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Lawmakers Talk Tough About the Bad Boss

Employee Surveys May Head Off Potential Suits. If the Boss Is Bad, Survey the Situation

The legend of the bad boss has been chronicled throughout the ages, but the online revolution has shed new light on the issue – so much so that lawmakers are getting involved. Bullying bosses are in the sights of a handful of legislators, who contend that employees should be allowed to sue their supervisors for being rude, abusive, obnoxious, or basically a combination of all three. At least four state legislatures – Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Washington – are considering bills that would allow employees to seek damages for having to endure an “abusive work environment.”

“We’re seeing new light on an issue that has plagued the workplace since the first employee-employer relationship,” said Dr. Jan West, CEO of the National Business Research Institute (NBRI). “The proliferation of websites devoted to posting bad boss stories along with the AFL-CIO’s worst boss contest should encourage employers to make sure they know what’s going on with their supervisor-worker relationships.”

The legislation being floated in the various states is short on specifics, but some lawmakers and employee rights groups believe workers need a new law that goes beyond the protections already in place against racial discrimination, sexual harassment, disabilities, and religion. They believe employees need to have some sort of an outlet when they experience poor treatment.

The continuing threat of lawsuits and legislation underscores the need for companies to invest in the services of the National Business Research Institute, which announced today its upgraded service on conducting employee engagement surveys. Employee surveys are a key component in determining if a company is having problems with a particular supervisor before the threat of legal action appears.

The Texas-based NBRI conducts employee engagement surveys that identify problems within a company allowing employers to solve issues before they become critical. Employee surveys from NBRI and the subsequent action plans to address any issues, result in improved levels of engagement, productivity, and loyalty. Using the latest psychological research methods and years of industry experience, NBRI stands out above the crowd in conducting employee engagement surveys.

Management may deny it, but the bad boss issue is very real for employees. A recent survey by California’s Employment Law Alliance found that 44% of employees in the U.S. said they had worked at one time for an abusive supervisor.

“Considering how the courts could be clogged with lawsuits, I’m not sure that legislating boss behavior is a great idea,” said West. “It’s much better for companies to handle these problems internally. Conducting employee surveys is the first step to uncovering and correcting any issues.”

National Business Research Institute

Plano, Texas


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