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Awful bully boss-maybe predator, how to proceed
Old 03-05-2019, 07:47 PM   #1
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Awful bully boss-maybe predator, how to proceed

I'm retiring in 2 months. The respect I have, among my colleagues, except our gawdawful medical director is amazing. I have a huge question about how to proceed--see the story, comment and give me suggestions.

I am nearly 60 yo. I joined this nationwide corporate practice in 2007. The medical director of our local part of the practice left about 4 years ago. She was medical director for 18 years before it all blew up for her...she now makes double the income and is still my friend, and I got advice from her within the last hour. She is in the same career, in a different part of the country. She says I need to report stuff, but what to report?

I was on call with a resident last weekend. Within one hour of our time together, this resident shared the following:

She was deathly afraid of this rotation, because of our current medical director (a bully), but mainly because she heard through "the grapevine" that he stalked a medical student--followed her to her home. This resident was fearful that she would be on call with him overnight and would be subject to predatory behavior. Fortunately for her that was not the case-he scheduled himself to no night call-another issue.

I shared what this resident told me with my former medical director and she said--report to corporate compliance. But this is rumor based with no facts.

Understand that this man is a bully in every way. 5 months ago I vowed to never be in a room with him alone, and shared that with someone on the national corporate level, not because of sexual stuff, but because he is a bully. The company stand by their guy, and they have done nothing. I've had shared my concerns with my superiors but nothing has come of it, because it's me vs him, I'm female, have a 12 year history with the company, and he is male, with a 2 year history with the company. Yep, I'm disgusted.

Demographics: I am a 59 yo white female. He is an African national, foreign trained, probably about 40. I'm a former department chair. He was recruited in desparation from a nearby academic institution. HR supports "their guy". I share the demographics for factual information and because I think that might be a factor. Do I know that? No. but I have to wonder about this.

If I hear credible information from trainiees-students and residents (fear of predatory behavior) - should I not report that?

This guy is a pediatrician, but from what I've seen, he's a lazy SOB, and I've been bullied and abused by him. The medical students and residents and my partners see his behavior too.

What would be your game plan? BTW, I have nothing to lose-no pension, no severance-nothing from the company I'm leaving. I want to save my colleagues and many medical students and nurses from this loser.

All suggestions are welcome.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:10 PM   #2
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It's a tough one.
You say he's a bully--if this is based on what you've personally experienced, is it something actionable? He doesn't have to break the law to be exhibiting behavior that reduces team effectiveness. And if there are feedback mechanisms for that, then definitely use them.

If you can get additional information on the stalking incident, something that can be followed up, then that would obviously be more useful than what you have now. Was the target also an employee of your company? Any official reporting of it? If you can encourage the victim/target to file a police report, it would be doing many people a great service, but I can understand she might not choose to do that.

What you are trying to do is commendable. You are in a unique position to do something. Your position will be stronger if you've got hard data.
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Keep eyes open and mouth shut until there is evidence
Old 03-05-2019, 08:15 PM   #3
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Keep eyes open and mouth shut until there is evidence

Unless you have been either a victim yourself or an actual witness to it, then you have nothing to report.

Even your younger colleague has nothing to report. "The grapevine" is not evidence, and being a jerk is not a crime.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't counsel your colleague to remain vigilant, but advancing hearsay as a complaint is more likely to make things worse.

The only person who seems to have a real complaint is the medical student who might - or might not - have been stalked. I do not believe the company will casually dismiss a complaint because the boss is "their guy"; they are more likely to investigate it and find that as of today there isn't any proof of wrongdoing.

It isn't fair to anyone, even the unpopular current medical director, to spread accusations without foundation. Please gather facts before deciding to press a charge of misconduct.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:17 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear, sounds like nothing to lose. Document via recording all interactions.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:18 PM   #5
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Maybe the question is less WHAT to report, because that's what those in oversight roles should investigate, you shouldn't have to serve up iron-clad evidence to at least bring forward a concern.

That said, it's helpful to be as specific as possible. Even in this thread, you don't really tell us why YOU have vowed never to be alone with him. You state he's bullied and abused you, but those are very broad descriptors and don't tell us the actionable behavior. Little specifics, details, usually help a lot. Not saying you have to share them here, but that's what I'd document. Write everything down. Dates, locations, quotes, actions.

All that aside, as far as reporting I'd be looking at another channel. It sounds like the HR team and your superiors aren't receptive anyway. It sounds like maybe go to the state medical board with your info? And once you confirm that channel, share it with others so THEY can also report their own cases.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:19 PM   #6
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There is nothing much you can do about Bully bosses backed by powers that be, unless you have compelling evidence he is breaking corp policy or breaking the law. Best you retire in 2 months and leave the fight to colleagues
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:19 PM   #7
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His word vs. yours. I suggest getting a voice recorder and record every conversation you have with him, assuming it isn't against your state laws. Then you woman need to team up and get each other's contact information and look out for each other. Problems in the middle of the night? Call a coworker ASAP.

Come to think of it, why don't all of you get voice records?
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:31 PM   #8
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Unless you have been either a victim yourself or an actual witness to it, then you have nothing to report.

Even your younger colleague has nothing to report. "The grapevine" is not evidence, and being a jerk is not a crime.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't counsel your colleague to remain vigilant, but advancing hearsay as a complaint is more likely to make things worse.

The only person who seems to have a real complaint is the medical student who might - or might not - have been stalked. I do not believe the company will casually dismiss a complaint because the boss is "their guy"; they are more likely to investigate it and find that as of today there isn't any proof of wrongdoing.

It isn't fair to anyone, even the unpopular current medical director, to spread accusations without foundation. Please gather facts before deciding to press a charge of misconduct.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:01 PM   #9
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Write it down, be brief. Use dates and times, and quote what was said to you. Hand it to HR on your way out. It might keep a young lady out of harms way in the future. Creepers and bullies are a risk to the organization. Eventually a solid case develops.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:18 PM   #10
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Document everything and plan your exit. If he stalks you or anyone else, at the very least the police should be called. That would both serve as a deterrent to him and hopefully start a paper trail that can't be ignored.


If he stalked me, he would be looking into a very large diameter barrel up close and personal.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:24 PM   #11
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My megacorp made every employee take workplace harassment training (not just sexual, but anything that makes you uncomfortable at work). What youíve described sounds like the director has created a hostile work environment. An employer can be held liable for failing to prevent these conditions once they are made aware of them. You and your resident should both report your discomfort to HR and remind them of this fact. That might prompt them to at least talk to the director. Maybe they make him take an awareness class and that solves the problem. It doesnít mean he has to get fired (unless there are facts to support that), but he does need to change behavior.

Btw, retaliation against the reporting employee is also a no-no.

Hereís an short excerpt from the Wikipedia link on Hostile Work Environment

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host...rk_environment

ďHostile work environment

In United States labor law, a hostile work environment exists when one's behavior within a workplace creates an environment that is difficult or uncomfortable for another person to work in, due to discrimination.[1] Common complaints in sexual harassment lawsuits include fondling, suggestive remarks, sexually-suggestive photos displayed in the workplace, use of sexual language, or off-color jokes.[2] Small matters, annoyances, and isolated incidents are usually not considered illegal. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to a reasonable person. An employer can be held liable for failing to prevent these workplace conditions, unless it can prove that it attempted to prevent the harassment and that the employee failed to take advantage of existing harassment counter-measures or tools provided by the employer.[3]Ē
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:26 PM   #12
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I was a mega corp director in CA before I retired. The rule was, you report something/anything like this to HR. Whether there was proof or not, that's not important. It's the HR's job to follow up.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:33 PM   #13
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Hahahaha, no retaliation, right. Want to buy a bridge?


OP should be planning her exit. The person who is the bad actor is highly likely to retaliate and is a member of a favored class so HR will tread very carefully around him. I don't see any good outcome on this one except moving on, hopefully to a better opportunity.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:23 PM   #14
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I was a mega corp director in CA before I retired. The rule was, you report something/anything like this to HR. Whether there was proof or not, that's not important. It's the HR's job to follow up.
In a better world, yes. In the real world, you are a rat and will be retaliated against. HR will be on the phone telling the bully who squealed before you even get back to your office. Been there, done that.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:16 AM   #15
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Iím retiring anyway in less than two months. This is a company that begged ME to come back to work, twice. Iíve already had several heart to heart conversations with people up the line from him about the hostile environment. But this allegation is on a whole different level. Since I wasnít witness to it, Iím not in a good situation to report it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:40 AM   #16
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Iím retiring anyway in less than two months. This is a company that begged ME to come back to work, twice. Iíve already had several heart to heart conversations with people up the line from him about the hostile environment. But this allegation is on a whole different level. Since I wasnít witness to it, Iím not in a good situation to report it.

You are still obligated to report it, right?
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:56 AM   #17
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I do not have enough information to give solid advice, only possible suggestions. You indicate you have been, "bullied and abused" by this individual. And then there is the rumor of predatory behavior. As others have mentioned, a company is not a court room. You do not have to have proof. (Although as a general sense of fairness, I would not proceed with rumors unless I had reason to believe they were serious and might be credible.)

I would document the cases of bullying and abuse that you personally have witnessed and report them to HR. If you believe the rumor should be investigated, I would also report this. HR can investigate. If you have verbally mentioned it to HR, but do not feel they have acted, put it in writing. A written complaint is a little harder to ignore and documents these issues. While they may or may not do anything at this point, it will strengthen the case if someone else comes forward with similar allegations in the future.

Sorry you are dealing with this.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:17 AM   #18
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Good luck, I have no new insights.

It is interesting that there is a story line developing on the show "The Good Doctor" that mirrors some of what you have described. TV writers always reflect a bit of reality. Sounds like the medical business has some issues in general for those in positions of authority.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:01 AM   #19
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Sounds like the medical business has some issues in general for those in positions of authority.
Every business has these issues. Not every single company or organization, but it crosses all boundaries. Power corrupts if there are no checks on it.

I'd also recommend the archives of Ask a Manager - she's had a number of letters similar to this, and gives good advice.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:13 AM   #20
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Maybe not make a full report about unsubstantiated claims, but perhaps ask for some advice from a trusted HR person. This will open a dialog, without actually pointing any fingers, or making accusations that you can bend their ear about a concern you have.
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