29 August 2009

Human Resources Management must fix - Tough Boss or Workplace Bully?-

Human resource professionals must clearly distinguish between the two. Here’s a way to make that difficult call.

How is it that a manager can get away with treating employees terribly?

While it may be immoral and unprofessional, it is not universally illegal in the United States for managers to threaten, insult, humiliate, ignore or mock employees. Nor is it illegal to gossip and spread rumors, withhold information, or take credit for someone else’s work.

Unfortunately, these types of bullying are not rare; they take place with distressing frequency.

Workplace bullying refers to "repeated and persistent attempts by one person to torment, wear down, frustrate or get a reaction from another. It is treatment which persistently provokes, pressures, frightens, intimidates or otherwise discomforts another person," according to Dr. Carroll M. Brodsky in The Harassed Worker (Lexington Books, 1976).

Several recent studies clearly confirm the seriousness of the problem in the United States:

* In a March 2007 survey of 1,000 U.S. employees by the Employment Law Alliance in San Francisco, nearly 45 percent of the respondents reported that they have worked for abusive bosses.
* In September 2007, a poll sponsored by the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash.—consisting of 7,740 online interviews—estimated that 37 percent of American workers, roughly 54 million people, would report being bullied at work. When organizational bystanders are included, researchers estimate that bullying affects nearly half of all full- and part-time U.S. employees.
* In a 2008 study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Ethics Resource Center of Arlington, Va., 57 percent of the 513 participants confirmed that they had witnessed "abusive or intimidating behavior toward employees," excluding sexual harassment.

While it is already unlawful under federal law for an employer or its agents to harass any member of a protected class based on race, religion, physical or mental disability, sex, or age, federal courts have not yet extended the law to prohibit workplace bullying toward those who do not fit into a protected group.

Model state legislation known as the Healthy Workplace Bill has been proposed. Authored by professor David C. Yamada, director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, and supported by the Workplace Bullying Institute, the bill has not yet passed in any state. Grassroots groups have formed in 16 states to promote the legislation.

What, then, as an HR professional, are you expected to do when faced with such unhealthy and destructive workplace conflict?

Revealing Analysis

In the spring of 2008, I began research to better understand how workplace bullying can be distinguished from situations where a manager is simply a "tough boss." The findings provide some insights about the issue from the point of view of HR professionals.

As Managers See Bullies

Representative comments from interviews with HR professionals reflect their perception of bullies’ intent and help support the view that malice is present in workplace bullying situations:

"With a bully, there’s no goal orientation. There’s nothing to do with your job. There’s nothing to do with the company. … It’s simply something that has irritated the individual. It has maddened him to the point that [he] is driven to make a person’s life miserable … either with verbal threats or actual actions against" the individual.

"It was almost like she had to have a person to pick on and, at different times in the years that I was there, she would choose one person to direct her anger at, and she would do that for a year or so. Then she would pick on somebody else."

"Attempts to make others see the target as unworthy."

Bullies "throw caution to the wind as far as feelings are concerned, and their agenda is simply ‘I’m going to get you.’ "

Interviews were conducted with 20 experienced HR practitioners, uncovering many, often emotional, examples of how HR professionals identify, experience and describe workplace bullying personally—a surprising 80 percent had personally been the target of bullies. The subjects also shared how they experience workplace bullying as observers in their HR roles. This work makes up the basis of my doctoral dissertation at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., and part of my research for Stop Bullying at Work: Strategies and Tools for HR & Legal Professionals (SHRM, 2009).

Actions of a Workplace Bully

Participants noted that workplace bullies could be identified by the following characteristics:

* Frequent misuse of power and authority.
* Focus on personal self-interest, as opposed to the good of the organization.
* Prone to emotional outbursts.
* Often inconsistent and unfair in their treatment of employees.

They observed that bullies consistently engage in actions at work that are perceived as overwhelmingly negative. These include a need for control, exploitation, intimidation, threats, humiliation and embarrassment, a failure to communicate, manipulation, engaging in a pattern of obstructive behavior over time, ostracizing and ignoring employees, and gossiping or spreading rumors about their targets. The manager who engages in these negative acts appears to be operating with intent to cause his or her target some kind of pain or personal distress.

Actions of a Tough Boss

On the other hand, participants describe tough bosses differently, suggesting characteristics almost directly opposite those they attribute to bullies:

* Objective, fair and professional.
* Self-controlled and unemotional.
* Performance-focused—insistent upon meeting high standards and holding employees accountable for meeting those expectations.
* Organizationally oriented—consistently operating to achieve the best interests of their company.

The actions of a tough boss were perceived to be overwhelmingly positive. These managers were interactive, using frequent two-way communication and really listening to their employees, as well as mentoring subordinates through coaching, counseling and frequent performance feedback.

While conflict certainly does occur in workgroups led by tough bosses, such bosses work to quickly resolve problems by engaging in honest and respectful discussions. In addition, though tough bosses’ intense focus on results may create tension and stress, employees do not take the situations personally nor do they experience diminished feelings of self-worth or adverse personal or health effects. Instead, they view such managers as "tough but fair" and keenly focused on the good of the organization.

The ‘So What?’

Workplace bullying is an unambiguous and intentional form of abusive behavior, and participants in this study describe clear distinctions between the two types of managers. The findings suggest that whether or not a conflict situation is workplace bullying can be determined by the presence or absence of malice—defined in Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary (2008) as "the desire to cause pain, injury or distress to another."

As Managers See Tough Bosses

Comments from interviews with HR professionals about the actions of a tough boss suggest no malice or intent to harm, but rather a focus on the achievement of organizational results:

"A tough boss is tough on everybody, not just one particular person. I think you can be tough but at the same time not be a bully. You know, underneath the tough boss’s character, I think you realize that he’s just results-oriented to the point where it becomes like an obsession to him."

"Fairness and intent differentiate a workplace bully from other conflicts. … I didn’t mind him saying ‘That’s bull’ because he respected me."

"People understand that the boss has the ‘right intent’ even when she is being tough on them."

"No intent to intimidate, threaten or embarrass."

"Good intentions geared toward making the company better."

The results of this study yield a conceptual model that can be used by HR professionals to make an initial determination as to whether the facts presented in a complaint of workplace bullying indicate the presence of malice.

If it appears from the facts that malice might be present, this would serve as a signal to HR professionals that the next set of organizational protocols should be followed—moving from the target’s subjective complaint to a more objective, fact-finding investigation by an HR professional, much like what occurs with a sexual harassment complaint. If, however, evidence of malice remains clearly absent from the complaint and initial review of the facts, then there would be no investigation.

The use of this screening tool will help HR professionals make quicker and more definitive determinations about whether an incident might constitute workplace bullying and, if so, what kind of an organizational response is required. These findings also confirm the following definition of workplace bullying in the proposed anti-bullying legislation: "Conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests."


Tips for Employers to Safeguard against Workplace Bullying!

Bullying is alive and well not only on the schoolyard, but in the workplace. Workplace bullying is a type of harassment that has been estimated to affect 37 % of today’s workforce according to a recent Zogby International survey. This survey has further found that 72% of the perceived harassers are bosses. Harassment might arise from discrimination over gender, age, and position in the company, and race. Those bullies are generally in power and believe that this power and status justifies insensitive treatment towards others that are “inferior” or not “in their league.” They often justify their actions as “just kidding” and believing others should just “take a joke.”

The effects of workplace bullying have repercussions throughout the workplace, as an atmosphere of basic safety and trust is violated. Physical and emotional health is affected, and can result in unmanaged stress, absenteeism, and low workplace morale. The problem is, this type of abusive behavior is not necessarily illegal, and although 13 states have proposed “healthy workplace” legislation, none of these bills have passed.

The following are the top ten tips for safeguarding your workplace from bullying!

  1. REALISE THAT COMMUNICATION IS KING! It is the key to job effectiveness. It has been a long accepted phenomenon that the reasons why people fail at their jobs are not due to poor job or technical skills, but it is because of poor communication skills. Providing your employees with knowledge through seminars and coaching helps to provide key tools for communication.
  2. Educate yourself on Workplace Bullying. Realise that workplace bullying is often not blatant – it can be a subtle type of communication that is condescending, insidious controlling and disrespectful. For example, rhetorical questions are unacceptable – such as “Why aren’t you listening to me?” “What’s wrong with you?” “How many times have I told you that?”
  3. Ensure all employees know the difference between Assertive and Aggressive behavior. Knowing the guidelines of each can make it easy to identify workplace bullying. Assertive statements are characterized by “I” statements where one is honest, yet tactful and respectful to others, while Aggressive communication has a “you” focus in which one is dominating, controlling and judgmental. All too often people in charge think they can be “bossy” since they are bosses.
  4. Understand that bullies are not “bad” people – they lack awareness and skills, and are often well meaning in their intensity to “get the job done.” Some very well could have some emotional instability and unhealthiness. Do not hesitate to share concerns, document concerns, and provide EAP assistance or coaching to the valued executive who have difficulty taming their intensity.
  5. Have zero tolerance for Workplace bullying! Give resources to help the bully firstly understand that they are behaving in an unacceptable manner and offer them tools, help to build better skills. Don’t be non-assertive and look the other way! Provide a clear written policy of what constitutes Workplace Bullying and what are the consequences for bullying behavior. Make sure all employees are aware of the policy and have a “refresher” memo or reminder periodically.
  6. Provide a clear channel of how one reports bullying or if they suspect bullying which is confidential and discreet. Ensure there will be no fear of repercussions if a complaint is shared. All too often employees fear retaliation and think that if they complain to human resources or others in management, they are not guaranteed confidentiality and their jobs could be in jeopardy. The fear that the complaint will be leaked is one of the most common factors that prevent employees from addressing the bully, and fear of reprisal is paramount.
  7. Help employees identify their rights. They have a right to be treated with respect, the right not to be demeaned and disrespected. You might offer employees a “bill of rights” in writing as to how they can be expected to be treated. Show them you care about them being treated fairly.
  8. Realise the importance of a sense of control in the mental wellness of your employees. Those who feel like they are controlled and have little say in their lives at work develop resent and poor work morale and performance. A perceived lack of control leads to “learned helplessness” in which employees have a victim mentality and see “no way out.” This leads to anxiety, poor work performance, absenteeism, and increased use of sick time.
  9. Unmanaged workplace stress is a 300 billion dollar profit killer in businesses and organizations throughout North America. 80% to 90% of all industrial accidents are likely related to personal problems and employees' inability to handle stress. Offer stress management workshops to teach your employees how to manage their stress and not to be “stress carriers!”
  10. Do not “assume” that your employees know about workplace bullying. Educate them, offer workshops on this topic, to ensure that they are knowledgeable about what constitutes workplace bullying!


21 August 2009

SWEDISH TV CAMPAIGN - Bullying in the workplace

Bullying in the workplace

An anti-workplace bullying video from a group called "Friends" in Sweden

17 August 2009

INTERNATIONAL - Workplace Bullying Chronic in Macedonia

Employers and the government deny there's a problem, but weak unions and a lack of worker protections leave many Macedonians vulnerable to abuse on the job

For five years, Marina K. has worked as an accountant for a sanitation company in a town in southern Macedonia. At 27, she is the sole earner in her family of five, so to supplement her income, early this year she also began working as a part-time agent for one of the country's biggest insurance companies. Soon afterward, her original employer began to harass her.

"I began working as a part-time insurance agent because it's a different kind of work than my [accounting job] and I thought that there would be no conflict. But, obviously, according to my boss, there is," said Marina, who was later transferred to another department within the institution where, she says, she "does nothing" and lives in constant fear of being fired.

"I go to work every day expecting to be productive, but instead of that I'm more and more disappointed. I'm afraid of my boss because he could fire me whenever he wants. But he wants to play mental games with me."

Until July, when a Skopje-based group organized a conference about "mobbing"—bullying in the workplace through psychological, mental or sexual, harassment by colleagues and employers—Marina wasn't aware that her predicament had a name, let alone how widespread it was.

Marina, who refused to give her full name for fear of retaliation at work, says she has faith in neither the official workers union in Skopje nor the courts or other human rights institutions. The public institution where works doesn't have its own union—another reason why she feels she can't fight within the system to change her situation.

In Macedonia, unions are disorganized and weak, there are few mechanisms for the protection of workers, and, unlike in many European countries, there is no legislation specifically addressing the problem of mobbing.

According to a survey conducted by a local organization and released in July, out of 1,100 employees (572 women and 528 men) working in Skopje, some 77 percent have experienced mental or sexual harassment in the workplace. The research was conducted from March 2008 through April 2009 among workers ages 20 to 60 employed in schools, public and local administration, private companies, unions, and nonprofit organizations.

"I became interested in this issue because I was myself a victim of harassment at work," said Lidija Kekenovska Pavik, who coordinated survey. "Our research is the first of its kind in Macedonia. … [O]ur job in the near future will be working to raise public awareness about mobbing, educating all workers in Macedonia about their rights and their working conditions, [and] helping to prepare a law against mobbing for the protection of the workers."

According to the research, it was most often competition at work that led to harassment. Of the respondents, 411 said they were abused by a woman and 689 by a man, with overlap between the two categories. Eight hundred and forty-three people said they had been victims of mobbing and felt sick, afraid, or humiliated due to the harassment; 428 said they were thinking about quitting their jobs because of harassment; 236 said they planned to take sick leave; 218 said they are losing the ability of focus on their work; and 121 had refused to go back to work.

Kekenovska Pavik says most Macedonians have experienced or heard about some form of harassment at work but few have reacted through official channels, mainly out of fear of losing their jobs. While her organization has a help line for victims, she says a full-fledged center where people can freely go and talk with experts on this issue is needed.

"We must work first with the employees and after that with the employers because many of them don't know—or they don't want to know—what's going on with their workers," Kekenovska Pavik said. "Workers in these cases must learn how to speak openly, how to develop their communication skills so that they can confront employers or colleagues who are practicing mental harassment at work."

Kekenovska Pavik says unions, labor experts, and government ministries must work together on the problem. "In Croatia and Greece there's a law; in Serbia, the law is going through parliament. Protection of the workers' rights and protecting them from discrimination and mobbing are essential things to be integrated into our legal system if we, as a country, want to be a part of European family," Kekenovska Pavik said.


Although there is no law against mobbing at work, the law does prohibit an employer from putting employees in an inferior position based on their race, nationality, education, gender, age, religion, or political affiliation. It also forbids sexual or other forms of harassment at work, which it leaves undefined. The law does not lay out mechanisms for redress.

S.D. works in a private company in Skopje and, like Marina, refuses to give her full name out of fear of reprisals. S.D., 30, says she and her female colleagues are sexually harassed by one of their bosses. But she wouldn't think of seeking relief in the courts.

"In the middle of work, he has a habit of coming and touching us on the arms, head, back, commenting on how we're dressed, spending 10 or 15 minutes sitting next to us and saying nothing, just staring at us. … So every female employee in the company has started to avoid him. We can avoid him once or twice [in the day] but still we work with him and have daily meetings with him," S.D. said.

S.D. said the women are afraid to talk to the company's general manager, who is a close friend of the offender. "We've never said anything because there are no mechanisms for protection and because we're afraid we might lose our jobs," said S.D. through tears, adding she is happy that someone has started to talk publicly about this issue.

None of the employers approached for this article would comment, some saying only that they do not have such problems.

Bekir Shaini, president of the Skopje court that handles labor issues, agrees that harassment in the workplace falls into a "gray area" in Macedonia. "Unofficially, I know many cases of sexual and mental harassment, but here in my court there's no single legal procedure for this issue," he said. "People are afraid to talk about it. They don't trust the unions because they're politically aligned institutions and in this country the employers are better protected than the workers."

Although Kekenovska Pavik's research showed that women are more victimized than men, the biggest organization for the protection of women's rights, the National Council of Women in the Republic of Macedonia, has no plans to act on the problem. "We know about mobbing, but we're not the institution for protecting workers' rights. … Leave this issue to the unions. We're not supporting some parallel organization," wrote council board member Marija Kuka in an e-mail.

An umbrella group of Macedonian unions aims to prepare a bill against mobbing by September.

Inda Kostova Savik, the group's education manager, said it will try to include political parties in the drafting process because mobbing for political reasons is more prevalent than other forms of harassment. "We will follow the example of neighboring countries and try to apply the experiences from foreign countries," she told a 1 July press conference, citing laws on the books for decades in the European Union, the United States, and Canada.

Labor experts agree that Macedonia must tackle the problem, especially as adopting such legislation is required for the country's integration into the European Union.

But there's little indication that even the pull of EU norms is strong enough to persuade Skopje to act. Ruling party VMRO-DPMNE has lobbied to close the European Commission office in Skopje and Ivica Bocevski, the deputy prime minister for European integration, recently stepped down. Further, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said in late June that the government had other priorities than reworking the anti-discrimination law.

In the meantime Marina and S.D. are looking for new jobs in the middle of a recession. "I'm planning to take my vacation first. After that, I'll take sick leave and after that the second part of my vacation," Marina said. "In the meantime I'll see if I can find a new job. If not, God help me."

Provided by Transitions Online—Intelligent Eastern Europe


16 August 2009

VIDEO - Bullying at Work - Your Stories from Lifetrack

Lifetracks aims to be the first place all young people in the UK turn to when they're making decisions about their work, study or training.

Lifetracks has produced two video's on Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace.


It's not always easy to know if you are being bullied. After all, it can be really difficult to get on with absolutely everyone you work with. You may have colleagues who are bossy or demanding. Supervisors might get angry if you don't meet targets or the necessary standards. However, if the criticism is constant or if it focuses more on you as a person than the work you do, then it may have crossed the line into bullying.

Think, too, about how your workmate's actions are making you feel. Are you being physically injured or emotionally hurt? Are you continually being made to feel stupid or incompetent? Do you get put down, no matter how good a job you do? If so, it could be that you're being targeted by a workplace bully.

You don't have to put up with bullying at work. Sometimes you may be able to talk to the person and ask them to stop especially if they're not aware of how they're making you feel. However, if you're not comfortable with confronting the bully, or you find that talking doesn't make any difference, see 'What next?' for other actions you can take.


Stephen Williams from Acas, explains that receiving criticism from a boss or colleague at work is often difficult to deal with. If the criticism is delivered in front of others in order to humiliate you, then this is considered a form of bullying.

The simple way of dealing with bullying is to approach the person who is bullying you and ask them to stop. However, this is often the most difficult approach. It is therefore very useful to talk to trusted friends and family about your situation at work.

Leanne and Jenni were both subjected to persistent bullying at work. They explain how they found support and help through organisations such as the National Bullying Helpline, who talked them through the options available to them.

12 August 2009

PAPER - Psychological Illusions: Professionalism and the Abuse of Power

Psychological Illusions: Professionalism and the Abuse of Power

by Dr Tana Dineen

Reprinted from (Ab)Using Power: The Canadian Experience.

Susan C. Boyd, Dorothy E. Chum, Robert Menzies (Eds.)

Fernwood Publishing; Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2001 pp.162-173

"Man’s major foe is deep within him. But the enemy is no longer the same.

Formerly it was ignorance; today it is falsehood."

~Jean-Francois Revel, The Flight from Truth

Australian Workplace; Mobbing Facts - Mobbing syndrome, phases of Mobbing, Degrees of Mobbing

What is ‘mobbing’?

Initiated most often by a person in a position of power or influence, mobbing has been described as “a desperate urge to crush and eliminate the target…. As the campaign proceeds, a steadily larger range of hostile ploys and communications comes to be seen as legitimate.”

behavior pattern has been recognized in Europe since the 1980s but is not well recognized
in the United States. Davenport et al brought the phenomenon and its consequences to the U.S. public’s attention in 1999 with the publication of Mobbing: emotional abuse in the American
workplace. Otherwise, little professional literature on workplace mobbing has been produced in the United States.

A PubMed search on the term “mobbing” limited to 1982 through October 2008 returned 95 listings, excluding those dealing purely with ethology, but only 1 report from the United States. Studies from outside the United States indicate that mobbing is relatively common (Box).

Mobbing, bullying, and harassment. The term “workplace mobbing” was coined by Leymann, an occupational psychologist who investigated the psychology of workers who had suffered severe trauma. He observed that some of the most severe reactions were among workers who had
been the target of “an impassioned collective campaign by coworkers to exclude, punish, or humiliate” them.

Many researchers use the term mobbing to describe a negative work environment created by several individuals working together. 1-3 However, some researchers such as Namie et al use the term workplace bullying to describe the creation of a hostile work environment by either a single
individual—usually a boss—or a number of individuals.

Mobbing syndrome: 10 factors

  1. Assaults on dignity, integrity, credibility, and competence
  2. Negative, humiliating, intimidating, abusive, malevolent, and controlling communication
  3. Committed directly or indirectly in subtle or obvious ways
  4. Perpetrated by ≥1 staff members*
  5. Occurring in a continual, multiple, and systematic fashion over time
  6. Portraying the victim as being at fault
  7. Engineered to discredit, confuse, intimidate, isolate, and force the person into submission
  8. Committed with the intent to force the person out
  9. Representing the removal as the victim’s choice
  10. Unrecognized, misinterpreted, ignored,tolerated, encouraged, or even instigated by management
*Some researchers limit their definition of mobbing to acts committed by >1 person

Phases of mobbing
  • Conflict, often characterized by a ‘critical incident’
  • Aggressive acts, such as those in Table 1, page 47
  • Management involvement
  • Branding as difficult or mentally ill
  • Expulsion or resignation from the workplace

Degrees of mobbing
  • First degree: Victim manages to resist, escapes at an early stage, or is fully rehabilitated in the original workplace or elsewhere

  • Second degree: Victim cannot resist or escape immediately and suffers temporary or prolonged mental and/or physical disability and has difficulty reentering the workforce

  • Third degree: Victim is unable to reenter the workforce and suffers serious, long-lasting mental or physical disability
Source: Davenport N, Schwartz RD, Elliott GP. Mobbing: emotional abuse in the American workplace. Ames, IA: Civil Society Publishing; 1999:39

11 August 2009

LEGAL - Discrimination and Victimisation soon to be "adverse action"

Key Points:

New adverse action provisions give rise to the potential for alternative claims beyond those traditionally found under the anti-discrimination jurisdiction.

From 1 July 2009, national system employees and employers will have the ability to bring adverse action claims under the Fair Work Act 2009, including in respect of claims of discrimination and victimisation in employment. While it has always been unlawful to discriminate in employment under the Workplace Relations Act 1996, traditionally such claims have tended to be brought under the relevant State or Federal anti-discrimination legislation where specific processes and remedies, underpinned by separate tribunals (or commissions) exist.

The extent to which employees will make use of the new expanded "adverse action rights" and bring claims under the Act instead of the relevant State anti-discrimination Tribunal remains to be seen. Employers however, need to be aware of the concept of "workplace rights" and what can constitute adverse action under the Act.

Under the new general protection provisions in the Act, employees and employers can bring an "adverse action" claim where a workplace right has been breached or is threatened to be breached. A "workplace right" is defined in the Act to encompass:

  • an entitlement, benefit, or responsibility under a workplace law, workplace instrument or an order made by an industrial body (such as the Australian Industrial Relations Commission or Fair Work Australia (FWA));
  • initiation or participation in, a process or proceedings under a workplace law or workplace instrument (including, but not limited to, a conference before FWA, court proceedings, protected industrial action, appointing a bargaining agent, making a request for flexible working arrangements or dispute settlement); or
  • making a complaint or inquiry to a body having capacity to seek compliance with a workplace law or workplace instrument. This is broad in its application and extends to the ability to make a complaint to the person's employer, FWA, or a union.

The circumstances in which an adverse action can be said to be taken against another person are very broad, and can include dismissing an employee, injuring or altering the position of an employee to his/her prejudice, or discriminating between the employee and other employees.

The anti-discrimination claim

A recent case in the Queensland jurisdiction can illustrate how a set of circumstances ordinarily giving rise to a victimisation claim under anti-discrimination laws, might apply as an alternative adverse action claim for a breach of a "workplace right" under the new legislation.

In the case of VN v MP, KP, K t/as P, and DS [2009] QADT 1 (13 January 2009), the complainant made a complaint to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal after her employment was terminated because of a sexual harassment complaint made against a floor coverings company and its directors.

The complainant, a female salesperson, had complained that she had been sexually harassed by each of the two directors of the company (a married male and female) and by a male floor covering installer while employed by the company.

The male director of the company terminated the salesperson in November 2004, believing that he had a right to do so because she had made a sexual harassment claim against him.

In addition to the claim for sexual harassment, the complainant alleged victimisation for a number of reasons including the termination of her employment. She further alleged that the company was vicariously liable as the acts of sexual harassment and victimisation had occurred at work.

The complainant claimed damages and compensation arguing that she had suffered emotional trauma, weight loss, difficulties in personal relationships and insomnia as a result of the harassment. She also claimed lost wages, and money for use of the company car which she claimed formed part of her remuneration package.

Having weighed up the evidence, the Tribunal ultimately held that the complainant had not been sexually harassed by any of the respondents, and dismissed that aspect of the complaint. Further, all of the complainant's allegations of victimisation, other than for the termination of her employment for bringing the sexual harassment claim, were dismissed.

However, the Tribunal found that the victimisation charge was made out against the male director, who was found to have terminated the complainant's employment because she had made allegations of sexual harassment against him.

In relation to victimisation, the Tribunal stated:

"it is not necessary for the complainant to establish that the matter was the sole reason for the detrimental conduct, rather, the complainant must establish that the matters were a substantial reason for the detrimental conduct".

In this case, although the Tribunal acknowledged that there had previously been warnings given to the complainant regarding her dress, excessive use of work telephone, inappropriate language and divulging confidential information, the primary reason for the termination of the complainant's employment was her allegation of sexual harassment. Termination of employment under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act clearly satisfied the "detriment" requirement of the legislation, as the complainant suffered loss as a result of the loss of her job.

The company (found to be vicariously liable) and the male director were ordered to pay the complainant a total of $200 in damages for victimisation, while both parties were ordered to pay $1,040.00 in lost wages.

The alternative claim

If the facts of this case were to be presented under the auspices of the Act, notwithstanding the fact that the allegations of sexual harassment may have ultimately be found to have been erroneous, it is conceivable that the complainant would have grounds to commence an adverse action claim under the Act for the detriment she suffered by making the sexual harassment complaint.

The circumstances of the case give rise to a relevant "workplace right" (by reference to the an entitlement or obligation under anti-discrimination law) and a detriment has taken place (that is, termination of the employment).

Accepting an alternative claim available, such a complainant would have access to remedies that are broader in scope than that traditionally available under anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new laws, where an adverse action claim is made, it will be generally be dealt with at first instance by a Fair Work conference. If the conference does not resolve the dispute then the employee may proceed to run a case either in the Federal Magistrates Court or Federal Court. It is important to note that an application must be made within 60 days of the dismissal, although FWA will have discretion to accept an application lodged out of time.

Yet, it is not only in instances of termination of employment that an adverse action can be made. An employee can also seek an interim injunction from the court to restrain an employer from dismissing the employee, either where a threat is made, or it appears likely that termination of employment is imminent.

Where termination of employment has resulted, the court may make any orders it considers appropriate to remedy the situation. This means, that in addition to orders for compensation (the traditional remedy for anti-discrimination tribunals), a court may order injunctions and reinstatement orders.


It is important that employers familiarise themselves with these new adverse action provisions and the potential for alternative claims beyond those traditionally found under the anti-discrimination jurisdiction. Organisations should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they can adequately identify issues giving rise to adverse action. In the case of those with responsibilities for grievance handling (such as human resources and contact officers) retraining may need to occur so that areas of risk can be identified and appropriately managed.


05 August 2009

Backlash: Women Bullies in the Workplace

YELLING, scheming and sabotaging: all are tell-tale signs that a bully is at work, laying traps for employees at every pass.

During this downturn, as stress levels rise, workplace researchers say, bullies are likely to sharpen their elbows and ratchet up their attacks.

It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.

Kent Kaufman and Laura Stek, right, of the Growth and Leadership Center, coach Cleo Lepori-Costello, left, a vice president at a Silicon Valley software company, on communication skills.

In the name of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, what is going on here?

Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called “the pink elephant” in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?

Women don’t like to talk about it because it is “so antithetical to the way that we are supposed to behave to other women,” Ms. Klaus said. “We are supposed to be the nurturers and the supporters.”

Ask women about run-ins with other women at work and some will point out that people of both sexes can misbehave. Others will nod in instant recognition and recount examples of how women — more so than men — have mistreated them.

“I’ve been sabotaged so many times in the workplace by other women, I finally left the corporate world and started my own business,” said Roxy Westphal, who runs the promotional products company Roxy Ventures Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz. She still recalls the sting of an interview she had with a woman 30 years ago that “turned into a one-person firing squad” and led her to leave the building in tears.

Jean Kondek, who recently retired after a 30-year career in advertising, recalled her anger when an administrator in a small agency called a meeting to dress her down in front of co-workers for not following agency procedure in a client emergency.

But Ms. Kondek said she had the last word. “I said, ‘Would everyone please leave?’ ” She added, “and then I told her, ‘This is not how you handle that.’ ”

Many women who are still in the work force were hesitant to speak out publicly for fear of making matters worse or of jeopardizing their careers. A private accountant in California said she recently joined a company and was immediately frozen out by two women working there. One even pushed her in the cafeteria during an argument, the accountant said. “It’s as if we’re back in high school,” she said.

A senior executive said she had “finally broken the glass ceiling” only to have another woman gun for her job by telling management, “I can’t work for her, she’s passive-aggressive.”

The strategy worked: The executive said she soon lost the job to her accuser.

ONE reason women choose other women as targets “is probably some idea that they can find a less confrontative person or someone less likely to respond to aggression with aggression,” said Gary Namie, research director for the Workplace Bullying Institute, which ordered the study in 2007.

But another dynamic may be at work. After five decades of striving for equality, women make up more than 50 percent of management, professional and related occupations, says Catalyst, the nonprofit research group. And yet, its 2008 census found, only 15.7 percent of Fortune 500 officers and 15.2 percent of directors were women.

Leadership specialists wonder, are women being “overly aggressive” because there are too few opportunities for advancement? Or is it stereotyping and women are only perceived as being overly aggressive? Is there a double standard at work?

Michelle Cirocco, left, and Donna Kent of Televerde, a company in Phoenix that set up call centers at a state prison

Research on gender stereotyping from Catalyst suggests that no matter how women choose to lead, they are perceived as “never just right.” What’s more, the group found, women must work twice as hard as men to achieve the same level of recognition and prove they can lead.

“If women business leaders act consistent with gender stereotypes, they are considered too soft,” the group found in a 2007 study. “If they go against gender stereotypes, they are considered too tough.”

“Women are trying to figure out the magical keys to the kingdom,” said Laura Steck, president of the Growth and Leadership Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., and an executive leadership coach.

Women feel they have to be aggressive to be promoted, she said, and then they keep it up. Then, suddenly, they see the need to be collegial and collaborative instead of competitive.

Cleo Lepori-Costello, a vice president at a Silicon Valley software company, came to the center for training. She got off to a bumpy start when she stormed into her new role “like a bull in a china shop,” Ms. Steck said.

In gathering feedback about Ms. Lepori-Costello, Ms. Steck heard comments like: “Cleo is good at getting things done but may have come on too strong in the beginning. She didn’t read the different cultural unspoken rules like she could have.”

So Ms. Steck and Kent Kaufman, another coach at the center, began a one-year, once-a-week individual coaching program. It included role-playing and monthly group discussions with other female executives who acknowledged that they also had major blind spots about being politic at work. (The group was once nicknamed the Bully Broads.)

When she came to the center, Ms. Lepori-Costello said, she thought her colleagues were not initially open to her ideas. Through coaching and conflict role-playing, she came to realize that her behavior was perhaps “too much overkill” and that she was not always attending to all the people around her.

Joel H. Neuman, a researcher at the State University of New York at New Paltz, says most aggressive behavior at work is influenced by a number of factors associated with the bullies, victims and the situations in which they work. “This would include issues related to frustration, personality traits, perceptions of unfair treatment, and an assortment of stresses and strains associated with today’s leaner and ‘meaner’ work settings,” he said.

Mr. Neuman and his colleague Loraleigh Keashly of Wayne State University have developed a questionnaire to identify the full range of behaviors that can constitute bullying, which could help companies uncover problems that largely go unreported.

Bullying involves verbal or psychological forms of aggressive (hostile) behavior that persists for six months or longer. Their 29 questions include: Over the last 12 months, have you regularly: been glared at in a hostile manner, been given the silent treatment, been treated in a rude or disrespectful manner, or had others fail to deny false rumors about you?

The Workplace Bullying Institute says that 37 percent of workers have been bullied. Yet many employers ignore the problem, which hits the bottom line in turnover, health care and productivity costs, the institute says. Litigation is rare, the institute says, because there is no directly applicable law to cite and the costs are high.

Two Canadian researchers recently set out to examine the bullying that pits women against women. They found that some women may sabotage one another because they feel that helping their female co-workers could jeopardize their own careers.

One of the researchers, Grace Lau, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo, said the goal was to encourage women to help one another. She said: “How? One way we predicted would be to remind women that they are members of the same group.”

“We believe that a sense of pride in women’s accomplishments is important in getting women to help one another,” Ms. Lau said. “To have this sense of pride, women need to be aware of their shared identity as women.”

In the workplace, however, it is unlikely that women will constantly think of themselves as members of one group, she said. They will more likely see themselves as individuals, as they are judged by their performance.

“As a result, women may not feel a need to help one another,” she said. “They may even feel that in order to get ahead, they need to bully their co-workers by withholding information like promotion opportunities, and that women are easier to bully than men because women are supposedly less tough than men.”

WHAT better place to be a bully than in a prison?

Even so, that is exactly where Televerde, a company in Phoenix that specializes in generating sales leads and market insight for high-tech companies, set up shop. About 13 years ago, the company created four call centers in the Arizona state prison in Perryville, employing 250 inmates (out of 3,000).

Through immersion training, mentoring and working with real-world clients, these women can overcome their difficult circumstances, said Donna Kent, senior vice president at Televerde. “Often, they will win over bullies and we see the whole thing transform. That’s what gives us inspiration and our clients inspiration.”

TODAY, about half of Televerde’s corporate office is made up of “graduates” from Perryville, including Michelle Cirocco, the director of sales operations. She has seen how women treat one another in other settings and she thinks the root cause is that women are taught to fight with one another for attention at an early age.

“We’re competing with our sisters for dad’s attention, or for our brother’s attention,” Ms. Cirocco said. “And then we go on in school and we’re competing for our teachers’ attention. We’re competing to be on the sports team or the cheer squad.”

To be sure, the Televerde experience is not for every inmate, and those who are in it still must work hard to maintain a highly competitive position.

“As we get into the corporate world,” Ms. Cirocco added, “we’re taught or we’re led to believe that we don’t get ahead because of men. But, we really don’t get ahead because of ourselves. Instead of building each other up and showcasing each other, we’re constantly tearing each other down.”

Televerde reversed that attitude in Perryville, Ms. Cirocco said, by encouraging women to work for a common cause, much like the environment envisioned by the Canadian researchers.

“It becomes a very nurturing environment,” Ms. Cirocco said. “You have all these women who become your friends, and you are personally invested in their success. Everyone wants everyone to get out, to go on to have a good healthy life.”

If the level of support found at Televerde were found elsewhere, Ms. Klaus said, it would solve a lot of problems.

“The time has come,” she said, “for us to really deal with this relationship that women have to women, because it truly is preventing us from being as successful in the workplace as we want to be and should be.''

“We’ve got enough obstacles; we don’t need to pile on any more.”

02 August 2009

Documentary - Psychopaths In the Workplace; Australian Workplace Bullies and Corporate Psychopaths

REPOSTED - Corporate Psychopaths

12:56 mins - Windows media - Real Player

Is your boss manipulative? Intimidating? Totally lacking in remorse? Yet superficially charming?

Then you could be working with a workplace psychopath. The latest figures suggest one in ten managers are psychopaths, and this week Catalyst goes deep inside their minds - what makes them tick, how do you spot them; and how do you avoid being crushed by them. We’ll also run a handy test – tune in to find out if your boss is an office psychopath.

Narration: It begins as a phone call - and then a meeting - usually late at night.

A corporation has a problem and they need Dr John Clarke's help. They need a psychopath- buster.

Dr John Clarke: The common misconception with psychopaths is that they're all violent extreme kind of criminals. The majority of them are living and working around us in jobs psychologically destroying the people that they work with.

Narration: There's a growing realisation psychopaths are thriving in today's workplace. According to the textbooks, every large company has them.

Jonica Newby, reporter: This is where I work. It's the ABC building in Sydney. Now the figures are that 0.5% of women are psychopaths, and 2% are men. So that means there are up to 25 corporate psychopaths somewhere up there.

Narration: But who are they? What makes them tick? And how do you avoid being the next victim of the workplace psychopath.

Psychologist John Clarke started out profiling criminal psychopaths, but four years ago, he began to realise there was a much bigger problem.

Dr John Clarke: I was giving a lecture on criminal psychopaths and someone came down after that lecture and said that their boss had the same characteristics as what I'd just described for a criminal one.

Narration: "Annette" knows just what he's talking about. Like most victims we contacted, she would only tell her story anonymously.

She was a confident, career minded public servant when she first met her new boss.

Annette: I got a shock when he took me into his office and shut the door - he just exploded. It was sort of like well what do we want you for.
And then when he let me out again it was all smiles.

Dr John Clarke: There are 20 characteristics to define a psychopath. Really the fundamental factor is an absolute lack of remorse or guilt for their behaviour, pathological lying, manipulative, callous, egotistical, very kind of self centred individual, glib and superficial charm

Narration: The workplace psychopath's textbook strategies feature in a new David Williamson play, Operator.

Psychopath: Francine. They tell me that you're the person who really runs things here, so I thought I'd better say hello as quickly as possible.

Francine: Now you're just trying to flatter me.

Psychopath: Not at all. Three different people have told me that with your capabilities you could step straight out of a support role into top management.

David Williamson: They are so devious. They're so good at saying things you want to hear to your face at the same time they're knifing you in the back.

Psychopath: Could you do me a big favour?

Francine: What?

Psychopath: Write me an email that sort of recounts what happened here today.

Francine: I don't like putting things in writing.

Psychopath: I won't ever show it to anyone without getting your permission first.

I know I shouldn't be showing it to you ...

Dr John Clarke: They steal other people's work. They spread rumours about people, character assassination. A range of different strategies they will use to move up through the company.

David Williamson: They are worrying. I mean, if you strike one you may not realise it for quite a while until they do some devious act that stabs you in the back and can quite psychologically crush you.

Narration: Annette's boss was typical - charming his superiors and acolytes, while isolating and undermining his victims.

Annette: I wasn't allowed to have a phone when I was working, you know, my phone calls were monitored just this constant wearing down and harassment and you know, it was just awful.

Narration: By the time she complained, she'd been so discredited behind her back, no one would support her.

Annette: They didn't believe me. They're going, "He's such a funny guy, he's so nice"

In the end I had to go in and, and see him. And I was just crying my eyes out and I was just tears running down my face. And he walked me out through the chairs, through the desks, out through the long way through the office in case anyone had missed the spectacle of me just breaking down. I was devastated. I was just broken.

Narration: But how can someone act in such a seemingly inhuman way?

The truth is, psychopaths are fundamentally different to the rest of us.

Research is showing they're deficient in a crucial skill that evolved to ensure we don't abandon our friends and family - empathy.

Dr John Clarke: Empathy really is the ability to feel what another person is feeling. It's very very important in terms of survival of the human species because if nobody really cared or understood what other people were feeling it would just cause breakdown of society.

Narration: Empathy is not just an abstract idea ...

... it's something you can measure physiologically.

Jonica Newby, reporter: Well, I'm about to be tested for one of the key characteristics of a psychopath.

Dr John Clarke: Now I'm just going to show you some pictures. Sit back, relax, and we'll see what happens.

Narration: As I watch the pictures, probes are detecting whether I release minute traces of sweat - whether I have an emotional response - empathy.

Psychopaths generally don't react.

Jonica Newby, reporter: So how'd I go?

Dr John Clarke: Very well. What we can see as we scroll through is for the non-emotional pictures there is no response. And when we get to here with the pictures of people crying you can see an involuntary physical emotional response.

Jonica Newby, reporter: So I'm not a psychopath.

Dr John Clarke: Definitely not.

Narration: Psychopaths generally don't react.

This lack of emotional response extends deep into the brain.

When most of us see another persons distress, our emotional centre, the limbic system, is aroused. We feel a little of what others are feeling.

But a 2001 US study revealed the psychopath has very little limbic system response to emotional information.

John Clarke: And that's what allows them to manipulate and control other people because they're able to do that on a very rational logical level but at the same time they don't feel the emotion or empathy for the other person.

Narration: No one knows how much of this deficit is genetic, and how much shaped by childhood.

But by the time they are adults, psychopaths aren't simply uncaring. They are physically incapable of feeling other people's pain.

Annette: My hair was falling out, you know, and I uh.. you know, I had diarrhoea, I couldn't sleep, my life got that awful and black it seemed a better option to just be dead and stop it.

Man: Someone I like and respect a lot almost died last night.

Psychopath: Let's get real here. Melissa was reckless, incompetent and stuffed up in a big way. And when you stuff up big time you get depressed.

Man: She nearly died.

Psychopath: She's a loser. Who f...... cares?

Narration: But without a brain scan, how do we spot a psychopath before its too late? One answer seems to be; look up.

John Clarke suspects corporations today aren't just failing to screen for psychopaths, they're unwittingly selecting them.

Dr John Clarke: You see this advertisement here. "An ability to do whatever it takes to meet a deadline". So that would appeal to a psychopath because they are prepared to do whatever it takes whatever the cost. If we look at this one - "The opportunities are endless you just need to know how to win it" - well they know how to win everything pretty much.

David Williamson: They present very confidently. They are full of self-esteem. They have no doubts; no hesitations and so interviewing panels often find them very attractive.

That's what many corporations see as being a good executive.

Narration: But some corporations are now realising they have a problem. That's why they call secretly on criminal profiler, John Clarke.

Dr John Clarke: The companies don't like to admit they have a psychopath and so the first meeting, it's often on a Friday night or late at night after the employees have gone home.

Narration: Issues range from fraud, to broken promises, to losing staff.

Executive: I just can't seem to keep staff and it's all coming from his section.

Dr John Clarke: Which is costing you money.

Executive: Exactly.

Dr John Clarke: The first thing I do is really get an assessment from the people working below, at the same level and above the individual. And so if there are huge discrepancies in opinion that's reason to start delving deeper.

Narration: Dr Clarke then administers a standard psychopath assessment. Remember those questions you answered earlier? They're a modified, cut down version.

Here are the final two:

Is your boss opportunistic, ruthless, hating to lose and playing to win?

Does your boss consider people they've outsmarted as dumb or stupid?

If your boss scored 5 out of 6 or more, you could be working with a workplace psychopath.

Now for the bad news.

Dr John Clarke: It's almost impossible to rehabilitate the psychopath. In fact, there are studies in the United States, which suggest that rehabilitation in fact makes them worse because it teaches them new social skills they can use to manipulate the people around them more effectively.

Narration: Once identified, there are strategies to manage the psychopath or move them on.

But what if you're the victim, and the corporation backs your boss?

Stay too long, and you risk a severe psychological breakdown. That's what happened to Annette.

Annette: I loved my job but in the end I, I fell apart. I was just so, so broken and you know, I just walked out and there was no coming back.

I'm unemployable now, you know. I just, I can't take another knock like that,

Dr John Clarke: When I tell them that one of the options is to leave the company there's shock, and then they go on to how unfair it is but then there's devastation when they do realise that that might be the most appropriate option to take because the situation is not going to change.

Narration: Far from getting their comeuppance, in these days of short term goals and high staff turnover, psychopaths often rise to the top.

In making this story, we spoke to many victims, none who could be identified for fear of defamation or worse - all devastated - all with a similar message.

Annette: I think you should run, you should run. There are some bosses out there that are deadly.

Dr John Clarke: I want people to be aware that they're not going crazy. It's the workplace psychopath that's the problem, not them.

David Williamson: That's not to say that every manager is like that. But it's that one out of ten that has the potential to really wreck a company, wreck the coherence of a company and wreck lives.




>> Add a Comment
MR S - 29 Jun 2009 9:22:02pm

I have been dealing with a psychopath at work now for a month. It's a new job for me, and he obviously sees me as a threat. He's systematically undermined me, turned people against me and done a whole host of underhanded things. I'm actually lucky in that, I'm not the only person he's done it to. So now, there's a little clique of victims that can compare experiences and build alliances against him. He's actually leaving for a management role in a bank and has claimed "I'm going to make the people I manage lifes' hell", which I can believe!!! These people aren't human, there is no boundaries to which they adhere and no lines in which they wont cross to defeat their 'enemy' or percieved threat. The thing I've found is, you can't give them an inch, or anything inwhich they can use against you; as inevitably, they will. Death to psychopaths! <<>> Reply

raider - 25 May 2009 10:08:57am

Thank You DR. Clarke. These subhumans are toxic.
>> Reply

left the company - 23 May 2009 10:09:19am

Yeah, they're handicapped. And what Bernie said.

>> Reply

Foot soldier - 22 May 2009 1:22:46am

Well done Aunty. Typical of your informative/educative and socially responsible programing.

Agree with Dave (31st December), a follow-up is needed with more detailed facts about these psychopathic people and information about what is being done to 'deal' with these people and support good employees of these typically large corporate organisations. Interesting to note that most of the perpetrators mentioned below in other comments are female! Interesting given academic studies show that 0.5 of corporate psychopaths are female and 2% are men. The other interesting theme noted from the comments is most people who wrote comments experienced the corporate psychopath in an office environment. I am a nurse, and experienced the corporate psychopath both within health and in the university environment. I survived the battle to fight the war. I lost at first, but eventually won the bigger fight. The perpetrator was the same person in both cases. That person was eventually 'outed', and followed a gruelling process for that person who lost much credibility, income and employment position. Psychologically I was a wreck, and after 4 years, I am making MY WAY as a contract nurse, ensuring I do not belong to any one organisation or work for any one employer. Its an isolating experience but safer this way! I am regaining my confidence slowly and beginning to once again believe in myself - I have to for my children's sake. I look forward to the day when I can trust again, and move to work with others in a permanent position for an organisation. To those seeking help while currently going through it - YOU are the most important person here. YOUR sanity is at stake and subsequently your income, etc. I urge you, move on before you are so badly damaged you are paralysed. There is life outside your curent employment, and many lovely people. There is another way. You have skills, knowledge and experience - think laterally - use them in other ways - and move on. You have the strength.
>> Reply

one of the victims - 21 May 2009 8:18:42pm

I am aghast, didn't know there was a psychological term for this until someone mentioned it to me the other day and i 'googled' it. This is my boss to a tee. I knew in some part of me that i couldn't suddenly go from brilliant to pathetic in my job overnight as i have never had so many complaints about the level of my work, but as we naturally do i found myself in a lot of doubt and devastation. What is more concerning is that there seems not much way out for the 'victims' unless they leave their employment and loose their job security, so a balance of the lesser of the two evils in this current time. And as is so often the case, the bosses of these people never know and don't believe it, so one has no where to turn. I pray God's justice be done to these people - karma has a way of working itself out.
>> Reply

Jean - 10 May 2009 2:05:40pm

I have a new supervisor psychopath in my section of my workplace a Indian women. I'm just a temp Mon-Friday and know anytime that I can be asked your contract is over, though I've been with this organisation for 2 years.
My personal superviosr psychopath has many complaints about her and many people do not like her attitude and talk about it behind her back.
My Supervisor Psychopath exaggerates situation and makes it bigger than what it really is, is pushy, has unrealistic goals for each of us that is ridicules, lectures, tells lies, is very stressed and unable to relax. told me she doesn't have time for anything let alone dream, when our section had a good giggle at my nightmare which was I was sacked because I couldn't type fast enougth, which I giggle at too! My staff used sacasm directed at her and embrasses her for example saying "we have matching pimples", and when she got busy one day someone asked her "did you have your "Wit Bix this morning" and other staff member offered her a Vallum! From this she giggled herself and run off and I did not see her again all day. However I have noticed 1 change she has stopped yelling at her staff for some strange reason. I wander if she got told of by the co-ordinator or manager about her behaviour.
>> Reply

The Stoat - 05 May 2009 12:39:51pm

I have recently experienced working with a psychopath in the workplace and been, yet another, victim of her behaviour.
I came to the position with 20 years of experience in my job and therefore, felt confident that I could successfully meet the challenge of a new work environment. Despite an extremely heavy workload in the first 1/2 year in the job because of a review of the workplace, I felt that I was meeting my obligations with aplomb.
It was not until the second 1/2 of the year that I realised that I had been targeted by my immediate boss. It came to light that I had been successfully undermined for some time when I was called into the HR sector of the workplace and accused of incompetence in all spheres. I was, of course, devastated and broke down in tears.
When I had resumed some semblance of calm, I sought to address these accusations in a letter and at a meeting of all relevant management. I 'won' this battle but should have known that it would not end there...
My boss now saw this as a war, which she must win at all (any) cost. She easily fits the profile of a pyschopath, being willing to compromise all standards in a bid to 'win'. I think what really hurt me the most was her undermining of me with both peers and clients. Unfortunately, by the time I realised that my character had been assassinated I was - at best - an object of pity in the workplace: I was humiliated.
I felt powerless and began to suffer sleeplessness and, when asleep, subject to nightmares. I knew that I was spiralling into depression. Fortunately for me, my husband eventually understood my predicament (it's hard to explain as it all seems so paranoid to others)and, being financially stable, agreed that I should resign and take 'time out' to recover.
I, like many others previously recorded, would recommend you do the same if you are in this predicament. What is worse: being temporarily unemployed or permanently unemployable? I have been unemployed for just over a week now (after holidays) and, although I have my moments, the nightmares are easing and I am beginning to feel more like my old self.
This experience has been sobering to say the least and I will always be more guarded in future, but I am hopeful.
Thank you for allowing me to have my say and providing me with invaluable information that made me see that I am not 'losing it' and to the person who put me onto this site.
>> Reply

morrie - 05 May 2009 12:03:10pm

I have recently experienced working with a pychopath who was my immediate boss. She quite easily fits the profile - willing to do anything to 'win'. Despite others knowing of this, her behaviour is so insidious that she (up until the present) always prevails. Unfortunately, by the time I was aware of her activities, I was so undermined and my character so assassinated that I became - at best - an object of pity. I chose to resign from this position - for I would rather be unemployed in the short term than be unemployable in the long term. I am now getting to sleep at night and the nightmares are abating, the spiral into depression having been stalled. However, this has been a sobering experience and I will always be more guarded in future. I hope that once too many people have resigned from working under this person that the alarm bells will begin to ring for administration, but I'm not holding my breath. I tried to put forward my case but the damage had already been done and hence, my word was discredited before I even opened my mouth. If you have been in this situation I also recommend that you RUN! Thank you to the person who pointed me in the direction of this website.
>> Reply

Moving on - 30 Apr 2009 11:53:33am

It is scary that this interview was conducted in 2005, yet there are so many recent posts. It just shows how real the issue is.

I can relate to so many of your posts… the manipulation & the deceit. Like many of you, my Manager is very charming & has the CEO & other staff buttered up, resulting in my complaints largely falling on deaf ears. I am treated like a nuisance, a disgruntled employee who has had a mere personality clash with their Manager. I sought help from a psychologist & they have helped me see that the problems are not mine. The 2 best bits of advice that I have been given which I want to share with you all are:

1) Remember the person you were before you met the 'psychopath' and base your confidence and self belief on that.
2) Empower yourself by creating choices.(eg. get skilled in another area and open up your job choices)

I was really struggling, and the best thing I did for myself was to seek help from a psychologist & take the pressure off myself to stay and fight. I am now planning an overseas trip & looking at further study and work options so that I can leave my current workplace. I am trying my very best to take a positive out of a negative. It is hard, I still have my moments, but I have belief in myself that I can do it.

I wish you all the best. Believe in yourselves, we will find light at the end of the tunnel.

>> Reply

Jane - 16 Apr 2009 1:10:57pm

This is an excellent discussion. Twice in my career, I've worked with bosses who are psychopaths. The first time, I reported the abusive behavior to HR and, while that eventually led to the boss's leaving months later, he retaliated in the short term and made me so miserable that I left. Never again would I report someone. I'd just get out fast. The second time, I and several others were targeted and laid off as part of a restructuring. That's OK with me; I'm out of there. I loved the job and the colleagues but not the new boss, who's trying to make herself look good. I have since heard from other colleagues who are really suffering as they're now targets of this individual. It's sad.
>> Reply

Graeham Yass - 03 Apr 2009 3:25:09pm

The transcript of this interview has been invaluable for me. I am sure I am working for a psychopath; exhibited by constant lying and stealing ideas to present to the board as his own whilst at the same time berating be in emails that are "blind copied" to the world. when talking to me in public or with customers/suppliers he is charming and eloquent but privatly just tells me to "f....k off" at every opportunity. The business he has run has collapsed and my division is up 300% over two years but I could not believe it when took credit for my work, berated me to the board and colleagues and has explained away his failures. it is so frustrating it has made me ill; I feel powerless. I only have work email and he reads all my correspondence so will post again when I obtain one. Does anyone have any suggestions??
>> Reply

Anna Cotinaut - 03 Apr 2009 12:54:34pm

I lived with a psychopath who delighted intelling me of how he demolished poeple ate work to take over their positions. he became angry when his deciet and maipulation ahd no effect.This was a great eye opener
>> Reply

Anna Cotinaut - 03 Apr 2009 12:52:53pm

I used to live with a psychopath , he delighted in telling me the stories of his demise of colleagues so as to take over their positions and secure his own. He was angry and abusive when his manipulation and deciet had no effect. His mother is dying of cancer in another country and he has no feelings to see her before her death. He lived off me financially . thank goodness for this documentary it is an eye opener.
>> Reply

Anna Cotinaut - 03 Apr 2009 12:49:22pm

It would be great to also run the psychopath that people live with. Since these people exist in the corporation it is likey they also live with people god forbid.
I have been in a relationship with one such person he was my second marraige and lived off me financially. He was abusive to me and the children he ran hot and cold and we had to walk around on eggshells, the arguments and chaos was certainly a feature. A compulsive liar. He prided himself on removing the property staff from a major institution and he is now the property manager in place. Before he left he informed me he was commencing the demise of a colleague he felt was a threat to him. He had no remorse his mother who is currently dying of cancer and he has no feelings to take time off to be with her. He abondoned his 6 year old child to live and work in another country and for a long time treated her with creulty until she grew up and he was left with a choice of being decent or not seeing her at all.
Emotionally i have been destroyed I have lost my confidence and jobs continually not understanding why i was in a heightened state of anxiety and fear. Thanks to this dooumentary I can start to rebuild myself up to today I felt all the chaos was my responsibility I see now that my responsibility was not doing something sooner.
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victim - 03 Apr 2009 11:15:19am

Being a victim of abuse by my team laeder and now manager for ten years I thought I was alone. I went to her boss and then to HR to find that she had already waeved her web. As a result no job opportunies came my way and even when I applied I was 'unsuccessful'. Bad reviews, being told that I was disliked by all of my peers and fellow employees I did not crack. Instead one day she slipped and someone saw her, I was saved mentally just knowing that someone knew it was true.
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Victim - 29 Mar 2009 11:20:41am

I am being sued by a psychopath because I complained about him to his employer. He alleges my complaint affected his career (which it didn't)and hurt his feelings. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants. As well as the mental anguish, I could lose my entire life savings. The law does not allow me to use his mental disorder in the defence of a defamation suit, even though his personel file shows a track record of psychopathic behaviour for the last 6 years. If anyone has any advice I would be happy to hear it.
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Rosie - 24 Mar 2009 2:01:51am

What an education and for such an important topic the ABC should keep on top of this. Whilst I have never known one in my 35 yrs of corporate experiences in UK and WA I do feel that my husband worked under a number of them in WA over 20 yrs at the same national corporation. A professional with international experience his work could not be faulted so they targetted and harassed him on little things. He had support from colleagues so was lucky. Despite many reports to Worksafe for Bullying in the Workplace (he was OH&S rep)they did nothing as they wouldn't take on a big corporation. He has now retired from there and has a dream job. He was lucky as he didn't succumb to depression etc.
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Davis - 23 Mar 2009 12:52:46pm

It's so wonderful to see 'Jerks at Werx' being seen for what they are, but help for victims is hard to come by. The best advice I have seen is that the smart people leave - not always seen as economically viable nor the best way to deal with ratbags because 'I haven't done anything wrong, I'm a hard worker and I'm fully qualified and capable in the role I am in' tends to guide many vistims because surely the good people around me can see the truth of the matter and right will out'. Right will probably not surface in time to save many victims who are left unable to function anywhere, any more.
The potential, both personal and commercial that is stunted by Psychopatths is immense. Obviously better KPI's are needed to weed them out of work.

Many bullies have similar traits, especially the upwardly mobile bully who targets a superior. It seems incredible, but it happens.

The other incredible phenomenon is the pack of psychopaths that can inhabit workplaces. They can be either mangers or workers. They have cliques that work to control and intimidate en masse. More should be done to research the cultures that allow these cliques to survive and flourish at work.

Peace on Earth to all readers.
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Pete - 23 Mar 2009 2:44:37am

After just watching a rerun of this show i am positive my ex-wife is a psychopath. I left her because of all those reasons that psychopath is a psychopath . Loveless and selfcentred just to name a few . The problem is that she still uses and emotionaly abuses the children . Is there anybody that could offer any sort of advice .Pete
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Another victim - 17 Mar 2009 1:13:53pm

An ex-colleague of mine forwarded the link of this article to me - this person knew the hell I had gone through under my "Corporate Psychopath" and after reading this article, it is such a relief that my suspicious now have a foundation! It's not me or the 4 other people before who left this role. It's the fact that there is a corporate murderer at the top killing off her staff members...emotionally and mentally. It is just sad that a number of high performing organisations seem to thrive with such "leaders" and the attitude is, if you can't take it, then leave it. Perhaps it's time to shake it up a little more and find a nice little island to ship these psychos off to! After all, we are not fans of letting repeat offenders off likely in this country, perhaps we can apply the same rules here.

And for those who have come out of this awful experience alive, I take my hat off to you.
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a survivor - 25 Jun 2009 2:29:27pm

My experience took place in a remote area, and unfortunately we were sent 2 psychopaths who relished each other's support, and went to work on the only female in the workplace.
I was totally mystified by their behaviour and most of all had no idea of the backstabbing that was going on that lost me the support of colleagues and management in a place where I had spent a wonderful, positive 20 years. I still don't know what they said but the attitude of the 'firm' towards me was evidence enough.

Being abandoned (on the word of these outsiders) by those who had previously respected and valued my contribution to the team was a shock, however the unfairness of having little option other than to leave when you have been the victim, is the worst, as it takes away your security and could ruin lives.

Personally my life outside the organisation has been wonderful, and opened up many opportunities that have proven to be life altering. I try to be sympathetic to those psychopaths who live in such a negative world, disliked by all they have failed to charm. In a small community it's not easy to maintain this behaviour without people realising what you are like after a while. As long as I harbour resentment, they are still controlling me, and that isn't going to happen.
Your suggestion of sending them to an island is not original. Whoever thought of it before sent them to my island!
No more please!
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cindy - 12 Mar 2009 2:09:17pm

This so typify's my office. our supervisor seems all nice to your face and will then persist to go into the back room with 'her crew' (the followers) to have hour long talking sessins about you. Three members of staff have now complained to the manager but he wont do anything about it as he needs her to run the office (she has him rapped around his finger) , and when ever we do complain our manager just turns around and puts it back on us, as if its somethign we have done wrong, suggesting we take her out for tea and get over it. Theres got to be some entity we can report this to? Im not sure if she is just feeling threatened as the main people in the office she singles out are people with a higher education qualification, and all her followers dont, so maybe insecurity? I just remind myself that i am the righteous one and karma will come around to her one day.
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victim - 03 Apr 2009 11:17:37am

I do believe that we work in the same place.I hope there is Karma and it happens soon.
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Bernie (not my real name) - 24 Feb 2009 11:37:31am

Yep me too, my boss is a classic. Given psychopathic characteristics and the requirements of organisations, they are a perfect fit. Even if everyone who can do anything about them knows, they are so valuable as predators, eliminators of human problems and super active achievers that they provide a valued service in organisational life. They are a price organisations are willing to pay.

Play the game to win. Why, because it can be fun.

Slow it all down, be polite and supportive, formal and legal, get really into the detail and complexit. They have no idea what you will do next, don't let them know your plans, change your plan without notice, don't settle, ask to think and consult, be committed to the best outcome for all. Just hit the ball back gently over the net, postpone/decrease stimuli wherever possible, reduce face to face dealings, deal through others.

With no instant gratification they will give up and go away.

Now provide them a face saving out and you win.

Work long term and they have no defence.

Keep records, wait, wait, wait and then.... I'll let you know what's next ...
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Marg - 27 May 2009 1:48:36pm

Bernie, I tried all of this as I desperately needed to keep my job.

They don't give up and go away....they just make it worse. After almost suffering a nervous breakdown, and conytinued thoughts of taking my life....I left.

Although the nightmares still continue to haunt me after 4 years, it was the best thing I ever did to just up and leave.
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Geoff - 16 Feb 2009 8:27:43pm

Most interesting story.. Iam the victium of a corporate Psychopath. I found he confided in me in private and then denied it later on...he gave me such a hard time that when my time ended no one in the section would support me.. they considerd his versions of various accussions were correct.
They thought he was a fun guy he convinced his management that he was right. when backed into a corner he was abusive and angry.. he made sure that all staff heard his outburst and moved the situation that I was in the wrong. In private meetings he put down other members of staff.. he would made unconfortable and inappropiate gay comments to me... in the end I was terminated from my employment.. I am now suffering severe depression and am finding it difficult to move on a get a job... I would like to take legal action but the money is a problem
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trish - 15 Feb 2009 10:30:22am

Very interesting reading this article and discussions. I work with one at the moment, thankfully this person is not my boss so they have had limited succes in effecting me. However I see fairly regularly the impact on their immediate staff and it is very frustrating, we work in a small office and it is not easy to address the issues.

This person's narcissism is so bad they they believe they are superior to the CEO although is charming to his face. How common is this and the fraudulent behaviour?

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Australia Bully Manager - 11 Feb 2009 1:55:48am

Great article- thank you!
I have been the focus of a jealous, intimidating, undermining & incompetent workplace manager for over a year. It has since come to light that this woman has seen over 8 staff leave due to her psychopathic impact.
I am desperately trying to find a new job. I am also trying to lend a ear to 2 other staff members who have issues in the workplace. The CEO, HR & other all back each other & ignore complaints & OH&S issues. Yes- It is Toxic. I have taken a lot of leave, yet no one even is questioning what is going on with all the staff.
To anyone else in this position- I feel or you... but get out quickly- i regret waiting so long (& thus into a recession job market)due to thinking I was the one going mad!
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Andrew - 23 Jan 2009 7:26:00pm

I have a workplace psychopath at the engineering company where i work.

She decided that i would be her victim on day one and constantly harasses me. She also makes complaints against me to the boss. The key problem is that he takes her word as gospel.

She tried to get me sacked after 3 months, however i survived after proving myself. This has only intensified her determination. She made a complaint against me again today. we had an argument and after she won it, she then decided to get revenge on me (who takes revenge for winning an argument???) by complaining about me on an unrelated matter.

Luckily my immediate supervisor, as well as the other job team leaders in the business back me and share my concern about this individual.

But i don't know how long i can stand up to this bullying.
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Lisa - 14 Mar 2009 5:15:03pm

I am working with one currently. She is constantly harases me and others. She is lying all the time. She is inconpetent with her work but she always tells her superiors that her mistakes made by me. I have worked so hard because she always gives me incorrect information or wrong information which has increaed my work load. Although someone can back me up as they have experienced same thing as I have been constantly experienced on a daily basis, I don't know how long it can last.
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Dude - 09 Jan 2009 10:57:17pm

I had never experienced a "workplace psychopath" until 3 years ago. After researching the internet to obtain some understanding of these people I became amazed that so many of these low life mongrels exist. I am a long serving Police Officer who works in a small "specialist" area. Our OIC fits all the criteria of an "attention seeking" workplace psychopath. The working environment is absolute hell to say the least. This person exhibits swinging moods, bizarre behaviour, extreme self pity, manipulation and deceit. This persons constant whining is immense and very difficult to take everyday. I have experienced difficulty sleeping at night over a long period of time because of the behaviour. When this person goes on holidays the workplace becomes relaxed and everyone is so happy. Everyone in our office "suffered in silence" for a very long period of time until we all started realising that we all felt the same. Thankfully higher management have now become aware of the behaviour of this person, however I have now leart that it's not an easy issue to deal with. This person is shameless and is fighting "tooth and nail" to keep their position and is stooping to very extreme manipulation and deceit in doing so. I just hope this person moves soon.
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Jasmine - 02 Jan 2009 8:26:19pm

Hi ABC.. can you please leave this important story and website page up, as it is an excellent reference.
Also it would be great if you would consider doing an updated story on this subject also update with Dr John Clarke, in what he think has gotten worse over the 4yrs since this interview, and WHY?!
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Alicia - 14 Nov 2008 12:58:27pm

I am currently studying personality in psychology and am about to do a research proposal on workplace psychopaths. I am motivated to do this personally as I have been the victim of workplace psychopaths not once but twice, and have seen many others suffer the same fate as me long after I have left an organisation.

This is a real problem, one that is an 'underbelly' of the workplace. Education campaigns or wider community knowledge about this fact of the workplace really needs to be addressed. As too many people that I have spoken to that are going through or have gone through it, feel that the problem is with themselves. It wrecks self esteem and impacts greatly on the quality of life, something really needs to be done about this problem.
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Dave - 31 Dec 2008 3:10:43pm

Good Luck and keep the end goal in sight.
I think Corporations, starting with HR (the buggest bungling idots that make situation worse) need to change mindset about thinking the bully must be supported and not the victim. Call me crazy, but if someone has the guts to complain it is 99% valid.
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Geoff - 16 Feb 2009 8:31:07pm

would like to speak to you about my experiences
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Merrin - 23 Mar 2009 3:12:59am

If you're needing any material for your research I'd be happy to help out. I had a nightmare with a workplace psychopath. I put in a workcover application and after going to hell and back the claim was accepted. Good luck with your research - may the force be with you!
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Alison - 14 Nov 2008 8:40:55am

I left a job because of a 'workplace psychopath'. Fortunately for me I was resilient and got on with my life and career. I thank her for the psychopatic attitude as it was a steep learning curve I will never forget and has been a lesson in how NOT to treat people particularly from a management point of view!
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krentz - 12 Nov 2008 8:50:15am

When you consider that these people literally don't care at the end of the day, consider their psychopathy as a distinct advantage over the general population, whom they view as either moronic, stupid, or wrong, and are incapable of empathising with others, at the end of the day there is nothing to sympathise with.

These people are not having a hard time, they just leave us with all their crap. They are not "cruel" or "nasty", as these are emotive words, and they do not feel (much) emotion. They just do whatever they can to get whatever they want, and damn the rest. As luck would have it, emotions are easy to manipulate, and so that's what happens most of the time.

Luckily I'm very aware of the nature of psychopathy and quite perceptive regarding people so I am unlikely to fall into the same trap many others have done. Unfortunately, this will seem like a declaration of war to most psychopaths, and they love challenge and competition. Protect your own best interests - that's the best advice I can give you. Remember that healing takes time and there is always light at the end of the tunnel, you might just have to travel a long time to find it.
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Suzette monohan - 10 Dec 2008 11:19:57am

i agree with what you said but I am in the same boat as many out there seem to be and i have decided to become a psychopath in theory not practice so that I can undermine the other psycho thats driving me crazy at work.I reckon its better to go outside of the usual norms and head straight to the core issue MADNESS and freak them out and let them run out of the building for a change.........
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Kathy - 13 Dec 2008 7:27:18pm

Unless you are a psychopath you cannot compete with them - you will be the one that ends up emotionally destroyed. Also you are lowering yourself to their standard. The only thing to do is avoid them as much as possible. It is better to find a better place to work. Walk away with your sanity, don't waste your precious time and energy playing their stupid mind games.
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Dave - 31 Dec 2008 3:08:11pm

Maybe you could help others to avoid these evil be5turds? or are you one who sits back and does nothing whilst victims suffer?
These psychos need to be outted & brought to management attention.
Maybe you could thank god for not getting in their radar, but I am sure a kind word, offer of insight to the victim would be appreciated.
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Alison - 09 May 2009 12:50:39pm

Good advice Dave (posted 31 Dec). I agree. Get rid of them as they don"t care if they get rid of you for their own insecurities and reasons! "The greatest evil is when good people do nothing" a famous quote. I truly believe in that. Don"t be AFRAID. The truth IS the truth. Keep evidence and fight back. I wish all you fellow sufferers the very best outcome, believe in yourselves (you are not going mad) and be kind and gentle to yourselves .Get good support to help you. Unless you remember you have rights as a human being on this planet nothing will change.
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Ben - 10 Nov 2008 11:29:40pm

Please read this report again, but this time replace “psychopath� with mentally handicapped person. I find it sadly ironic that this report shows so little sympathy.
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Dave - 31 Dec 2008 2:57:56pm

We are dealing with Psychopaths here, not some helpless child, but a cold calous calculating evil being.
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Corporate Psychopaths - 08 Nov 2008 12:11:55am

Once I realised my boss was a corporate psychopath, it was almost a relief and everything began to make sense. Unfortunately it was too late for me and many colleagues in terms of the mental abuse she caused. She appeared so charming to others, yet I can only describe her as being a truly wicked person. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I took her to court. I agree that they cannot be changed. they are fundamentally nasty people. The only solution is recognise the traits early and leave the company quick.
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Carol Poland - 26 Dec 2008 11:06:39am

It is a relief to know someone else is a victim and has taken legal action against this type of abuse.
I am very interested to know details of the court proceedings and the outcome and whether our justice system recognised the actions of a psychopath to be a criminal offence.

I recognise my Ex Husband as having the profile of a Corporate Psycopath and describe him as being a callous, unscrupulous, cruel, evil person.

Throughout 32 years of marriage he treated me as if I was an employee and he had no concept of how to interact as a husband or father.
Divorcing him did not provide me with an escape from the abuse.
I believe he is the perpetrator of extreme emotional and psychological abuse and his actions, which also involve fraud should be recognised as criminal offences.

I look forward to your reply, which will help me to move forward in the right direction.

I am not being frivolous or vindictive. I am wanting to deal with the facts and the abuse in a positive way.

Carol Poland

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Lesley Bouren - 07 Mar 2009 4:10:52pm

I wouldlike a reply to this article as My daughter who is 25 hasjust been put through hell by her now former boss and itr sounds like dajavu this person just fired her on the spot she decided that after 8 months they were not sutable. How did you go with the court action as she contenplating court action against her is it worthwhile? Lesley B
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Justice - 15 Mar 2009 1:31:42pm

Good on you. What is the result of the court action?
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Jason - 08 Oct 2008 2:39:12pm

This is a great story. Pls don't delete it. I have been emailing my freinds and relatives so that they are aware of this.
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Joe L - 22 Dec 2008 2:29:48am

I agree this is great and great aid in workplace. Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to deal with boss that is a work psychopath.
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almost victim - 16 Apr 2009 12:01:43pm

My psychopath boss is new to the boss game and was easily spotted as she chose to target everyone subordinate at once. Unfortunately, her bosses love her (more psychopaths?) so she is not going anywhere anytime soon. We are protected by our union so she can't just fire anyone, either. Unions were formed for a reason, afterall. We are mostly women and we confide in each other. Thwarting her is a group effort and supporting each other makes the constant harassment more tolerable. We consulted higher ups in the union, from outside our organization, and we were advised to "keep the devil we know" as getting rid of her would be next to impossible and her replacement might be even smarter and nastier. My advice is talk, talk, talk to each and support each other and under no circustances let the psycopath get you alone! Find a buddy to go into the office with you as a witness. You have that right. And DON'T let them see you sweat...stay calm and be prepared.
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Dave - 31 Dec 2008 2:55:54pm

Agree... please leave this post up, as it is an excellent article/transcript, of very valid important information.
Well done ABC for the story... now, what about a follow up?
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Redacted - 25 Jun 2009 5:01:30am

I to have experienced workplace bullyimg like what is described (for that is what it is) However it is not just Bosses that do this.

My miss fortune was to upset (as they see it) a member or two of a Faternal society by standing my ground when the intent was to teach me a lesson or in their slang break my back.

Then the abuse started, roumors spread, jokes made at my expensive, all behind my back. False tails that I bullied people.
Machinery I used damaged and it implided I did it. My car tyres let down, tyres puntured. Vehicle keyed and sprayed, but with paint that can be cleaned off (This way the victim can be made to seem a fool by making a mountain out of a mole hill.) After all what damage was done, see the paint comes off with petrol. do you see how this attack works?))

Look up Gang Stalking, Brighting, Mobbing, Gaslighting.

It is a sad fact that there is a subculture of these Psycopaths in society that have got organised, read books and study tactics. They see themselves as normal, to them it is the victim that is defective. But as stated hear they have no true Empathy, they can fain emotion, friendship, affection.

In most cases appear extremely bright, Intelligent, illuminated. They have though drove all emotion out of their souls in their desire to improve their minds and as they see it perfect themselves. But they gather and co-operate like a Pack of Rabid wolves that can think.

They actually see their role as one of fighting for the common under dog. Righting wrongs by bullying people into shape, making them good people.

But intruth they get excited almost erotically on stealling from a mark (The person under attack maybe called a Mark, Marked one, Beyond the Pale, The green Man, Marked with chalk or caled the Project, work in progress).

A person given the task of knocking a peron maybe called a riviter or Hammer smith. (Yes they have their own slang language a tactic taken from the Art of war, It is designed to enable them to talk in a way by insinuation of a idea, so someone over hearing can not understand the hidden message.) It is a method taught by experience of doing or having done to you.

The ultimate high for them is to drive a Victim to self harm through trickery or depression. Being able to kill without even touching the victim is the greatest high or to them the mark of a Grand wizard.

Not all Faternal people are like this Just a organised group within. Wolves hidding amongst the Sheep from the Sheppard.

Sorry to have to write in such away but I need to proctect my children, my family and those who risked their lives to save me. before they drove me off the edge!

Sufferers need to organise, just learn from the fight against slavery! don't re-invent the wheel look to history for how to fight back!
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rubymoon - 27 Jun 2009 8:29:01pm

I endured workplace bullying and unconscionable harrassment for 18 months. I loved my job and was given awards for exceeding expectations and setting new standards. My manager was a psychopath, i attended to all the policy and procedure and was promptly ignored by 1 CEO, 1 contracts senior manager,1 senior training manager and four branch managers. They speak proudly about policy that does not work and is never attended to. The psychopath continued. Broken and debilitated i took 6 weeks off. Another manager asked me to work for her in safety. Shortly after the psychopaths entire staff resigned due to bullying and threats. There is not support or help available and 'work cover' said i would have little hope of winning in court. So i resigned and i have never felt better.
Hopefully if senior managers are observant they will notice staff resignations over and over again.

You can take away my job but you can't take away my freedom.