How one target's abuse followed the playbook

There are many ways a person can be mistreated at work. Usually the mistreatment is said to stem from envy due to an individual's competency. The sad fact is research shows that legally, victims lack support and lose their jobs, while abusers retain their positions and continue abusing others. Lives are affected, and mental health and relationships suffer. Even sadder still, lives are lost through the pain and suffering caused by people who feel insecure and determined to ruin the lives of others, to make themselves feel better.

I feel, as many do, this problem cannot continue.

I sit here now having recently left my problematic position within the last two months. I realize that I need to stop being invisible and I need to stand with — and up for — the many who share my experiences of abuse in the workplace. I would like to share my experiences with you, and we can share small smiles of comfort and validation. Then we can roar and fight to be heard and...

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One advocate's story of a sham investigation

Florida is an at will-state, but I was fired after submitting a harassment claim. When I was interviewed by the "independent investigator," I stated, "How bad was the abuse for me to give up $85,000 salary, excellent benefits, FRS, six weeks PTO time, and nine years invested into the city and residents?"
The independent investigator was protected by the city. He was not objective. I knew I was screwed when the city attorney asked, "Are you submitting the claim because you do not want to work with the new City Manager?" and the independent investigator stated, "I will decide who I will interview." The independent investigator only interviewed the HR Director and Deputy City Manager. The HR Director targeted me for nine years, and Deputy City Manager was not going to speak up because she does not have a college degree, and she would never find another job at the salary she is making now. Here is my story.
I worked for a city in Miami Dade County, South Florida, for nine...
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How one #JusticeForEvan organizer can relate to Evan's pain


By Sharon Campbell

I’m a survivor of being targeted at work. A 15-year veteran, impeccable record and reputation, and I absolutely loved my job in special education. I can honestly say I never dreaded or hated going to work. In fact, I looked forward to it. My students were like my own.

But that all changed when I became a target. When a new administration took over, the targeting began.

In September, after I made a report as a mandated reporter (it’s my job to report suspected abuse or neglect), my union rep told me “whether intentional or unintentional, and I don’t believe in coincidences, you have a target on your back.” He then said “you didn’t hear this from me, but you might want to consider a constructive discharge.” I’d never heard of that. He explained what it was. I was a single mother raising two sons. Quitting a job I love with somewhat decent pay was not an option. I, like Evan, put in for a transfer. It was...

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Why one organizer is fighting for Justice for Evan

By Vicki Courtemanche

When I first read Evan Seyfried's story, it brought me back to March 9, 2018. It was the day I realized my supervisor was trying to fire me.

Like Evan, I had been targeted by a bully.
Like Evan, I reported the abusive, deviant behavior to the proper authorities.
Like Evan, I never retaliated or acted unprofessionally.
Like Evan, I hadn’t done anything wrong.
Like Evan, my performance reviews were stellar.
Like Evan, I did all the right things.
Like Evan, I waited patiently for my employer to intercede.

Like Evan’s employer/its representative employees, my employer/its representative employees were fully aware of the bully’s cunning activities.
Like Evan’s employer, my employer was fully aware of my deteriorating health.
Like Evan’s employer, my employer did nothing to intercede.
Like Evan’s employer, my employer falsified documents.
Like Evan’s employer, my employer waited for me to snap under the stress. I obliged....

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We demand Justice for Evan. Join us at a protest across the nation.

On March 9, 2021, 40-year old Evan Seyfried took his own life after workplace bullying and mobbing. He was a 20-year exemplary employee at Kroger, one of the largest grocers in the US. 

On March 9, 2022, advocates across the country will take to the streets demanding justice for Evan.

According to The Washington Post, in a "wrongful death" lawsuit, Evan's family alleges his death resulted from a six-month harassment campaign by two co-workers at the Milford, Ohio, location:

  • A supervisor allegedly harassed him for wearing a face mask during COVID and made fun of him for his political beliefs, calling him "antifa." 
  • Evan reported several unwanted sexual advances toward him, which resulted in no response from management after he reported them.
  • The supervisor allegedly left holes in his department schedule, making extra work for him.
  • After hearing reports from neighbors, Evan believed co-workers who his supervisors pitted against him followed him home and waited on the street...
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How an assistant professor's job went from dream to nightmare

I relocated 1,100 miles for what I thought would be a dream opportunity. I quickly discovered that the small program I was in had been led by a recently departed program director who was abusive toward the remaining faculty member — while the dean disregarded her requests for help. This dean retired at the request of the university shortly before my arrival but came back to the school as an instructor. The recently departed program director left because her students had finally turned her in to student services, so her poor behavior could no longer be ignored; she was demoted, and she responded by finding work at another academic institution. However, she retained a small adjunct position at another school within the university and continues to be on the university's payroll to this day despite her history within the university itself. 

In the meantime, the abused faculty member became the new program director. She was as abusive to me as her predecessor had been to her....

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What we can learn from the evolution of sexual harassment law to address the power structures that benefit white men

We know that sexual harassment law has advanced workers' rights, especially for women. But what has it done — and not done — to move the needle for women? How is it enabling those writing the rules to keep themselves in power to cling onto the status quo?

Let's look to Yale Law School's Reva B. Siegel's short history of sexual harassment from her 2003 book Directions in Sexual Harassment Law to get a sense of what work was like before the Supreme Court interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual harassment as discrimination based on sex in the late 1980s. With each step, we'll look at how the history gives us insights for the need for general workplace anti-abuse legislation, the Workplace Psychological Safety Act. Workplace abuse has a discriminatory impact on women, non-white workers, and low-wage workers.

The History of Sexual Harassment 

The Supreme Court's interpretation of sexual...

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Opinion: I worry about the ability to inspire with demands for in-person work

Cathy Merrill: do better.

On May 6, the Washington Post published a piece titled "Opinion: As a CEO, I worry about the erosion of office culture with more remote work" (though originally titled "Opinion: As a CEO, I want my employees to understand the risks of not returning to work in the office." Perhaps she decided threatening her employees for protecting their health was bad optics and bad management.)

Chief executive of Washingtonian Media Cathy Merrill expresses concern over those who wish to continue working from home — "the unfortunately common office worker" — that would make employee advocate and career coach Liz Ryan's head shake.

Here are Merrill's main concerns with keeping workers remote:

  1. "We face re-creating a workplace where a good culture of trust will be harder to build." Merrill lists employees knowing one another through "established practices, unspoken rules, and shared values, established over years in large part by people interacting in person"...
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Is Scott Rudin the next Harvey Weinstein? 5 ways the Rudin situation follows the workplace abuse playbook

This month, Hollywood and Broadway are pulling back the curtain on what's really going on behind closed doors when it comes to worker dignity. And producer Scott Rudin, the name behind "The Social Network" and "No Country For Old Men," is the next mogul to fall from (some) power thanks to collective action — in this case, workers reporting their stories to the media and literally taking to the streets in solidarity in April 22's March on Broadway.

The story broke on April 7 with Tatiana Siegel's "Everyone Just Knows He's An Absolute Monster": Scott Rudin's Ex-Staffers Speak Out on Abusive Behavior" from The Hollywood Reporter. As the silence continued to break, and unions demanded action, Rudin eventually apologized.

But advocates demanded more than lip service. They demanded consequences. They demanded that those who've stayed silent for too long stand up to this behavior to save lives.

Finally on April 17 and April 21, Rudin announced he'll no longer be an active...

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Today’s the last day! Check out today’s lineup for the Re-Define Virtual Summit!


Today's the final day! The first presentation of the last day of the Re-Define Virtual Summit kicks off in 2 hours, and I can’t wait!

Today we're going to learn about:

  • Polyvagal states and workplace trauma recovery
  • Understanding anxiety when you’re a target of workplace bullying
  • Living with resilience
  • Identifying and overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  • Liberate your soul
  • Find your purpose, start your new beginning

If you missed part of the summit, you can still grab the VIP All-Access Pass for lifetime access to presentations and slide decks plus an exclusive Facebook community for ongoing support or the Power Pack for all of that plus bonuses to help you get into action right away.

Get your free ticket and join us for Day 2!

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