Bullying bosses may be in trouble

By Jamey Boyum - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Have you ever had a bully for a boss? Well, New York could become the first state to make them illegal. The bill has passed the state senate; it just needs the nod from the assembly, now. If approved, it would allow workers to sue for damages including psychological harm.

The New York legislation defines the bullying boss as "someone who is motivated by malice and who is destructive and injurious." That's one bad boss. That doesn't include your workload increasing because of cutbacks or even a pay-cut. The boss has to be downright abusive.

Most East Texans we spoke with said they had nothing but nice bosses or they were the boss, but a few had bad experiences.

"I've had several mean bosses," said Jenny Brown. "The worst was a woman who would listen to your phone conversations, then record them and come after you."

"I had a mean boss in Houston, Texas one time," said Marshall Ewing. "He gave me nightmares."

"I feel like I just couldn't do anything right no matter how hard I tried," said Lydia Pedraza.

"It's very stressful if you have to go in every day and spend most of your day with a person that you don't really get along with or they aren't very friendly so it makes you not very friendly," Cara Wright said.

So, do East Texans think we need a law like this one?

"Possibly," said Ewing. "I'd don't know. If you'd have a job later, you could try it."

"It'd be a great thing for Texas to do," said Brown. "Get rid of some of those bad bosses so you could get great jobs even in a bad economy.

"I think it would make the bosses think twice," said Pedraza.

"I think it's a little extreme," said Wright. "You don't need to go around suing people. There's other choices."

How did these folks handle their mean boss situation?

"I left the job," answered Brown.

"I went ahead and decided to look for another job," said Pedraza.

"It was too much for me," said Wright. "I had to move on."

"I finally went in and talked to him and we had an understanding and then from then on we were able to work together," said Ewing.

There are at least 16 states considering employee bullying laws. There are already laws in place for harassment and discrimination, but if your boss is equally mean to everyone you could be out of luck.

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