and head to work, but it would be in vain, after 6 1/2 years it would be the day that SunGard would fire me. Now relieved that I no longer had to tolerate the workplace Bullying and Mobbing, but my life was now over, only to get worst. In closing over the last four years I have often wondered why or how I225113_10150978168096890_2016419255_n was still alive, and where my strength was coming from because in late 2010 I spent 8 days in bed, depressed and not able, nor did I have any desire to get out, I just wanted to die, but that’s when by chance I would meet my God sent, the one responsible for where and who I am today….lotsa luv mon ami.
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Employees Report Bullying Increase In Corporate Jobs

bullyinghBullying isn’t just a major issues for teenagers navigating the perils of high school. No, bullying and bystander prevention is an issue for adults in the workplace, though it may not get quite as much attention. Not only do college campuses present workshops but human resources of companies see it fit to train employees on this sort of harassment. The Global And Mail is reporting on a new study that finds bullying traveled from the playground to the office water cooler in a greater number of instances than you may have thought.
“About 40 per cent of Canadians report having been bullied at work, putting them at higher risk of depression, post-traumatic stress and heart disease,” the newspaper says.
The study was conducted by Jacqueline Power, the associate professor of management at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. In the study conducted by Dr. Power, 37.5 percent out of 224 participants reported being victims of bullying over a period of six months. The study also revealed, strangely, that the characteristics between workplace bullies and victims were similar. The personality traits were defined as: psychopathic tendencies, narcissism, Machiavellianism and aggression.
Although companies make bullies do sensitivity training, Dr. Power noted they have proven to be ineffective since bullies do not know their actions are wrong. Although this is deemed as discouraging, she did note companies are taking the initiative to make their work environments friendlier. Whereas, 10 years ago it would not have been a major focus for human resources executives.
According Psych Central, psychologist Sophie Henshaw reports, bullies have an agenda. She notes victims should keep record of incidents. Dr. Henshaw believes, victims are bullied because their presence triggers threats to bullies.
“Thereafter, the bully will take up a campaign against you.You must document all evidence as early as possible,” the site says. “Keep a diary and record every instance of bullying behavior. Keep emails that signal a trail of bullying. Record bullying conversations discreetly on your phone and collect evidence from witnesses.”
Have you witnessed bullying at work? Let us know in the comment section!

Continue reading.»»»»»»

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Our team’s golden boy gets a free pass for bad behaviour

ninetofive14rb1THE QUESTION

I work at a fairly small company, and I get along fairly well with most of my colleagues – with one notable exception.

One of my team members is an extremely talented individual, but he’s impossible to work with. He frequently makes inappropriate and insulting jokes about co-workers, and some of his work contains subtle digs at members of our team.
When it comes to compensation, Careers by Design founder Shirin Khamisa says understanding the climate at your workplace is key. Khamisa says it can take courage start a conversation with your boss about what you earn.

Whenever I gently try to tell him that his comments aren’t appreciated, he sarcastically thanks me for my contribution as a “junior employee,” and suggests it’s not my place to take issue with his behaviour. However, our manager seems hesitant to discipline him because he’s seen as irreplaceable. Whenever I raise an issue about his behaviour, our manager says he’ll talk to my co-worker, but nothing ever changes.

I like my job. I just want to be able to work without being insulted and demeaned by a man who is supposed to be my colleague, or at least have my manager stand up for me when it happens.

I’m not the only person he treats this way, and I feel that everyone’s performance suffers as a result of this high-performer’s inappropriate behaviour. What do I do?

THE FIRST ANSWER

Heather MacKenzie

The Integrity Group, Vancouver

I expect that a lot of readers will identify with your situation, where the office “golden one” gets away with all sorts of unacceptable behaviour. As you have already found, disrespectful behaviour won’t spontaneously change or stop: Someone has to confront the offender, ideally an individual with authority or someone who has the support of management.

Companies sometimes have policies to protect employees from bullying behaviour, and if you work in B.C., Ontario, Quebec or Saskatchewan, there is legislation that employers must follow to remedy such behaviour. Whether or not you have an internal policy or legislation to back you up, you need to bring this employee’s behaviour to the company’s attention in a way that gets results.

Remember, it is easier for management to avoid the issue or procrastinate when only one person is complaining. Talk to your co-workers with a view to having everyone affected come forward to speak with not only your direct manager but to the next level of management as well. It is important that those complaining have specific examples of the disrespectful behaviour (dates, times, things said), which are critical to establishing a record that the offending employee must respond to.

If management sees that the performance of several members of your team is being affected, this employee will have to answer for and correct his behaviour.

THE SECOND ANSWER

Billy Anderson

Founder, Made You Think Coaching, Toronto

Bullying in the working world is just as rampant as it is among kids. We just disguise it better.

Since it sounds like you don’t have faith in your boss to handle this situation, let’s look at what is in your control.

People treat you how you let them, so don’t react emotionally when he demeans you. That alone might take some of the “fun” out of it for him. You can also stand up to him respectfully. Asking “What are you trying to say exactly?” throws it back in his court and might catch him off-guard without sounding offensive. A more aggressive option would be to address it head on: “Are you trying to be demeaning, because that’s how it appears to me.”

But consider his relationship with your boss. Would your boss think it’s easier to get rid of you rather than upset the high-performing, low-self-confidence brute?

It can also help to see who else feels this way about him. Perhaps together you can all stop taking his abuse.

It’s definitely a tricky situation, so start with what feels right. Show respect at all times and never sink to his level. You’re better than that.

Got a burning issue at work? Need help navigating that mine field? Let our Nine To Five experts help solve your dilemma. E-mail your questions to mailto:ninetofive@globeandmail.com..

Special to The Globe and Mail
HEATHER MACKENZIE AND BILLY ANDERSON
Published Sunday, Apr. 13 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Apr. 11 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

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4 Ways the Workplace Has Become More Dangerous

Published by The Editor on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 07:50
Published by The Editor on Thu, 04/03/2014 – 07:50
Disgruntled employees, workplace bullies, active-shooter situations, illegal drug use, ex-spouses and dissatisfied clients – all can be found in a random sampling of the 2 million people affected by workplace violence in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“Of course, of the millions of reported cases, there are many more that go unreported; workplace violence includes any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site,” says Timothy Dimoff, one of the nation’s leading voices in personal and corporate security who has worked with the U.S. Army, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, corporations, universities and non-profit groups.

“From demeaning jokes to sexual innuendos to genuine fear of shots fired at work, hiring managers and their bosses need to understand these problems of human nature and know how to react. In my decades of experience with law enforcement and as a security entrepreneur, I’ve seen the evolution of workplace violence and management often do not know how to respond.”

Dimoff, founder and president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., (www.sacsconsulting.com), which analyzes and overhauls security for large public and private facilities, reviews today’s problems and offers a path for conflict resolution and prevention.

  • Inadequate use of hiring tools: Know who you’re hiring! I can’t emphasize this enough; this is the age of information, yet potential employees often provide falsified or misleading details,” Dimoff says. “With so many candidates and so much information available today, employers often overlook useful tools in a hurry-up effort to maintain productivity with a premature hire.” There are many resources, including drug testing acknowledgment and consent forms; fully understanding laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act, equal employment opportunity guidelines and military leave guidelines; and simply knowing how to ask revealing questions to applicants.
  • Workplace intimidation & cyberbullying: Bullying is not exclusive to the schoolyard; it can follow adults into the workplace, and even home via email, texts and social media. “The first and best thing employers can do is prevention, and you do that by creating a positive and fair company culture,” Dimoff says. “Next, implement a zero tolerance policy for bullying; encourage employees to document and report bullying, and take those accusations seriously. Hold occasional staff meetings so that employees are taught to recognize signs of bullying and everyone is reminded of the zero tolerance policy.”
  • Gun violence: It can happen at what appear to be the most secure places in the world, and it can happen to the most innocent among us. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist turned jihadi, shot 13 fellow soldiers to death at Fort Hood, Texas. Twenty first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School never had the chance to become second-graders. We hear story after story about shootings in movie theaters, parking lots and neighborhoods. Train managers to recognize and attempt to de-escalate the situation, which can include talking to the potential aggressor in an empathetic, non-judgmental way. Fail that, there are situations for which heroes are necessary.
  • Violence against women: Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to OSHA. Of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. Once again, this comes down to a zero tolerance policy for bullying and sexual harassment, applicable to all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel, such as an ex-spouse. A well-designed on-site security protocol can significantly reduce the risk of severe violence.

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Michelle Morgan: Workplace bully didn’t get her way

If there is one thing I can’t stand, its Bullies.2320066967
I am relieved to say that apart from a small incident in primary school, I was pretty much bully-free throughout my childhood, but people close to me weren’t so lucky. In secondary school I had a male friend who was bullied because he liked to dress differently. One day the bully said he was going to beat him up after school, and waited next to the gate. By that point my friend had had enough, and finally had the guts to stand up for himself. The bully never tried it on again. However, bullying isn’t just restricted to children, and I have been bullied at various times during my adulthood.

For instance, my first full-time job was in the office of a factory.

Next door there was a woman who decided from day one that she disliked me, which was her prerogative as I didn’t particularly like her either. However, while I kept my feelings to myself, she couldn’t do the same and frequently bullied me in all kinds of ways.
I hated the job immensely and when I handed in my notice after only a few months, this woman cornered me in the bathroom. “Before you leave,” she said, “I will have you in tears. Even if I have to thump it out of you.”
I am happy to say that she never got her wish and I left bruise-free.
Several years later I saw the woman again and she smiled as though we were long-lost friends. I didn’t smile back and by the look on her face, she really had no clue what she had done in the past.
I’m sure bullies have many reasons why they do what they do, but maybe less time needs to be spent on excuses, and more time should be made trying to make the world a better place.
Isn’t that what we’re all here for, at the end of the day?
by Michelle Morgan nt.editor@northantsnews.co.uk Published on the 03 February 2014.

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Why It Is Simple to Define Governor Christie as a Bully

Governor Christie’s behavior brings to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness an issue that is widely known yet under-addressed: workplace bullying.

Some will argue that Christie’s behaviors embody the American ideals in the workplace, lauding his assertiveness, straight-talk and get-it-done attitude. And yes, those are qualities that are to be admired.

But a person is the sum of his actions, and Christie’s behaviors also include ruthlessness, threats, retaliation, and heavy reliance on power imbalances. These are the qualities found in bullies, and when combined with Christie’s access to resources, it is a recipe for extreme workplace bullying.

Defenders of bullies try to say that it is a subjective experience and that the targets are overreacting or too sensitive. The best way to assess a situation is to simply break it down and look at it as compared to the definition of bullying.

True bullying require three conditions to all be met:

• Repetitive
• Unwanted aggression
• Occurring in the context of a power imbalance

If all three of the above conditions are met, a fourth condition develops, and that is fear. The targets fear the bully, and they fear speaking out against the bully due to the threat of retaliation.

In looking at Christie, we can check off all the characteristics. Yes, his behaviors are repetitive. Yes, he lashes out with unwanted aggression towards his targets, often in retribution for refusing to support his political agenda. Yes, his actions occur in the context of a power imbalance, given that he is able to remove resources from others at will. Finally, we see that others fear him. They are afraid to cross him for fear of retaliation. This is the hallmark of a bully.

It is not subjective at all. It is simple. Christie acts like a bully. Worse, he hides behind the actions of those who work for him. He creates a culture that condones aggressiveness and retaliation, but when others cry foul, he removes himself from the very people who work for him and throws them under the bus.

Can a bully change? Yes. Sometimes people get a little heady under their own power, and they lose touch with empathy and with how their actions affect others. It is entirely possible for Christie to reach out and try to restore the relationships that have been damaged. He can work to consider others and change the way he wields his power. He can repair the damage by being more humble and more empathetic. The choice is in his hands. Will he listen to what the people have said?

Carrie Goldman is the award-winning author of Bullied (Harper Collins, 2012)
Follow Carrie Goldman on Twitter and Facebook.
Via the Huffington Post: Jan 13, 2014

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Scientology Tools for the Workplace

Published on Mar 1, 2013
This course contains some of the wide array of principles and techniques L. Ron Hubbard developed for application in the workplace. Work not only can be both rewarding and fulfilling, but as the major activity in most of our lives, it should be. Using this information can help you make it just that.
“Tools for the Workplace” is a Free Online Course you can begin right away. It is our service to you, free of charge.

– Enroll now for free here.
– Find out more about the course Here.
– View all Free Online Courses: Here.

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How to End Workplace Bullying

richie-incognito3-e1383687989112Drs. Warren and Roberta (Robin) Heydenberk of Lehigh University‘s College of Education provide their take on the harmful effects of bullying among adults and offer a solution to prevent and end the practice.
Although it seems ironic that a 300 pound professional football player would be bullied, as happened recently in the Miami Dolphin incident involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, it is actually a very common occurrence. Unfortunately, bullying behavior – whether unprovoked, unidirectional or intentional abuse – is alive and well in the adult sphere, including the workplace.
Bullying involves approximately one-third (37 percent according to Workplace Bullying Institute Director Dr. Gary Namie) of the American workforce, and its negative influence extends beyond the bully and the victim to permeate the entire workplace environment.
In fact, according to workplace researcher Daniel Dana, bullying and “unresolved conflict represents the largest reducible cost in many businesses, yet it remains largely unrecognized.” Bystanders to bullying wonder if they will become the next victims, and they often empathize with those who are being bullied, feeling guilty and disgusted. Witnessing bullying is emotionally draining and distracting, and causes presenteeism, the state of being physically present yet ineffective and unproductive. To escape the toxic atmosphere, approximately 25 percent of bystanders will look elsewhere for employment. Furthermore, bullying permeates all institutions ranging from families to social and civic groups, and yes, it’s found in athletics. What can be done about adult bullying? Simply defining bullying and recognizing its existence will reduce such behavior in workplaces, as it does in schools. By addressing the elephant in the room, the bullies are revealed, and the victims have hope for relief.

download (2)Governing boards should seek leaders who celebrate the importance of psychologically healthy, bully-free workplaces and who have the determination to prevent bullying. Similarly, personnel officers should be well versed with bullying behavior and its impact on organizations. This information should be astutely used in hiring practices. Bully victims must be protected—they must have safe, trusted avenues to inform others about bullying incidents. After all, very often victims are the most humble, the smartest and the most productive people within a business.
The bully has a green light if his or her victim is a silent sufferer who is afraid to seek help. Bystanders to bully and victim behaviors should be encouraged to discredit bullying behaviors. As evidenced by the recent NFL incidents, bullies love an audience. If they get bystanders to laugh at their derogatory comments or jokes about a coworker, their bullying will intensify, as will the humiliation of the victim.
Intervention is not easy. Managers who simply mediate with both bully and victim together expose the victim as an informant and invite heightened bullying in retaliation to the victim. Awareness, strong anti-bullying policies, and anonymous reporting are helpful. Anonymous reporting often requires little more than a box for anonymous notes. The best approach involves awareness and “social norming” to create an environment where bullying is not accepted – much less expected – as is the case with the NFL incidents.

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Archives: Kinden v. Richcraft
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Notice of Hearing

If He can be bought, he is not to be trusted
John Dempsterfrom: Ter Kin
to: “HRTO-Registrar (JUS)” ,
“jdempster@sympatico.ca”
bcc: Ter Kin
date: Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 2:18 AM
subject: Notice of Hearing 2012-12852-I
mailed-by: gmail.com

Registrar

I am in receipt of your “Notice of Hearing”, May 27 & 28, 2014, let me first start by saying, I WILL NOT re send anyone anything, I have sent all relevant documents and evidence clearly identified by Exhibit numbers, also the complete HRTO file # 2012-12852-I can be found “HERE” there you will find every document sent via email from terr.kinnn2@gmail.com to “HRTO-Registrar (JUS) hrto.registrar@ontario.ca”. If you require copies of these emails that were send and received at both addresses, I do have a complete file which can be easily arranged as well.

I also want to make you aware that on November 10, 2013 I applied for legal Aid here in Gatineau, but I am told by Mr Morin at Quebec Legal Aid (Centre communautaire juridique de l’Outaouais) that due to the Location of the Legal matters involved (Ontario) which is the jurisdiction where I must apply for Legal Aid, so Mr Morin advised me the file was being transferred to “Legal Aid Ontario“, so what ever other issues you may have, or any questions, concerns please contact Mr Mario G Morin as follows at;
Me Mario G Morin
Centre communautaire juridique de l’Outaouais
Bureau civil, famille, jeunesse
210-768 boulevard St-Joseph
Gatineau (Québec) J8Y 4B8
Téléphone: (819) 772-3011
Télécopieur: (819) 772-3764

Best regards

Melvin T Kinden
14-36 rue Tasse
Gatineau, QC
J8Z1S4

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Bill 168, Occupational Health and Safety Amendment.

new-headerTo End The Week On a Positive note, have a great one…lotsa Luvmasthead-A_en
Fonseca, Hon Peter Minister of Labour
stock-photo-stop-intimidation-sign-127734746Bill 168 (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace) 2009 Ontario
Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number: R.S.O. 2009 C.23
An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters Ontario
Note: This Act amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History on e-laws. Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Subsection 1 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is amended by adding the following definitions: “workplace harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; (“harcèlement au travail”)
“workplace violence” means:stop_workplace_bullying_mousepad
(a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,
(b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker,
(c) a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker. (“violence au travail”)
2. Section 25 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:
Same
stick_figure_group_bullying_400_wht_9796(3.1) Any explanatory material referred to under clause (2) (i) may be published as part of the poster required under section 2 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
3. The Act is amended by adding the following Part:
PART III.0.1
VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
Policies, violence and harassment

32.0.1 (1) An employer shall,
(a) prepare a policy with respect to workplace violence;
(b) prepare a policy with respect to workplace harassment; and
(c) review the policies as often as is necessary, but at least annually.
I’m not going to post the complete list of amendments involved in Bill 168, you get the idea, this is one piece of legislation, Statutes I will be relying on for “Kinden v Richcraft” and a number of others, all of which occurred in Ontario. I think it’s what’s needed right across the board, you can read the complete legislative Act Here, employers can get more information at “Reg Quest newsletter VOLUME 3, NO. 9” – SEPTEMBER 2010 entitled Bill 168: Employers’ Liability for Workplace Violence and Harassment Read the official article here from “The Legislative Assembly of Ontario”.

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What Happened? (Sept 10,2013)
Three Faces of Bullying
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7 Ways To Protect Yourself If Your Boss Is a Bully

Steps you can take to stop being a victim of workplace bullying
1823869_370Last week, I answered a question from a “used and abused” reader who was facing a workplace bully. I talked about five ways that your workplace bully might be breaking the law. Today, I’ll tell you some things you can do, starting today, to protect yourself if your boss is a bully.
Here are seven things you can do, starting today, to protect yourself if your boss is a bully:
1. CYA: If your boss tells you to do things, then denies it later, document everything. If she tells you, for instance, to do something you know violates company policy, send her an email along these lines: “This will confirm your instruction that you want me to do XYZ even though this would normally be contrary to Policy No. 123. Unless you advise me that this is incorrect by (insert a time), I will follow your instruction forthwith.”
2. Don’t be insubordinate: If the bully tries to bait you, don’t react. Be calm. He’s trying to get uyou to do something stupid so he can say you were insubordinate. As much as you want to grab him by the collar, don’t do it. If he orders you to do something, even if it’s demeaning, do it (unless it’s unsafe or illegal). Then document it. Use it as evidence if you figure out that he’s engaging in discrimination or something else illegal.
3. Keep track of the bullying targets: While bullying at work isn’t illegal in any state, workplace bullies are just like the old playground bullies. Who do bullies target? The weak and the different. If your coworkers and you (or just you) are being targeted because of race, age, sex, religion, national origin, pregnancy, disability, taking Family and Medical Leave, making a worker’s compensation claim or some other protected category, then the bully is breaking the law.
4. Safety in numbers: Let’s say the bully isn’t doing anything illegal, like discrimination. If jby0295lhe’s picking on coworkers too (and you aren’t a supervisor yourself) then you are allowed to discuss working conditions with coworkers. The National Labor Relations Act protects most non-government employees against retaliation for these discussions with coworkers. You’re also protected against retaliation if a group of coworkers gets together to complain about working conditions. If you complain on your own behalf as well as at least one other coworker, you are probably protected against retaliation even if you aren’t protected when you complain for yourself alone. So get together and write a complaint to HR signed by the bully’s targets. It will possibly go in his personnel file and might even get the company to take some action.
5. Complain so you’re protected: If you’re alone, and you still want to complain, make sure you complain about something the bully is doing that’s illegal. For example, if you’ve figured out that she’s targeting older employees, then call it a “Formal Complaint of Age Discrimination.” Put it in writing and lay out all the evidence you have of ways younger employees are favored over older employees, ways older employees are targeted for discipline that younger employees don’t get, age-related comments, promotions going to younger employees, anything you have that makes your point. Don’t focus on “unfair treatment” or bullying. Focus on what’s illegal. That way you’ll be legally protected against retaliation.
6. Don’t quit without having a job: If the bully is intolerable, then leave, but do it when you jfa0007lhave something lined up. Don’t let a bully force you out of a job you need to support your family and you. Because discrimination against the unemployed is still legal in most states, it’s easier to get a job if you have a job.
7. Start looking: It may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many people come to me after they were fired, and they’d been tortured for years. I ask why they didn’t get the heck out of there and they look at me funny. Sometimes, if a boss is abusive, the bully can convince you nobody would hire you, and that you’re worthless. They’re wrong. Don’t wait until you’re fired. Leave on your own terms, not the bully’s.
With a little preparation, you can survive a bully and even come out on top of a workplace bullying situation.

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Third of Five Freedoms for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

#3: Freedom to be Believed
FreedomWeek-13-2 Adults expect that when they speak, others will accept their version of reality as truth. This is especially true of guileless people who do not scam or scheme others. They speak about what they honestly see, felt or think.
Bullied targets are prone to wait a long time before confronting their bully (and thus being completely ineffective). Then, when the tale is finally told, it is spewed out like verbal salad — confusing, emotional, disjointed, out of sequence and very vivid. The form of the presentation makes it easy to dismiss. Raw hurt emotions scare listeners. They tune out. The facts about extreme incidents of abuse strain credulity.
Of course, unchecked bullying does escalate and becomes more dehumanizing. It is hard to believe that “Bob” is capable of abuse that the target reports. It all seems less credible when the incidents happened behind closed doors. Bob says he never did it (no duh).
The result — bullied targets are not believed. They are branded paranoid, conspiratorial, delusion or mentally ill. This further frustrates targets. They waited a long time to report their misery only to be discounted or laughed at. They thought the employer would be diligent and want to stop the abuse.
Behind the circling of the wagons around Bob is that Bob enjoys protection from his “executive sponsor.” The entire organization now turns against the reporting target. She or he is branded a troublemaker for daring to say negative things about someone or the way things are unfairly done. People who appear non-compliant with the dominant norm are branded “uncivil.” That ability of targets to speak truth to power is eventually worn down. Sadly, after weeks or months of exclusion from the workteam, targets become more compliant. They give in. Sadly, they accept the alienation, isolation and rejection characterizing their world of work.
Disbelief of targets also is fueled by the hierarchy in organizations. The majority (72%) of bullies are bosses. Over half of targets are non-supervisory workers. It’s simple (and incorrect) logic. Bosses are believed without question; workers are doubted. Thus, bullies’ version of reality are accepted as fact. Targets’ tales, which sound eccentric and emotional, are discounted. In other words, regardless of the people involved — a pathological liar bully and moral principled target — bosses are believed while complainants are not.
It doesn’t matter to targets that the process may be impersonal. Being called a liar when they know they are telling the truth is taken very personally. Why doesn’t HR and management believe them? Targets underestimate that the majority of workers stay in their role and follow orders, as a manager expected to support other managers, as a HR staffer expected to support management. It always seems to surprise targets how unsupportive their employers are.
The only hope to change this cycle of not believing people who complain about bullying is to stop relying on internal staff to handle complaint-investigation-correction processes. External professionals trained in the dynamics of workplace bullying need to get involved. The biases and allegiance to role preclude HR or managers from honest fact-finding. Internal groups are invested in the outcomes of an investigation.
To HR and managers, it seems natural that they would handle complaints. The well established record of failing to conduct fair investigations and the collateral damage to veteran workers’ careers caused by the complaining combine to suggest changes.
Principled moral people like bullied targets deserve to be believed when they are telling the truth.
Liars — bullies or targets — do not deserve protection from their organizations.

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#2: Freedom to enjoy Dignity at Work
#1: Freedom to Affiliate with Friends at Work
#4: Freedom to be Innocent & Not Exploited
#5: Freedom from Fear
Archives: Workplace Bullying
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Second of Five Freedoms for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

#2: Freedom to enjoy Dignity at Work
FreedomWeek-13-2In the American workplace, all rights are owned by employers as a matter of both law and tradition. The rare exceptions are when bargaining agreements proscribe how each side must act. The foundation for treating others with dignity (often called their “due dignity”) is respect. Respectful, non-abusive, treatment acknowledges the quality of the other person being worthy and honorable. The origins of the word Dignity derive from the Old French dignete, and from Latin dignitas, from dignus “worthy.” According to Wikipedia, philosopher Immanuel Kant related human dignity to “free will,” the ability of humans to choose their own actions. Being human alone is considered by Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism to imbue that person with dignity in that he or she was created in the image of God. Islam and Buddhism speak of dignity as intertwined with seeking self perfection. From the Enlightenment era (also the time of the birth of the USA) comes the notion that personal worth, a proper sense of pride and self-respect are inherent and inalienable human rights. The inherent property directly contradicts some modern notions that dignity must be “earned.”
Inherent dignity at work should not be infringed by employers. but it is routinely done. They should have no right to invade employees’ privacy, their sense of personal integrity or well-being. Canadian and EU laws prohibiting bullying and mobbing often refer to the sanctity of one’s psychological integrity or self-worth or self-esteem.
These declarations would be an unimaginable inclusion in our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in the U.S. We Americans choose to delude ourselves about our “toughness” while denying the reality of the science of stress-related diseases. Bullying assaults generate distress, which, in turn, causes health-harming stress-related diseases. There is no such thing as a biology unique to American bodies. All humans, as a species, share the human stress response. Perpetrators who act with contempt toward the targeted individuals they bully refuse to acknowledge the humanity of their prey. This level of disrespect tramples targets’ sense of self-worth. Common to all forms of abuse is this outside interference with victims’ sense of worth. Abuse victims are made to feel worthless. Bullied targets feel worthless and incompetent over time, too. Their dignity is shattered. Unfettered Dignity at Work should be routine, not the exception. Workers should not have to be grateful when an inherent right is granted. It makes beggars of us all. So, during Freedom Week especially, stand proud and insist on your right to Dignity.
Pass on the empowerment. Finally, please never stand idly by when you witness another person’s Dignity being crushed. (via Workplace Bullying Institute)

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Fourth of Five Freedoms for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week
Fifth of Five Freedoms for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week
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Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week Video.
William Shatner Sings “O’ Canada”
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Archives: Kinden v. Richcraft

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First of Five Freedoms for Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

#1: Freedom to Affiliate with Friends at WorkFreedomWeek-13-2
One of the most bothersome bullying tactics is to demand that coworkers isolate their friend. The arbitrary command by the malicious meddler cuts deep into the human psyche. The converse of isolation is affiliation, bonding, sharing, friendship. Social support is the greatest stress-buster.
It’s “icing out,” the silent treatment, false rejection, ostracism. Listen to our archived webinar on the topic.
Ostracism compounds the stress for an already stressed bullied target.
Turns out the need to belong, to be included in a group, if not a work group, then to be a part of the human race, is fundamental to our being. Perhaps the technology of social media gives the illusion of inclusion just as “friends” on Facebook convince some they are not alone. But no technology replaces the connection between humans. We need real face-to-face conversations, eye contact, audiences for our live “performances,” even if the audience is one.
Everyone Deserves a Safe, Healthy Workplace
Bullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence. Because it is abusive it causes both emotional and stress-related physical harm.
Freedom from Bullies Week is a chance to break through the shame and silence surrounding bullying. It is a week to be daring and bold.
The power of workplace bullying is its ability to stay hidden in plain view. Make every workplace safe and take a stand against workplace bullying!

The research on the devastating effects of ostracism and social exclusion is clear. Ostracism causes:
– a disconnection from friends who could have provided social support to reduce the harmful effects of distress (their fear to ignore the isolation command ensures the painful separation)
– with long-term exposure an acceptance of the alienation which leads to a lowered sense of self-worth, thus ostracism itself leads to self-isolation
– depression
– an impaired cognitive ability. When one’s belongingness need is thwarted, attention to social cues typically grows keener. However, social exclusion blunts that ability. Social relationships are disrupted.
– elevated blood pressure in ways similar to other forms of threatening behavior
– higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Prolonged elevated cortisol alters blood sugar, osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems, body fat storage, and an overactive stress arousal system.
– neural activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex that is involved with physical pain and self-reported distress. No other human being should have the right to create so much harm for another person simply because it is the workplace and employers responsible for the harm choose to ignore it.
Social affiliation is the cure for emotional distress. Isolation is a greater risk factor for mortality than many lifestyle factors, including smoking and obesity. Perpetrators, seeking ways to entertain themselves at work for sport, must be prevented from believing they have the right to disrupt the fundamental human needs of others.
via “Workplace Bullying Institute”

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Nine Suicides In One Year, But Not Our Fault Says School District
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What Happened?
Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week Video.
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In Good & God We Trust

hands godThank you so much for signing up to volunteer for BETTERLegal. We are happy to announce that our first online training will be held on Saturday, June 1st. As we get closer to that day, we will announce a specific time and provide more details to you. Since the program launched on April 2nd, we have had over 100 law students and lawyers like you sign up to participate to use it gets better videos and materials to help support the work that legal services organizations are doing for the LGBT community. In addition, we have already partnered with Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Southern California, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and we are working on partnerships with over 20 other organizations who have reached out to us. We are glad to have you on our team and look forward to the amazing things that we will accomplish together! Sincerely, Elliot Rozenberg, Director, BETTERLegal
For more information and to find out how it works.
god1There are those of us that have a burning or yearning, the thoughts of what excatly is going through the mind at that very moment, putting it bluntly, they shoot themselves, take an overdose or hang themselves, it’s that moment when it will all finally stop, you will be free finally, that’s how bad it can be, believing something so horrific, is the only answer, only to find yourself very dead as well, they end their life (Pain). I honestly can say I know, because at the age of just 19 years old, “I” a failed suicide attempt, as they say “Been There-Done That” I was there and know all the terrible feelings of hurt and pain, and how much you pray for it to stop but never did, until I realized that it was GOD who decided my faith at that moment, he said no my son not now I have things I need you to do for me, but let it be known, I will not decide for you how your life will be, Good or Bad?, nor will I make life wonderful for you, throns of Christ“No” I won’t, as only you have that power, but if you trust me, let me lead the way, I will see you have all that you will need, courage, strength, knowledge and Guidance, you may not see me but I will be at your side no matter what, as long as you follow me you will succeed. at this point I’m Feeling really bad, for my sin and cannot look God in the eye, with tears in my eyes asking GOD for forgiveness, saying over and over how truly sorry I was..he said do not be sorry my son, for I have an abundance of forgiveness just follow me, so I did! the crossA difficult task for some but if you really tried to replace feelings of HATE with LOVE and understanding, you will see it’s a positive step in changing the world. We all have the ability to Hate, we also have the ability to love, always try to choose Love because LoveWorks. In closing, I am sincerely honored for the opportunity to be of assistance and associated with “BetterLegal” and the “It Gets Better Project” So I want to share my sincere gratitude and say thank you very much to Mr. Dan Savage, creator of the “It Gets Better Project” and Mr. Elliot Rozenberg, Director, “BetterLegal” for enabling me this opportunity to participate and offer my assistance for the wellness and security of all LGBTQI people’s …Lotsa Luv 🙂

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Another Teacher Suicide With Workplace Bullying Causal Factors

13230061208931323005644589Several factors typically merge that exacerbate the misery that convinces individuals who choose to die by suicide to act. Research has found that in workplaces where bullying operates simultaneously with several other negative conditions, it is the bullying that has the greatest deleterious effect on people — bullied targets and witnesses. Given that many people’s identities are centered around work and what one does for compensation, work can dominate home life factors.
Finally, to connect the dots, misery from work travels home readily. Bullying at work inevitably strains domestic relationships. Thus, for targets exposed to unremitting stress at work from bullying, a very personalized form of abuse, eventually it feels like the world is closing in on them. Taking one’s life suddenly becomes an option when no alternatives are visible.
31284984-657d-48c1-9ccc-eddce1be3d58Such a case was reported in the Bassett Unified School District in southern California. Jennifer Lenihan was a Bassett High art teacher, known by students for personally buying class supplies, creativity and loving the art museum. According to press reports quoting her stepfather, Lenihan was driven to suicide by the school principal, Robert Reyes and assistant principal Jimmy Lima. There were reports of the two administrators shaming Lenihan in front of teachers and students. And she was assigned a class with which she was unfamiliar (a classic tactic used to destabilize good veteran teachers) and told to teach the class or lose another class she wanted to teach. She took stress leave, receiving half her salary for a short time. Her claims for disability insurance and workers’ compensation were both denied. She took out a personal loan to live. The district gave her two options: resign or apply for a waiting list for rehire. images (2)She was at the end of her rope. Her mother had given her rent money. The next day, July 1, she took her life. Teachers union officers said the treatment Lenihan received is common at the district. Further, Reyes and Lima have a record of bullying teachers. The new district superintendent said there was no “written form” record of complaints from Lenihan. He said the district has no “morale” problem.
Via Workplace Bullying Institute Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

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“DEATH” via Suicidal Bullying

1238798_740045456012921_1905529052_nKim Loik says she told her 15-year-old son Todd to ignore the bullies and the constant barrage of insults they were sending to him on Facebook and through texts on his cellphone. On the night of Sept. 8, 2013 he received another taunt, she said. “I told him to go to bed and not worry about it,” his mom recalled Wednesday, through sniffles and sobs. The next morning, Sept 9, 2013 she found her son dead in their home in North Battleford, northwest of Saskatoon. He had killed himself. RCMP are looking into whether bullying played a role in the death. Sgt. Neil Tremblay said the investigation is in the early stages and officers are trying to get the required legal authorization for access to the boy’s online and phone messages. download (1)Loik said she has spoken with the mother of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, who committed suicide in British Columbia last year. The girl had posted a heart-wrenching video online about the relentless bullying she experienced, and her subsequent death sparked a nationwide anti-bullying effort. Loik said Carol Todd linked her with a private group that was able to dig into her son’s cyber and phone files. “They have pages and pages of taunts and abuse.” She said her son wouldn’t let her read his Facebook page and he only shared a few of the messages he received. Loik can’t bring herself to read the pages of insults but, from what she does know, they’re vile. “They were the nastiest things I’ve ever heard. I can’t even repeat — some of the things were just disgusting.” Loik said she’s unsure why her son was the subject of such torment. He was just a normal kid who wanted to fit in. He loved shop class and talked about becoming a welder. He was excited about taking his driver’s test on his 16th birthday, Sept. 20. And he had showed his mom pictures of his favorite car he hoped to drive someday, 1239407_739517676065699_1885959042_n According to a video posted to Facebook, a group of more than 10 of Todd’s friends and family gathered on Sept. 20 — the day that would have been his sixteenth birthday. “Here’s to you, bud,” a man is heard saying in the video. The group lit 16 candles and sang Happy Birthday. “The pain in my heart has not stopped aching. But for my baby I will celebrate,” Ms. Loik wrote on a Facebook tribute page The single mom said the bullying started in the schoolyard five years ago, shortly after she moved with her only child from Edmonton. As her son got older, the insults came through his computer and phone. “It was usually at night when it would happen. There was no peace.”
She said her son didn’t want her to get involved or call his school; it would only make things worse. The harassment continued through the summer, said Loik. She sent her son with his cousins to go camping for a week in the Rocky Mountains near Jasper, Alta.1239551_738632839487516_819350462_n “He had a little bit of peace and came home and he was smiling and happy.” Loik said they had decided to move back to Edmonton so he could have a fresh start. They were packing and house-hunting and he was looking forward to the move later this fall, she said. He was a week into Grade 10 at North Battleford Comprehensive High School when he died. Shannon Lessard, a spokeswoman with the Living Sky School Division, said school officials are just now hearing about the bullying and it’s unfortunate Loik or his mom didn’t report it. Bullying can be reported anonymously, she said. Loik said she wants justice. For her that includes criminal charges against the bullies who tormented her child, as well as a move by Ottawa to enact federal anti-bullying legislation. Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall sent Loik an email offering his condolences, and commending her desire to help protect other teens from cyberbullying. He told reporters Wednesday that the province is looking at anti-bullying initiatives. “First of all, what a gesture from the family to be dealing with this loss and to be thinking then how can they somehow make this tragic loss a benefit, a legacy for others,” Wall told reporters in Regina. images (1)The province may also launch a website — similar to one run by the Ministry of Education in B.C. — that teens can use to report bullying. “In talking to Premier Clark, this is being utilized, this online reporting is being used and authorities, teachers and principals and those in authority are able to act,” Wall said. Chris Purdy, Canadian Press | 25/09/13

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MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Legal or Not, Same Sex Couples are Committed

Love is for everyoneMost adults will get legally married during their lifetime. It is a natural inclination to want visible and legal confirmation of one’s love for and commitment to the person you love. The person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Research from North Carolina State University confirms what we have always known – gay and lesbian couples form long-term, committed relationships, even in the absence of the right to marry but, given the right to marry, couples surveyed for the study overwhelmingly said they would do so. “Our study indicates that marriage is both more and less important to gay and lesbian couples in long-term relationships than was perhaps previously understood – more important in terms of the legal rights it conveys, but less important as a symbol of commitment,” says study co-author Dr. Sinikka Elliott, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at NC State. “This research underscores the need for legal protections and rights for all couples.”
ringsThe study found that, because these gay and lesbian couples could not marry in their state, there was no defining moment demarcating when they became “committed” in their own eyes or in the eyes of others. Instead, their commitment revealed itself over time, with different people having different ideas as to when a relationship became “committed.” Elliott explains that this shows there are multiple ways that couples can form lasting, committed relationships outside the institution of marriage. “The majority of the couples in the study said they would get married in order to gain legal rights,” Elliott says, “but downplayed the symbolic value of marriage, because they were already in stable, committed relationships.” One respondent in the study said, “What [our relationship] means to us, in our hearts and in our heads, I don’t think it would be any different” if we got married. However, the same respondent added that getting married would make life easier, explaining, “as it is now, we have to go outside to get medical power of attorney…and so for the legality of things, I would like to marry.”
images (2)The study also notes that societal trends continue to transform the meaning of marriage and cohabitation, for straight and gay couples, and calls for additional research to be done to evaluate what commitment and marriage mean for people in all social groups, including heterosexual couples. The study, “Commitment Without Marriage: Union Formation Among Long-Term Same-Sex Couples,” co-authored by Elliott, and researchers Corinne Reczek and Debra Umberson of the University of Texas at Austin was published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Issues.
Research from North Carolina State University confirms what we have always known – gay and lesbian couples form long-term, committed relationships, even in the absence of the right to marry but, given the right to marry, couples surveyed for the study overwhelmingly said they would do so.
empower-me

Bullying At Work Worse Than Gender, Racial Harassment

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CPI educate, empower, enrich
CPI educate, empower, enrich
Just as Ontario passed a new bill making workplace harassment illegal, new research from Queen’s University’s School of Business indicates that workplace bullying can be more damaging than racial or gender harassment. “While ethnic harassment and gender harassment can both be attributed to prejudice, general workplace harassment is a subtle form of mistreatment that masks underlying motives, and is not as easily attributed to bias,” say report authors Jana Raver of Queen’s School of Business and Lisa Nishii of Cornell University, Caucasians reported higher levels of general workplace harassment than minorities, and women were not more likely than men to experience either gender harassment or general workplace harassment. CPI_logo-75x75Raver and Nishii also found that general workplace harassment may be especially detrimental because unlike gender and ethnic harassment, it is not illegal in most of North America. A study released by Queen’s University in 2008 also found workplace harassment to be more harmful than sexual harassment because of a lack of recourse for victims. Bill 168, which came into effect in Ontario in July 2010, requires employers to develop and communicate workplace violence prevention policies, assess the risks of workplace violence, and take reasonable precautions to protect workers from domestic violence in the workplace. Ontario was the third province to legislate against workplace violence and harassment, along with Quebec and Saskatchewan.
CPI_logo-75x75The Queen’s University study looked at more than 735 employees from a range or organizations and occupations over a period of four weeks. Participants completed the measures of harassment and demographics in the first survey and then completed measures of job attitudes, turnover intentions, psychological well-being and health in the second survey four weeks later. The results were published in the March 2010 Journal of Applied Psychology.
Don’t forget to grab your free Bullying Prevention Resources Guide.email2010nciempower-me

An Interpretive Dance For My Boss

Do you think she over reacted or is she justified?
Published on Sep 28, 2013, I work for an awesome company that makes news videos. I have put my entire life into this job, but my boss only cares about quantity, how fast we write and how many views each video gets. I believe it’s more important to focus on the quality of the content. When you learn to improve this, the views will come. Here is a little video I made explaining my feelings.

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Offensive Images or Language

6a00d8345169e469e20154332e2775970c-500wiAt B.P we do-not tolerate offensive images or language, if more then five followers complain about a post, image or blog associated with B.P’s reputation and or standing, we have to take action and investigate. offensive-thingsB.P is a family oriented blog, and for that reason, we wish to maintain the appropriate atmosphere for all visitors, because I may inform a blogger of such a breach, it’s not meant as disrespect in anyway, it’s just an issue we have to deal with, to decide what to do about the content. In this case and this issue I have, to save the peace, deactivated the like button on all post and pages eliminating the problem, All I ask is to show respect to all other visitors please. I apologize for any inconvenience this may or may not cause, the issue is now closed and put out there for all blogger’s…cheers and lotsa luv 🙂 empower-me

Canada: Juries Punish Employers: Two Recent Cases Highlight The Risk Of Treating Employees Poorly

BullyingAs we continue to move forward, knowing from the last couple of Posts “Suicide and Workplace Bullying”, “Jack Reese, Gay Utah Teen, Commits Suicide”, Ann-Sedwick-Florida Girl 12, Victim of Relentless Cyber-Bullying” and last but not least “Hannah Smith Death: Father Says Daughter was Victim of Cyberbullies” clearly show that Bullying and Suicide go hand in hand and are still common place in Schools, the Workplace and the community. This article looks at Two cases from a Jury’s point of view on employers treating employees poorly…cheers
Article Summary
Two recent cases suggest that juries are prepared to punish employers for improper conduct. One long-service employee was awarded over $800,000 in a wrongful dismissal case based upon bad faith conduct. Another employee was awarded over $1.4 million on the basis of workplace harassment and violence leading to constructive dismissal.
Full Text
imagesTreating employees fairly makes sense, both from a business and legal perspective. From a business perspective, negative treatment of workers can lead to reduced morale and productivity, high turnover rates and increased risk of unionization. From a legal perspective, unfair conduct can lead to constructive dismissal claims, human rights applications, occupational health and safety complaints and claims for various types of non-pecuniary damages in wrongful dismissal actions. Two recent cases indicate that juries in Canada are prepared to impose significant financial penalties on errant employers.
Last summer, a British Columbia jury awarded over $800,000 in damages to a long-service employee whose employer alleged cause for termination of employment.
imagesIn Higginson v Babine Forest Products Ltd. and Hampton Lumber Mills Inc. (“Higginson”), the employee worked at a sawmill for 34 years prior to the termination of his employment. According to the employee, after the sawmill was sold his new employer intentionally engaged in conduct aimed at creating a hostile and “miserable” work environment, in an attempt to force the employee to resign. He did not resign and his employer ultimately terminated his employment for cause.
At the time it was decided, Higginson was the highest award of punitive damages in a Canadian wrongful dismissal case, displacing Keays v Honda Canada Inc. wherein the trial court awarded the plaintiff $500,000 in punitive damages (which was subsequently reduced to $100,000 by the Ontario Court of Appeal and overturned entirely by the Supreme Court of Canada).
downloadIn the fall of 2012, the record set in Higginson was broken by an Ontario jury. In Boucher v Walmart Canada Corp. and Jason Pinnock (“Walmart”), a former Walmart employee, Meredith Boucher, was awarded over $1.4 million on the basis of workplace harassment and violence that was found to constitute constructive dismissal.
Boucher claimed that her manager engaged in belittling and demeaning behaviour for months, such as swearing at her and calling her an idiot, as well as making her count wood pallets in front of other employees to prove that she could count. She also claimed that she was punched in the arm twice by another Walmart employee (whose employment was apparently terminated on the date of the second incident).
legalemployeeBoucher resigned from her employment, claiming constructive dismissal caused by an abusive work environment. Her employment agreement provided that upon termination of employment without cause, Boucher would receive two weeks of pay per year of service, which would have been equal to 20 weeks’ pay based upon her 10 years of service. However, Walmart actually paid her 32 weeks of termination and severance pay.
Boucher still was not satisfied. She sued Walmart for constructive dismissal, harassment, discrimination, intentional infliction of mental suffering, and assault.
In finding for the plaintiff (after deliberating for less than two hours), the jury awarded:
As against Walmart
tumblr_ljph37I4QV1qas8z9o1_r1_500$200,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering;
$1,000,000 for punitive damages; and
$10,000 for assault.
As against the manager personally
$100,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering; and
$150,000 for punitive damages.
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SUICIDE AND WORKPLACE BULLYING

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Suicide by Bullying – Intent to Kill
Submissions close this week for the government-ordered parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying. The committee has been asked to investigate the prevalence of workplace bullying and asses whether existing regulations sufficiently deter potential bullies. Few states and territories have a legal deterrent. But last year Victoria amended its Crimes Act to include bulling and cyber-bullying, making it a crime in Victoria to bully a co-worker, or any person, to their death.
Also known as “Brodie’s Law”, this is the legacy of Brodie Panlock, a 19-year-old waitress who committed suicide in 2006 after a vicious and sustained campaign of bullying by four male co-workers at a Melbourne café. Brodie’s father, Damian Panlock, has publicly said, “If this law had existed then (when Brodie was victimised), the vultures who caused our daughter’s death would be in jail.”

ReviewIt’s hoped the parliamentary review will recommend similar laws be adopted in other states and territories to protect all Australians from workplace bullying.
Last month, it was 30 years since my father committed suicide at work. I was then 13 years of age. Bullying someone to death was not a crime in 1982, yet it felt like it to me and those who loved my father. So I see new government action as a significant event in our history. In addition to occupational health and safety implications, it is also of some comfort and validation to those who, like me, have lost loved ones to suicide due to workplace bullying.
Walter (Wally) Archibald Theodore was originally a printer – a “hand compositor” with an extremely high level of literacy. Born in 1935 to a poor family, he left school as a teenager to support the family when his father died, his dreams of educational advancement and sporting talent set aside for duty and survival.
newspaperI remember watching Dad at work setting type so swiftly it seemed I couldn’t see his hands move. If a mistake went to print, he believed it was his fault, not the editor’s. He would drill his kids on speech, grammar, and spelling. I was nine when he asked me if I knew what an ombudsman was; he’d grumble when newsreaders said Princess Highway instead of Princes. But he was also extremely sensitive – and funny. Short but muscular and hairy, he did a superb gorilla impression, swinging from rafters. He gave great shoulder-rides to bed. We would sit side-by-side watching The Two Ronnies. He was a “bushy” and loved Walkerville and Cape Liptrap in South Gippsland. His nickname was Wally Wombat. Wally was made redundant by advances in printing technology. Even as a child I could see this was a great disappointment for him. I suggested he buy an old printing press and do wedding invitations in the garage. Eventually he became an armed guard of what I used to call a “money truck”.
ContentImage-NLRBSealHe enjoyed the friendships he made at work, was generally liked, and took on the role of union representative. But Dad was unable to prevent the termination of a member caught with his hand in the till. A process of harassment began by some people at work, which included evening telephone calls to our home. On May 7 1982, the last day of term, I played lacrosse in the morning. That afternoon, I received my best school report to date. I planned to hug him and tell him I loved him when I got home that night. Wally rang mum in the morning to tell her he had visited another depot where someone had snidely remarked “I hear you’ve got a pretty ordinary union rep over there”. Dad replied, “That’s me!” For a sensitive person, this pain, rejection, depression – whatever it was – was enough to cause him to put his company-issued pistol to his head and fire. He did this despite a wife and family who loved him. My mother was bereft, faced with raising two teenage children alone, and a future without the man she loved. They planned to travel Australia in a caravan when he retired, but they would never become one of the grey nomads. In the years after my father’s death, walking home from school, I would sometimes approach armored trucks. I would defiantly tell the occupants I was Wally Theodore’s daughter, just to see their faces. I hoped one day I would see who did this to our family. I was certain I would know them by their eyes. Instead, I just saw kindly middle-aged men, discomfited by a tiny traumatized schoolgirl, daring them to return her accusing stare.
crockedI still don’t know the names of my father’s “vultures”. Thirty years on, a middle-aged adult, I still occasionally freeze; I’m a young girl again who cannot comprehend what happened to her Dad. The amendments to the Crimes Act, or “Brodie’s Law”, include situations where someone intends their victim to experience “mental harm” (s.21A(8), which encompasses suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Although the changes relate to this behavior in any context, the occupational health and safety connotations are obvious. In workplaces now, we often attend anti-bullying classes. Our attendance is recorded on our personnel file. It would be irredeemably cynical to suggest this is purely legal protection against vicarious liability for employers, who, accused of failing to provide a safe workplace, might argue “it’s not our fault. We told them not to bully their co-workers”. So I hope that through Victoria’s new laws and by now extending this debate nationally, legislative change will reflect serious acknowledgement by employers that bullying can be every bit as dangerous in a workplace as a rickety scaffold.
Carolyn Malkin is Executive Officer, Curriculm Bridges Project at La Trobe University article by Carolyn Malkin
Don’t forget to grab your free Bullying Prevention Resources Guide…lotsa luv 🙂empower-me

Jack Reese, Gay Utah Teen, Commits Suicide

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Jack Reese (right) "was learning to speak Japanese and loved anything to do with Japan," according to his obituary.
Jack Reese (right) “was learning to speak Japanese and loved anything to do with Japan,” according to his obituary.
Friends and family are mourning the death of Jack Reese, a gay Utah teen who took his own life last week after allegedly being subjected to anti-gay bullying at school. Though details of the 17-year-old Reese’s suicide are scarce, his boyfriend Alex Smith spoke frankly about the repeated bullying the teen had experienced at school. Smith, 18, reportedly recalled the incidents at a community event earlier this week at which a bullying film was being screened. As one official is quoted as telling Ogden OUTreach off the record: “It happens here about once a week, but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.” An obituary describes the teen as having been “very good with computers and loved to play his X-Box games.” “Jack loved animals and will miss his cat,” the obit continues. article-2137272-12D78BF2000005DC-402_468x332“He was also very good with kids and loved taking care of them. Jack was learning to speak Japanese and loved anything to do with Japan. He was also very good at drawing and photography.” A Facebook group in memory of the teen has been established. “His suicide has impacted so many people,” one user wrote. “I HONESTLY hope things will change because of this, but I also wish that it didn’t have to come down to this for awareness to actually be seen in others who decide to bully others for their sexuality.”

HomepagetaglinePFLAG_NationalConv_logo_2013The local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) expressed its sympathy to Reese’s family in a statement:
“Today, along with the leaders of PFLAG Ogden and the entire community, PFLAG National mourns the loss of Jack Reese as well as the other young people in the Ogden community who have died in similar circumstances. The local chapter of PFLAG along with a broader caring group of adults have been working together tirelessly to address issues of the importance of family acceptance to the youth in this community and similar communities all over the state; sadly, the death of Jack Reese is a reminder that there is still much work to be done.”empower-me