Bystanders: Silence of the Lambs

Judge Amanda F. Williams, of Brunswick, GA, possibly the toughest drug court judge in America, has announced she will step down from the bench after 21 years on Jan. 2, 2012 in the wake of a complaint filed by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Williams’ achieved national notoriety in March 2011 when she became the focus of an hour-long program by the American Public Radio show, This American Life, which questioned Williams’ punitive approach to drug offenders.

The radio show featured one case in which Williams sentenced a drug offender who had experienced his first relapse to 17 days in detention and added a year and a half to his time in the drug court program.  A spokesperson for National Association for Drug Court Professionals said the NADCP recommends no jail time at all for a first relapse.

In recent months, the Georgia judicial commission said it received several complaints from lawyers against Williams, who was the chief judge of the Superior Court of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.

The commission finally brought a formal complaint against Williams on December 11, 2011, charging Williams violated judicial ethics when she gave special treatment to relatives of friends, allowed her relatives and her personal attorney to appear before her without recusing herself, and generally behaved in a “tyrannical” manner.

Perhaps the most controversial complaint facing Williams involved a girl who entered her drug court program in 2005 after pleading guilty to forging two of her parents’ checks.

In 2008, Lindsey Dills violated her “drug court contract.” Williams initially sentenced Dills to 28 days in jail but later modified her order to indefinite detention with no contact from anyone except her drug court counselor. The commission states that Dills remained in solitary confinement for 73 days, during which time she attempted suicide. Although Dills’ suicide attempt occurred on Dec. 9, 2008, the commission states that Dills was not transferred to an in-patient medical facility until Dec. 22, 2008.

The case raises the question? Why did it take so long to address what the commission refers to as Williams’ tyrannical behavior?  Why did it take a radio show to shine a spotlight on Williams’ antics?  Where were the court staff and the attorneys who dealt with Williams every day? It appears to be a case of the silence of the lambs –  people were afraid of what might happen to them if they complained.

The New York Times quotes one attorney as stating: “Judge Williams was a person you did not cross. She ruled by fear and intimidation. I’ve been in front of 50 judges in 34 years and I’ve never seen anything like her.”

Because Williams, 64, vowed not to seek another judgeship, the judicial commission said the complaints against her will be dropped. However, she could still face criminal charges related to her conduct.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April, she defended her behavior. “I didn’t just decide I was going to be mean to these people,” she said. “These people aren’t sitting in jail forever and ever and ever and ever. I’m fair. I’m consistent. I do care.”

SEC Inspector General: Bullying or Accountability?

6/13:  After Kotz left the agency, the SEC  brought in  David Williams, the inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service, who concluded that  Kotz violated ethics rules by overseeing probes that involved people with whom Kotz had personal relationships.

[On 1/17/12, embattled SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz announced he would be leaving the SEC at the end of the month. As the following article recounts, Kotz was criticized after he followed the mandate of his job and investigated high-ranking SEC officials, who didn’t appreciate the attention. Is the timing of his departure coincidental?  Kotz  will become the managing director of the Washington office of Gryphon Strategies, an investigation firm. PGB]

A Rein of Terror at the SEC?

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General H. David Kotz has come under increasing fire from within the agency for allegedly instilling a climate of fear among employees in the organization.

Of course, Kotz won no friends when he blasted the SEC for missing the Bernard Madoff fraud, cast a spotlight on employees who viewed online pornography, and called for a criminal probe into the ethics of the SEC’s former top lawyer. In his latest 220-page semi-annual report to Congress, Kotz questioned the SEC’s decision to lease vastly more office space than the agency needs.

Is Kotz a bully or is he simply demanding accountability?

It is Kotz’ job as the SEC’s internal watchdog to investigate and report upon ethical and legal violations by SEC employees.

However, at least two SEC employees who were targeted for investigation by Kotz have filed formal complaints against him.

One complaint was filed by Nancy McGinley, an enforcement attorney at the SEC whom Kotz investigated in 2009 for allegedly using confidential information before trading in shares of Citigroup. Federal prosecutors declined to act on a criminal referral sent to them by Kotz with respect to McGinley’s trading.  However, the feds refusal to prosecute may simply reflect an assessment of competing priorities and limited resources.

McGinley’s complaint states that Kotz’s tactics “have caused SEC employees to fear the OIG’s false allegations and retaliations.”

In a recent email obtained by Bloomberg News, former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, who has represented several people involved in Kotz’s investigations, wrote:  “For those who may be unaware of what is going on at the SEC, there is a reign of terror in effect.”

Pitt is an advocate, representing paying clients, and he is probably no fan of Kotz anyway. Kotz uncovered embarrassing documents showing what some might call a too cozy relationship between the SEC under Pitt’s leadership and King-of-all-Ponzi schemes, Bernie Madoff.

Yet, many observers say Kotz is investigating alleged employee lapses that fall below the radar screens of his counterparts at other regulatory agencies.  But what kind of fraud and waste is too little for notice?

For example, Kotz apparently undertook an exhaustive investigation of a “senior officer” who was found to have used two weeks of sick leave rather than annual leave to go on vacation Hawaii.

According to the Blog of the Legal Times, Kotz contacted several airlines, then “issued a subpoena to an airline for the senior officer’s airline tickets and related reservation information.” The IG determined she flew to Hawaii on May 8, 2011, and returned on May 19, 2011, when she was supposedly out sick. Kotz recommended disciplinary action up to dismissal, but the employee already announced she was resigning from the SEC in August 2011. The 80 hours of vacation, however, were counted as annual leave, not sick time.

Kotz’ actions do not appear to fit within any definition of workplace abuse in that he appears to be acting in good faith and within the parameters of his job to root out corruption, fraud, and waste at the SEC.  Plus, there is an inherent vulnerability attached to Kotz’ position. Senior officials and other powerful interests within the agency don’t like being investigated or even second-guessed.

Is he using a hammer to smash an ant?  It depends on your perspective. Quite understandably, few taxpayers would defend a government employee who uses sick leave to vacation in Hawaii so that she can use vacation time for more vacation time.

Millions of Americans have no vacation time, in that they are unemployed.

In the final analysis, one also might observe that there is an irony here. It would have been nice if the SEC had acted as aggressively as Kotz is accused of acting to do its job to protect the American public from the financial fraud, swindles and outright hucksterism that has contributed to the worst depression in modern history.

Political Environment Anti-Union

A new report by Center for Economics and Policy Research (CEPR) has concluded that union membership in the United States is at an all-time low because of the “broad national political environment” and not, as some have theorized, because of globalization and technological changes.

One reason that so many American workers are vulnerable to bullying, harassment, and unfair termination is the low rate of unionization in the United States.

There is no law in the United States against workplace bullying and non-unionized workers are the mercy of a judicially created rule of law called the Employment at Will rule, which means they can be fired for any reason – even a bad one – as long as it does not violate a collective bargaining agreement, the law, or a recognized public policy.

Whatever one thinks of unions, there can be no denying that unions mean clout for workers.  Unions represent workers at the bargaining table, and they defend workers in grievance proceedings. Unions historically have led the way toward improving working conditions for all workers.

“In half of the rich countries we studied, the share of the workforce covered by a collective bargaining agreement has remained constant or even increased since 1980 –despite being exposed to the same kinds of pressures from globalization and technology that we experienced here in the United States,” said John Schmitt, a senior economist for the CEPR in Washington, D.C.

In a, 11/17/11 report entitled Politics Matter: Changes in Unionization Rates in Rich Countries, 1960-2010, Schmitt and co-author Alexandra Mitukiewicz review unionization data covering the last five decades for 21 rich economies.

The report demonstrates that national politics are a major determinant of national unionization rates in recent decades, more important than globalization and the new economy.

The researchers found that  countries typically identified with social democratic parties – Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland – generally saw small increases in union coverage and only small decreases in union membership since 1980. Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and other liberal market economies with less protective labor-market systems have generally experienced sharp drops in union coverage and membership. Countries referred to as continental market economies, including Germany and France, saw small drops in union coverage and moderate declines in union membership.

Of course, this probably comes as no surprise to public sector workers who are fighting to retain union bargaining rights, or to unions battling to keep American companies from relocating overseas or to states that are hostile to unions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the union membership rate in the United States -the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union–was 11.9 percent in 2010, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 per- cent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.

Herman Cain: Sexual Harasser?

Since this article was written another woman came forward and claimed that she had an affair that lasted more than a decade with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain .  After denying it, Cain dropped out of the race on 12/3/11. 

*    *    *

Three women independently say Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed them when they worked for him while he served as President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association between 1996 and 1999.

A fourth woman, Sharon Bialek,  said that during this time period she contacted Cain to ask for a job. Sitting in a parked car with Cain, she says, Cain pushed his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch.  “I was very, very surprised and very shocked. I said, ‘What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend. This isn’t what I came here for.’ Mr. Cain said, ‘You want a job, right?’”

Other women may have come forward but for a vague threat of retribution made last week by Lin Wood, Cain’s defense attorney, who said that any new women who are thinking of coming forward with allegations against the candidate should “think twice” before they do.

So there Cain stood, Saturday night, behind a podium in South Carolina, alongside other Republican candidates, answering questions about foreign policy in a nationally televised debate, as if there is no question but that he possesses the character to occupy the highest office of our land, the President of the United States.

What happens when a worker is subjected to sexual harassment by the CEO of the company? Most are shocked and emotionally traumatized. They fear, justifiably, that they will lose their job or suffer retribution if they do not submit. This is not like innocent flirting or misguided chivalry. Sexual harassment is on a continuum of violence that includes rape and bullying.

Karen Kraushaar, one of the two women who settled sexual harassment claims while they worked at the National Restaurant Association while it was led by Cain, told the New York Times:

When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable. You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job someplace safe, and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left.”

Ms. Kraushaar now works as a spokeswoman for one of the three inspectors general at the Treasury Department.

In our criminal justice system an individual is deemed innocent until proven guilty but this is an election and not a criminal trial where an innocent defendant might be imprisoned or executed.

What does it take to raise serious questions about whether a person possesses the good moral character that one would at least hope to see in a future U.S. President?

Is it enough that four women independently accuse the same man of essentially the same type of abusive behavior over a period of years? Suppose one of these women is lying? That would leave three.  Is that enough?

Kraushaar and another woman who worked for Cain at the National Restaurant Association received substantial financial settlements (one got a year’s salary) from the association in exchange for their silence and agreeing to forfeit their right to sue for damages. Generally employers do not shell out tens of thousands of dollars without proof of wrongdoing. Had there been no settlements, it is quite possible that at least one lawsuit would have been filed against Cain and the restaurant association.  Presumably that is what the restaurant association paid to avoid.  What weight should society now place on Cain’s claims of innocence?

If that’s not enough, Cain initially said there were no financial payoffs to the women.

Cain has inferred that the allegations by the women represent a Machiavellian plot dreamed up by Democrats to assassinate his character but isn’t it more likely that the Democrats would prefer Cain, a former head of Godfather Pizza, to former governors Mitch Romney and Rick Perry?

Ultimately, this is less a question of politics than it is a question of character. Cain was a man who had supervisory authority over three women who say he sexually harassed them, and he had the power to hire the fourth. What did he do with that power? When all is said and done, Cain sounds more like a workplace bully than a credible candidate for  U.S. President.

The Value of a Good Name

Research shows that workplace bullying costs American employers billions each year in absenteeism, higher health care costs, lower productivity, and unnecessary litigation.

However, the cost may be even higher in terms of reputation, especially in this age of social media.

According to the Ethics Resource Center  (ERC), a non-profit center that researches high ethical standards in public and private institutions. a good name matters for many reasons, some measurable and some not. In a new report entitled, Building a Corporate Reputation of Integrity, the ERC says:

  •  Consumers prefer to deal with a company they trust.
  • Employees prefer to work at a company they are proud of.
  •  Increasingly, investors believe trustworthy, ethical companies are a safer place to put their money.

In workplace bullying situations, lawsuits generate bad publicity that can tarnish an organization’s reputation, and targets of bullying and witnesses to bullying often bad mouth their employers after they leave.  Even one disgruntled employee who shares his gripes on social media can potentially inflict enormous damage to a firm’s reputation.

A  2010 survey by Deloitte found that nearly half of workers who plan to seek out a new job say they have been motivated by a loss of trust in their employer. Some 46 percent also complain about a lack of transparency in internal communications and four of ten say they have been treated unethically.

According to the ERC, corporate executives surveyed by Weber-Shandwick, a global public relations firm,  estimated that 63 percent of their companies’ market value is due to reputation. A good reputation may be even more important for consumer product firms, where consumers cast verdicts on reputation with their pocketbooks, withholding business from companies they believe are ethically deficient and rewarding those with good reputation. Research by Edelman, another global PR firm,  found that nearly three-quarters of consumers say they will actively avoid doing business with a company they don’t trust, while 85 percent will go out of their way to buy from a company they trust.

The ERC says ethical leadership is a key to building and sustaining a good reputation:  “ERC research consistently shows employees are more likely to act with integrity when an organization’s leaders are honestly and visibly committed to ethical performance.”

Where is America’s Age Discrimination Commissioner?

Australia, a world leader in combating workplace bullying, recently announced the appointment of Australia’s first Age Discrimination Commissioner.

Despite the fact that age discrimination is epidemic in the United States, it appears the problem is being  ignored by the federal government and non-profit advocacy agencies like the American Association for Retired Persons (one of the country’s leading medical insurers).

Australia announced tn July 2011 the appointment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner  to combat age discrimination in Australian workplaces and the wider community.

Where is America’s age discrimination commissioner?

The current economic climate in the United States is like a “perfect storm” for older workers. There is record unemployment for workers aged 55 and above and there is record age discrimination.

The impact of unemployment on older workers is dire as they face potentially decades of retirement, and health issues, without the ability to prepare financially.  Older workers do not have the time and may never recover from the adverse impact of age discrimination.

Age discrimination complaints to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission  are at an all-time high.  In five years, the number of age discrimination complaints has increased FORTY PERCENT.  There were 23,264 age discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC in 2010.

Meanwhile, the  Bureau of Justice Statistics(BJS) reports that unemployment for persons aged 55 and above has increased sharply since the beginning of the recession in December 2007. The jobless rate among older workers was 7.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) in February 2010, just shy of the record-high level of 7.2 percent in December 2009.

In addition, the BJS says that older workers remain unemployed longer than younger workers. The BJS states that nearly half (49.1 percent) of older jobseekers had been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer in February 2010, compared with 28.5 percent of workers aged 16 to 24 years and 41.3 percent of workers aged 25 to 54 years.

(According to a 2011  CareerBuilder survey on workplace bullying,  women aged 55 and above are more likely than any other demographic group to  report feeling bullied in the workplace, another problem America ignores.)

Australia’s new age commissioner, the Hon. Susan Ryan, will operate under he auspices of the Australia Age Discrimination Act, and will tackle issues such as discrimination in getting job or applying for a promotion, enrolling at a university, applying to rent a house, or using services such as at a bank. The government provided $4 million in funding over four years to the Australian Human Rights Commission to support the new position.

Australia was one of the first countries to recognize the problem of workplace bullying, which causes potentially severe  injury to a target’s mental and physical health, destroys families and costs the United States billions each year in needless turnover, lost work, higher health costs, absenteeism, etc.  In fact, in Victoria, Australia, workplace bullying is considered a criminal offense under some circumstances.

At this point, it may go without saying that America has yet to offer workers any protection against workplace bullying.

Maybe someone should fire his ass?

Workplace bullying is not always confined to the office in the age of technology.

A worker for the state of Nevada believes she was the victim of bullying by a supervisor writing on his Facebook page because she took time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

According to the Las Vegas Sun:

Steven Zuelke, a unit manager for the state’s unemployment benefits anti-fraud unit, used his personal Facebook page to complain about an unidentified employee he thinks uses too much sick time.

 “Why is it that for some people FMLA stands for Family Medical Leave Act and for others, it should stand for Fire My Lazy Ass?” Zuelke wrote on his Facebook page last month, hours after one of his employees left work early because she said she was sick.

Zuelke engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth with a group of his Facebook friends — including another state staffer who works in the same division — in which he initially mocks his employee and then rants about how difficult it is for the state bureaucracy to deal with problem workers.

The rant was specific enough that one of the two employees Zuelke has had on FMLA status thinks Zuelke was talking about her.

“I had to read it a few times because I was shocked and confused,” said Sherry Truell, a claims examiner who works in Zuelke’s unit and has used FMLA time extensively this year. “I was being referred to as lazy, an anchor, that other people have to do my work, stuff that related to my personal business … I was extremely embarrassed. My co-workers can see this information.”

 Truell said she used FMLA heavily last month because of what she described as a stress-related medical condition and because her son needed surgery. She added that she usually takes two or three days off a month.

Truell has sought the help of her union representative to address the issue and is considering filing a grievance.

“He’s discussing his employees, his work environment, he has friended multiple other employees in the same office. … There are so many problems with this,” said Priscilla Maloney, labor representative for Truell’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local.

Instead of offering an apology, Zuelke alludes to his First Amendment’s right to free speech.  He says he did not post during working hours or using a state computer.

Nevada doesn’t have a specific written policy on Facebook use, which could end up costing the state.

If an employee takes legally appropriate medical leave, it is not acceptable for a manager to penalize, demean or harass her. In fact, it is never acceptable for a supervisor to publicly demean and harass an employee.  Most importantly for his employer, however, Zuelke’s actions subject the state of Nevada to potential legal liability.

The FMLA provides that eligible employees of covered employers have a right to take job-protected leave for qualifying events without interference or restraint from their employers. The FMLA also gives employees the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, file a private lawsuit under the Act (or cause a complaint or lawsuit to be filed), and to testify or cooperate in other ways with an investigation or lawsuit without being fired or discriminated against in any other manner.

If  Zuelke”s  subordinate at the Nevada Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department actually did take FMLA time, the state may find itself defending a retaliation lawsuit. Also, Zuelke inferred that an employee, who apparently was easily identifiable, engaged in fraudulent behavior by taking sick leave under the FMLA when she was not sick. He published his remarks on a Facebook page for all the world to see.   Hello … defamation, slander, libel.

Research shows that between a quarter and  third of workers are the victims of health endangering bullying, most by a supervisor.  This problem costs American employers billions every year in unnecessary turnover, absenteeism, higher health care costs, and needless litigation.

Other Approaches to Workplace Bullying?

So far, efforts to combat bullying in the American workplace largely have centered on a campaign spurred by the Workplace Bully Institute to pass anti-bullying legislation on a state-by-state basis.  To date, the effort has yet to yield a single success (defined as a state that has adopted such legislation).

What would happen if workplace anti-bully advocates took a different approach?

One idea might be federal legislation to amend Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to  permit any worker to sue if subjected to a hostile workplace environment.

Another idea is to approach the problem as an important public  health issue  –  which it is – and adopt health and safety regulations to protect employees on that basis. Finally, one might think local – push cities and towns to adopt legislation to protect employees from workplace abuse.

Advocates for anti-obesity measures took the local approach, with some initial success.  However, industry groups are now finding a way to halt local initiatives, using stealth tactics to erect statewide road blocks.

Public health advocates persuaded some progressive cities and counties around the nation to pass anti-obesity measures, such as requiring restaurants to list fat and calorie content on their menus or to prepare food without unhealthy trans-fats.  The New York Times reported June 30, 2011 that  industry groups are acting pro-actively to quash these anti-obesity efforts. and they are using stealth tactics.

The Times notes that Ohio’s 5,000-page state budget contained sweeping limitations on local government control over restaurants.  Florida  adopted similar limits, tucked into a bill that largely concerned amendments to state regulations on vacation rentals. Other states with limits include Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Utah. Earlier this year, Arizona prohibited local governments from forbidding the marketing of fast food using “consumer incentives” like toys.

Not surprisingly, state restaurant groups are leading the charge for the preemptive state legislation.   State legislators who sponsored preemptive legislation in Florida and Alabama say they were contacted by their state’s restaurant associations, which expressed concern that California’s latest food rules would be adopted by their own local governments.

The Los Angeles City Council has banned fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles, where rates of poverty and obesity are high. In April, the Santa Clara County supervisors adopted a policy that forbids fast food restaurants from selling meals with toys, like those connected with movie promotions.

The Ohio law gives the state’s director of agriculture “sole and exclusive” authority to regulate the use of consumer incentives in food marketing and prohibits localities from requiring menu labeling and using incentives and laws to address “food-based health disparities.”  The statute may nullify a law passed by the Cleveland council in April that banned restaurants and food makers from using “industrially produced” trans fats in products.

One of the fundamental concepts of the U.S. Constitution involves the importance of state’s rights – the idea  is that real change and progress comes from experimentation among the states and not through a federal bureaucracy. It doesn’t take a PhD. to see that this concept also is relevant to states, which tend to  adopt progressive statewide legislation in response to local initiatives.   I’d rather be guided by the framers of our U.S. Constitution than self-interested industry groups. Wouldn’t you?

The state-by-state campaign to adopt workplace anti-bully legislation began in 2003 in California and has encountered steady opposition from business groups, who apparently are largely ignorant about the enormous toll bullying exacts on the employer’s bottom line.   This, despite the fact that the Workplace Bullying Institute is pushing a proposed Healthy Workplace Bill that is considerably weaker than legislation adopted in other industrialized countries around the world. American workers deserve strong protection from bullying in the workplace, which causes health problems and destroys lives and families.

* The new state laws limiting public health measures will have no effect on a federal law that requires menu labeling by chains with 20 or more restaurants by 2013. But more than half of the nation’s restaurants will not be required to meet the federal rules for listing calories and fat content.

Veronica v. Jugheads?

July 11, 2011 – Veronica would never work here.

The New York Daily News reports that Archie Comic Publications is suing co-Chief Executive Officer Nancy Silberkleit  for alleged bullying.  Silberkleit says the company is best by jugheads resistant to female supervision.

Meanwhile, Oregon.Live.com published an article in last year quoting Silberkleit, a former third grade art teacher, as stating she was stunned by the old boys’ network she encountered upon assuming the post of co-CEO following the 2009 death of her husband, Michael Silberkleit, the son of an original co-founder of the company, Louis Silberkleit.

“I’m a mother coming into a very male-oriented business,” Silberkleit told Oregon Live. “I’m not getting any support. I felt very alone.”

The lawsuit seeks to bar Silberkleit from the company’s Westchester, NY,  headquarters and to stop her from representing the company at Comic Con International later this month in San Diego.

The lawsuit alleges Silberkleit  is a foul-mouthed tyrant prone to outbursts about male genitalia and that several employees are fearful of her “erratic” behavior and bullying.

Several employees allegedly complained about Silberkleit’s antics, including an incident in 2010 in which she is said to have asked if sex toys were stored in an office safe, adding, “I need to adjust my balls.”

In April 2010,  Silberkleit is said to have walked into a meeting  “and referring to a book yelled out ‘PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS”” and then said, “My balls hurt.”

Her co-CEO is Jon Goldwater, the son of another co-founder of the company, John L. Goldwater. The company was founded in 1939.

Horrible Bosses (Not the Movie!)

Survey finds almost half of employees have worked for unreasonable managers

A new movie is being released this month, a dark comedy called “Horrible Bosses,”  in which three workers plot to kill their employers.

In real life,  a new survey  shows that almost half (46 percent)  of employees say they have worked for an unreasonable manager and it’s no laughing matter. Thirty-eight percent of the workers said they ended up quitting their jobs.

The survey results were announced on July 5, 2011 by OfficeTeam, which specializes in the placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. OfficeTeam states in a press release that the survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 441 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.

Workers were asked, “Have you ever worked for an unreasonable boss?”  Their responses:

Yes

46%

No

54%

100%

Workers who have had an unreasonable boss also were asked, “How did you respond?” They said:

Stayed put but tried to deal with the issue

35%

Quit my job eventually once I had another job lined up

27%

Stayed put and suffered through the torment

24%

Quit my job immediately without having another job lined up

11%

Don’t know/no answer

3%

100%

OfficeTeam identified five types of “challenging bosses”: the micromanager, poor communicator, bully, saboteur and the “mixed bag” who has unpredictable moods.

Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said individuals are often promoted because they excel in a given job but “that doesn’t mean they have the skills to be effective leaders.”