7 Worst Bosses In 2012
Most working humans have experience with incompetent or fearsome or totally irrational bosses. Some of us, however, have bosses so heinous that lawyers get involved. America's Worst Bosses of 2012, by anonymous boss-rating website eBossWatch, catalogs what it sees as the country's 50 creepiest job-creators -- who have had been taken to court.
The top seven are listed below, and notably, all seven of the employees allegedly harassed are women, and all of the employers who allegedly harassed them are men (except for one, who was implicated because of comments made by her husband). The top finishers are selected and ranked by a panel of five workplace experts -- consultants, trainers, and authors -- from all the bosses named in workplace lawsuits in the last year. Check out the full list here.
7. James Schwartz
Nyesha Artiaga was a secretary at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., when she claimed that the dean, James Schwartz, who was in his 70s, offered her money to have sex in hotel rooms, and once raped her in his locked office, ejaculating on her underwear.
$2.5 million and $750,000 respectively.
6. Susan Piel
Nadiya Williams-Boldware was a prosecutor handling misdemeanor cases for Denton County, Texas, working for Susan Piel. Piel and her husband, felony prosecutor Cary Piel, had won several high profile cases in their time. "Cary is a good trial lawyer, but he's rude and doesn't care what he says," said Williams-Boldware's attorney Bill Trantham, after his client was awarded more than $500,000 in a racial discrimination suit against the county.
Cary Piel was prosecuting a case against a black woman, when he made a racial comment in front of Williams-Boldware, who is black, referencing the Klu Klux Klan's lynching of black people. He admitted that he knew it was inappropriate at the time, and claims that he repeatedly apologized afterwards. But the apology wasn't enough; in July, the Piels and two other felony trial prosecutors were forced to resign.
5. Richard Moore
Ashley Alford worked for Atlanta-based rent-to-own furniture company Aaron's, and her boss Richard Moore allegedly made frequent comments about her appearance, groped her breasts, and snuck up behind her while she was sitting on the floor of the stockroom and hit the top of her head with his penis.
Then on one occasion, according to Alford, Moore threw her to the ground, lifted up her skirt, and held her down, while he masturbated over her, cleaning up the semen with a paper towel. In July, Alford was awarded $95 million in federal civil damages against Moore and Aaron's, but Moore was not found criminally guilty of sexual abuse.
4. Fred Beans
Cherie Santai was a service manager for the large Pennsylvania car dealership Fred Beans Hyundai, and in early 2008 told her boss Fred Beans that she was pregnant. Beans allegedly responded with "visible and obvious disgust" and told her that she would have to be demoted until she had the baby. Before that happened, however, she was forced to hire and train her temporary replacement -- a man who she says was less experienced than she.
won $150,000 in her wrongful termination suit. (Beans' daughter and company vice president, Elizabeth Beans Gilbert, was also named as a defendant).
3. Trent Bertrand
Philips Entertainment Lighting originally hired KeWanda Lawson as a temporary employee at its Dallas warehouse, but within a few months she became a permanent warehouse lead. Lawson was the only female, and according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, male co-workers groped her, called her names like "bitch" and "slut," forced her to kiss them, and in one case a male colleague even exposed himself to her.
Not only did the manager, Trent Bertrand, do nothing; he allegedly took part. Since all her complaints were ignored, Lawson ended up resigning. In September the company was forced to pay $30,000.
2. Edward Globakar
Mirella Salemi was a chef and manager for Mary Ann's Mexican Restaurant in New York for five years. She was a Catholic and a lesbian, and claims that every Wednesday her boss Edward Globakar would lock the doors of the restaurant and force all employees to attend a two-hour prayer service during which Globakar and his pastor would declare homosexuality a sin. He also told Salemi on various occasons to be more "effeminate," get married, and have kids or else face eternal damnation.
Salemi says that she asked Globakar repeatedly to stop condemning her sexuality and forcing her to attend services for a religion that was not her own, but Globakar allegedly retorted that unless she changed her orientation and attended church, her job was at stake. In April, Globakar had to pay $1.6 million for discrimination against sexual orientation.
1. Timothy Young
Mary Getts Bland wanted to be a firefighter for Fairfax County, Va. During her recruitment interview, however, fire department Lt. Timothy Young allegedly asked her a series of sexually inappropriate questions, like whether she enjoyed being watched while she had sex and masturbated, and if she enjoyed sex with more than one partner.
Bland got the job, but claimed that the sexual harassment didn't end. Young allegedly continued to make inappropriate comments, such as telling her "this looks like it would hurt" while walking past with an 8-foot, metal "pike pole." Last year a jury awarded Bland $250,000, but after appeals Bland ended up settling for an undisclosed amount.
Have you ever had a horrible boss? Share your worst stories in the comments.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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