Tag Archives: depression

Department of Interior pays employee $150,000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuit

In September 2009, the Department of Interior was ordered to pay a Federal employee $149,459 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a Department of Interior employee named Celeste Gray who claimed that she was sexually harassed by her supervisor for over two years.

Gray alleged that her supervisor “rubbed her shoulders, called her into his office to pick up trash off the floor in front of his desk, put a bottle of oil on her desk for her hair; told her that there was ‘nothing he did not know about a woman’s body.'”

Gray’s allegations were supported by two coworkers, who testified that their boss had asked another employee what kind of bra she had one and would look at the breasts of a female coworker and say, “Oh, I see the girls this morning.”

Gray suffered serious psychological damages as a result of the sexual harassment that she endured.  She suffered from hypertension, headaches, sleep disorder, depression, anxiety, nightmares, low self-esteem, excessive drinking, and alienation from family members.


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Why CEOs should strive for a jerk-free workplace

Kevin Kennemer, president of The People Group, wrote an excellent article for Tulsa World describing the devastating effects that workplace bullying usually has on the bully’s colleagues as well as the entire company.

Kennemer mentions some of the dangerous health ailments that people who work for a toxic boss can suffer from: hypertension, heart attacks, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, etc.

And when employees suffer from physical or psychological health problems, Kennemer argues, they tend to miss work, their colleagues are less productive, and employee turnover increases, all of which are significant obstacles for companies to deal with.
Top executives often are not aware of the hostile work environment created at their companies due to the bad boss culprits having mastered the art of “causing fear down the corporate ladder while massaging egos up the ladder in order to protect their own careers.”

Nonetheless, Kennemer writes that, “a growing number of employers see the advantages of creating civil work environments with rules of engagement where jerk behavior is not allowed….Some organizations have even publicly adopted and publicized their jerk-free workplace status.”

Click here to read Kennemer’s original article.


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Workplace Bullying and Depression: A Victim’s Story

The St. Petersburg Times recently reported about a workplace bullying victim who suffered major depression and gained 90 pounds in two years as a result of being harassed and abused by a coworker on an ongoing basis.

Jane Soderstrom, a registered nurse who worked at BayCare, went on on medical leave on March 30 after the constant bullying caused her to suffer anxiety disorder, a major depression episode, insomnia, headaches, shakes, and dizziness.

After she finally decided that HR was unable or unwilling to help her, Soderstrom filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and her bully was demoted.

Click here to read the entire article.


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