An advocate shares her story of psychological intimidation

Uncategorized Dec 23, 2018

Amy was bullied through interrogation and intimidation at a school outside Boston. She felt disrespected, attacked, blindsided, scared, uncomfortable, sick to her stomach, and threatened. Here's her story in her words:

It started in February 2018. I was in the main office asking my principal a question, as he was handing out February vacation assignments to our custodians. One particular custodian was staring at me, and the principal had to get his attention by hitting him with the piece of paper and waving it at him while calling his name. I thought it was bizarre but didn't think anything of it.

A couple minutes later, I left the main office. The custodian asked me if I would be in my office after school. It seemed odd because we have never really said more than a "hi" passing through the hallway.

He came to my office at 2:45pm while I was with a 4th grade student and said "I'll come back." At 3pm, he came in and asked me if I had plans over vacation and wanted...

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A corrections officer suffered from repeat bullying after domestic violence

Uncategorized Dec 18, 2018
I was married to a coworker. We were both employed at a prison as corrections officers.
 
After we divorced, he broke in and held me hostage at gunpoint for 12 hours. He beat, raped, and sodomized me, then tried to kill me by choking me. He put the gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed, and he panicked and fled the house.
 
Then he tried to kill himself by overdosing. The police found him hours later. He was arrested at the hospital after being treated.
 
After he was indicted for the crimes against me, I asked for a domestic violence transfer to another facility many miles away from him, as is the states policy on such matters.
 
Instead, they refused me, and I was bullied by coworkers who took his side.
 
Supposedly if you are convicted of a felony, you forfeit your pension. The state allowed him to retire and collect his pension while he was in prison.
 
Finally after being harassed repeatedly, I was moved to another facility...
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A bullied Commonwealth employee only received help from Unemployment

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2018

I was employed by the Commonwealth as a BERS (Benefit, Enrollment, and Referral Social Worker) A/B from March-July 2015. My position was to process applications. I loved this job, and it was the best paying position I'd ever had.

At the beginning of June 2015, I was called in my manager's office and asked, along with two other members of my team (both men), to help "shadow" new hires (provide them with help). I and one of the men expressed some doubt as to whether we were qualified, but our manager assured us that Quality Control had monitored our work.

I began helping new hires shortly afterward. They sat with me, and I coached them through the applications process. The first day I began doing this, the woman sitting next to me walked out and never came back. She angrily said to me "I think I should have been asked to do the shadowing." I had considered this woman a friend of mine.  Another woman who sat diagonally across from me (I could stand up in my cubicle and...

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Why we need to hold employers accountable: one advocate's story of abuse at a state hospital

Uncategorized Dec 14, 2018

I work at a state mental health hospital. My position is in administration. I work making sure the hospital is in compliance with state and federal rules and regulations.

The bullying began early on. I was called names and threatened with being fired to the point I was told I was suspended and told to leave. I wasn’t suspended, and with the union's help, I returned to work. Initially it started with public ridiculing and suggestions that this job was not a good fit. I was offered a severance bonus and a good reference if I quit, all of which was bogus. I was told I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone and, if I did, it would get back to the boss — and it did. I would be discussing work, and the boss would follow up asking me why I was talking to so-so on this date and time.

(This job was what I had been working toward for a long time; the pay and the hours were good, and I was still in school with young kids. It was not a good time to switch jobs. I was hoping to put...

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"How could this happen to me?" asks a workplace bullying target

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2018

I’ve always worked in office environments. Since 2009, I have been employed by a high-profile business. In 2014, I moved into a new area of the business. This was a really exciting time for me as I had landed in a great department, the department everyone wants to work in — so much so that it is almost glamourised. I was determined to learn the job quickly, I wanted to be an effective employee as soon as possible. I read and watched and learned. I was recognised very early on as having the potential to be an asset to the team.

I had an excellent record for producing written documentation to a high standard — a standard so high that management would often compliment my writing style in team meetings. As a result, I often had my colleagues ask me to proof their reports or ask for advice on how to structure their writing. I prided myself on being a mentor and a coach to others and loved to help others whenever I could. I have always enjoyed helping others.

I was...

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How administrators bullied a state hospital nurse after workplace violence

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2018

I was a registered nurse at the a hospital in Worcester from 2014-2016. During that time, I was injured by a patient on the job. I had previously been involved in speaking out for patient safety and staff safety through our union, the Mass Nurses Association. We were highlighted in a news story by Fox 25 Boston's Mike Beaudet on the unreasonable amount of violence occurring at the hospital and the leadership's unwillingness to address the issue. After this, the bullying by the director of nursing, assistant director of nursing, and the worker's compensation manager who was handling my claim became worse.

I was denied pay for about 4-5 weeks, with no reason given other than my documentation was insufficient (it was not). I retained an attorney who assisted me in navigating through the claims process, had two surgeries to correct the injury to my left knee, and am now left partially disabled. I was accused of 'faking my injury' so that I could 'take time off for school' (I had started...

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Why don't workplace bullying targets matter? An advocate asks why nothing is being done

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2018

I spend my days researching for anything to help me fight "city hall." Today I came across this article: "Workplace bullying remains in the shadows." While my story falls under many different terms, bullying it high on the list.

Per the EEOC, you HAVE to prove your harassment is due to race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, or protected whistleblower status. How would someone know WHY they are being harassed/bullied? Yet to get any help under The Civil Right Act, a victim HAS to prove it was for a one of the reasons listed.

Huge corporations almost always have an ethics policy, and part of that policy is keeping employees in a safe work environment. If it is a public company, you have investors to be accountable to, too. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor has to adhere to that policy. In my case, we have to sign and acknowledge it. Yet, who is holding the company accountable for the ethical treatment of the employees by the company?

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A Commonwealth employee waits for consequences for her workplace bully almost a year later

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2018

I had worked in state government for about 18 years after having graduated from Boston College with a BS and an MBA from Bentley College.

I had been given a supervisory role within an IT group. Three months later, my director got transferred to another group, and another employee got promoted to be the director of my group.

I thought it was just a personality conflict at first. He started subtly criticizing everything I would do. He made me doubt my ability to do my job. He would ask me to do research, and then when I approached for clarification, he would say he didn’t tell me to do that. He would dictate how I supervised my team of 11 people and insisted on approving every request for vacation. Although I wrote out the performance appraisals for my team, he would not allow me to give the grades I thought were deserved. I was not allowed to put that anyone “exceeded expectations,” only “meets expectations,” even though I disagreed that some deserved...

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How a new boss drove an advocate to suicidal thoughts

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2018

I am a former employee of nine years of a nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities. I assisted developmentally delayed adults in their homes to become more independent in the community and their home.

The bullying began after some shift changes. At the same time, we got a new residential manager. My bully, an older woman, wanted things done her way and when she said. Since I worked in a different way, she didn't like me. I worked a 36-hour week by myself most of the time. I went to working with her on two of those days, a total of eight hours a week.

She also had a fellow employee who worked at the home who she was friends with. She would call her during our shifts to complain about me, saying I was lazy, did nothing, and played games with the ladies. (The reason: she did all the work. When I asked what I could do to help, she'd say "oh, you're fine, dear" in a sweet voice.) The fellow friend employee usually relieved me at 12am and would be less than kind or quiet and ignore...

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A former state employee says "you don't believe workplace bullying exists until it happens to you"

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2018

I was a 33-year Commonwealth employee who was bullied and driven to suicidal ideation, panic attacks, and gastric problems. I would grind my teeth in stressful situations and cracked a molar. I spent a night in the hospital for stress-associated illness. I was prescribed anti anxiety and anti depressive meds and had a gastric ulcer. I spent time sobbing in the ladies room. I nearly was killed on the highway after taking too many anxiety meds prescribed to me because I just couldn't take the stress.

I wrote a book, published in 2015, related to my work. The new administration where I worked warned me not to write the book after previous administration gave me permission.

I was harassed with letters from my agency's lawyers sent to my house, threatened with termination, and had disciplinary letters placed in my file containing statements that weren't true. Every day I suffered some form of bullying and gaslighting. I incurred an industrial accident that was documented but not...

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