Two former employees at Washington State Community College said that the college’s president, Charlotte Hatfield, has bullied employees in an “intimidating” and “demeaning” manner in the seven years that she has worked at the school.
Susan Bayles, the college’s former HR director, said that her reasons for quitting in April 2008 were “routine contempt,” “berating,” and harm to her “emotional and spiritual health” that resulted from Hatfield’s workplace bullying. Bayles also said that the community college “would qualify as a hostile work environment.”
While at WSCC, Bayles said that she would receive complaints from employees about Hatfield’s abusive behavior on a daily basis. “There was a real fear there. Folks would leave her office in tears and come to me as the human resources director – and these were not overly sensitive people.”
The former dean of enrollment management, Ann Hontz, said that she suffered mental and emotional abuse from Hatfield. Though Hontz left the college last summer after working there for 21 years, she said that she still hears from current employees who complain about Hatfield’s toxic behavior.
Despite all of the evidence pointing to the hostile work environment at Washintgon State Community College, the college’s Board of Trustees voted to renew Hatfield’s employment contract through 2011.
In a prepared response to the workplace bullying accusations, Charlotte Hatfield said, “Washington State is known in the community as an excellent place to work.”