Archive for the ‘Target Tale’ Category

Firing of coworker who drove correctional officer to suicide upheld

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

WBI: Justice is about to be meted out in Madison Wisconsin three years after Philip Otto took his own life though he was close to retirement from the WI Department of Corrections. Otto had transferred from one facility to another. The climate at Oakhill represented by the actions of several coworkers and led by one supervisor was extremely toxic and unwelcoming. After his death, investigations were conducted leading to terminations of key coworkers. The supervisor was allowed to retire. One captain was reinstated. Other workers filed an appeal with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission asking for reinstatement. The hearing examiner Stuart Levitan heard testimony during 16 days in 2013. I reviewed the record and testified on behalf of the State concluding that the fired employees (Rachel Koester, Matthew Seiler and Justyn Witscheber) had demeaned, harassed, bullied and disgraced their peer, Mr. Otto, who had transferred recently to their facility — new to the place, but a veteran corrections officer. Progress in the case reported below is that the hearing examiner ruled Rachel Koester was justly terminated, according to a pending decision released on March 4. … Gary Namie


Examiner: Firing of Oakhill Guard Following Suicide Was Proper
By Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2015

A hearing examiner has determined that the state Department of Corrections properly fired a guard who allegedly shunned and belittled a fellow officer who later committed suicide.

Philip Otto, 52, killed himself in March 2012 after what his wife, daughter and co-workers described as a pattern of bullying by fellow employees at Oakhill Correctional Institution.

The 20-year DOC veteran’s death came just months before he planned to retire with full benefits, his wife, Peggy Otto, told the State Journal in 2012.

In the proposed decision dated March 4, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission examiner Stuart Levitan found the firing of correctional officer Rachel Koester was justified. He cited an internal investigation launched after Otto’s death in which dozens of Oakhill staffers were interviewed.



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Posted in Rulings by Courts, Target Tale, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »

Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE): Bullied teachers naming names

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Dispatch from WBI colleague Francesco A. Portelos, New York City teacher

Sometimes workplace bullying affects only the victim. Sometimes it propagates to surrounding colleagues, morale and family members. In all cases though, the work is negatively affected. As you can imagine, when workplace bullying hits schools, the students are hurt as well.

Recently, a group of bullied New York City educators, known as Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE), got together and created a list of administrators that have been known to bully and harass their employees. The Administrators in Need of Improvement (ANOI) list has grown in recent months and is now at about 85 administrators throughout New York’s five boroughs. It even has an interactive map to locate these bullies by geographic area. The list has given teachers a platform to share their stories and concerns about workplace harassment. The curtain has been pulled back and the harassment exposed.

Many of these stories are similar and show a pattern of harassment that exist in the NYC Department of Education. The ANOI list gives teachers who are being bullied the power to hit administrators where it hurts. ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Visit the DTOE website.


Hear Francesco’s personal story


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Posted in Guest Articles, Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Target Tale, WBI Education | 7 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Comstock’s: Calif mag scrutinizes new workplace bullying law

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

This Time, It’s Personal
Will legislation to protect employees from workplace bullying stifle demanding managers?

By Steven Yoder, Comstock’s, March 31, 2015

Carrie Clark, 63, says bullies aren’t confined to playgrounds. Sometimes, they run the whole school. 

In 1995, Clark directed an English as a Second Language program in West Sacramento’s Washington Unified School District. An influx of foreign students was forcing her staff to work ever-longer hours. She wrote several reports to the district superintendent documenting the extra load and asking for more help. She got no response, she says. So her teachers union representative suggested she put together a petition signed by program staff.

That got a reaction, but not the one she wanted. The superintendent took Clark off of the school’s committee of department chairs and canceled and consolidated classes. Clark says he called her house and left an odd, garbled message, and one day after a meeting, he followed her into an empty hallway. Towering over her, his face a foot from hers, he screamed that he wanted “no more petitions!”

Scared, Clark quit a few weeks later. She developed tremors in her right side, which she still has, started having heart palpitations and couldn’t sleep. Today, when she talks about what happened, her speech slows to a crawl and her voice quavers like a warped record. A Sacramento occupational medicine specialist diagnosed her with a post-traumatic stress disorder related to her job. After a 20-year teaching career, she’d never set foot in a classroom again. In 2002, she won a $150,000 workers’ compensation claim against the district.

There’s evidence that the superintendent targeted others who crossed him. He took a job in a district near Yuba City, and in January 1999 the teachers association president there told The Valley Mirror that the superintendent verbally threatened her and that she’d asked a court for a restraining order. She also told a reporter that she was having panic attacks for the first time in her life. (The superintendent, now retired, keeps an unlisted phone number and didn’t respond to a certified letter sent to his address requesting an interview.)



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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Target Tale, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

CBC: Workplace bullying at Wal Mart

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Canadian TV on the CBC show The National investigated workplace bullying by telling the tale of one brave woman’s Wal Mart case. Key points made — employers ignore bullying and ignore evidence when presented by bullied targets and choose to not resolve it until pushed by lawsuits and the difficulty of proving intentional infliction of emotional distress. Also noteworthy is that the in-depth story was 9 min. long. (Are you paying attention US TV with your shallow 2 min. segments???)


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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

NYC woman physician whistleblower — a bullying case

Friday, January 31st, 2014

An ethical, principled physician

In case you believe this woman is not telling the truth, watch NBC-TV-4 New York conduct its own investigation of the New York Downtown Hospital in 2012. The reporters uncovered many more incidents than Dr. Muhelic described above. For her noble act, she lost her job.

See the similar case of Dr. Kerr in San Francisco.


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Posted in Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »

Jonathan Martin explains targeting for abuse in the NFL

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, left the team in October, 2013. His voluntary decision to leave an “abusive environment” caused a firestorm of controversy in the sports world. On January 29, 2014, Martin spoke publicly for the first time about his ordeal with former NFL coach, now NBC sports broadcaster Tony Dungy.

The short 3:43 min. version of the interview

The full 25 min. interview
Listen for his distinction between cruelty required on the field and character off the field. Exactly what Richard Sherman described as his “switch.”

Follow the full NFL story in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin


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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, NFL: Jonathan Martin, Target Tale, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Bullying by taser at Texas auto dealer: Manager films, laughs, expects legal protection

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Bradley Jones worked at Fred Fincher Motors, Houston, Texas. For the last several months, his sadistic coworkers and the dealership manager, Sam Harless, tasered him dozens of times. A taser attack is painful and a form of torture. When applied by untrained amateurs, it can result in death.

Jones endured the surprise, pain and humiliation simply because his coworkers sought to entertain themselves deriving their pleasure from his pain. They filmed the events and posted on YouTube (since taken down.) Jones has filed a Harris County civil lawsuit (Case 1035300 on Aug. 2) against his three assailants — Adam Winslow, Sam Harless and Alberto Chavarria, and the owner of the dealership, Patricia Harless (wife of manager Sam and a Texas State Representative). We at WBI hope law enforcement also pursues criminal prosecution of these civil defendants.

Somebody should at least their jobs for their monstrosity. Guess who was banished. Bradley Jones was fired!

Watch the KHOU-TV story and see Sam Harless’s confidence that the county court system will exonerate him and his cohorts.

Not sure which is worse — a gloating Harless or recognizing the trauma to which Jones was subjected while simply trying to sell cars or the all too predictable fact that the victim was the one fired !!! Share your outrage with Sam Harless.

Help the Texas State Coordinator get the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill enacted.


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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Media About Bullying, Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Vallecitos Ranch workplace bullying update

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Earlier we reported that bullying at the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch spiritual retreat center was so terrorizing, nine of 10 staffers quit in mid-July. The Vallecitos 9 demanded that the co-founder Grove Burnett be removed by the board. Instead, the sycophantic board turned on the workers even though the Executive Director and Ranch Manager had dedicated 15 and 17 years to Vallecitos, respectively.

Most brave was Vallecitos Coordinator Mary Reed who conducted a 7-day hunger strike, an unprecedented act to bring attention to bullying in the workplace she loved.

In her personal blog, Reed eloquently describes the hypocrisy …

The professed compassion-based values of Vallecitos belie a cruel history of profane tirades and demoralizing personal attacks that have long been hushed in insider circles. In 2004, a brave board of directors tried to remove Burnett but failed after mediation by a Council of Elders that included Burnett’s longtime friends and teachers, Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, founders of Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society, respectively. In the ten years since, the path of emotional, psychological and economic injury has been long and tragic.



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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »

Workplace Bullying Scenario

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

A big part of my job here at WBI is to help targets over the phone. This gives me the opportunity to hear many stories describing the dastardly tactics and deceit used by workplace aggressors and employers to hurt bullied targets.

Just when I think I’ve heard it all, there’s another whopper. According to an unnamed caller, one way employers might unintentionally warn of an impending termination is through healthcare benefit cancellation. If you think you may be fired, call your insurer to ask when (or if) your health care benefits are scheduled to expire.

You may surprised to find the date sooner than you thought, which may indicate when the company plans to let you go.

Have you heard of or experienced this? Let us know in the comments.


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Posted in Target Tale, Tutorials About Bullying | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Workplace Bullying Targets to Employers: I Won’t Beg

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

[The unspoken, unwritten message employers need to hear.]

I love my job. I apply my education and experience to the task that keeps me stimulated and for which I can still get excited.

When I took this job I didn’t agree to be abused in exchange for a paycheck. I didn’t ask if you had abusers on the payroll and if you were sending me to work with them. I assumed the goodness in everyone as a starting point. I know now I should not have.

It was you who assigned me to a work group managed by a person you chose. I assumed you had managers trained in the interpersonal art of managing people. Evidently you think that is too expensive and rely instead on on-the-job training. All of us pay for that shortsighted decision.



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Posted in Target Tale, WBI Education | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

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