Humane Treatment & Environments at Work: Hopefully, this will be the next human rights issue
Unfortunately, I am (and I note others are) posting anonymously. And, we all know why: The retaliation and retribution that is real; has done real damage to bright, talented, capable women (and others); and has real long-term detrimental effects on one's finances, retirement, benefits, ability to obtain other work, let alone one's psyche.
And, this type of unprofessional, non-leadership, abusive, hostile, degrading, demeaning, bullying stuff is disproportionately done to women and other vulnerable groups.
It is past time that there be a STRONG movement that calls this stuff out and firmly and definitively deals with it--and not just in the executive suites as the people who many of us knew were "essential" (yet, are jacked around with part-time hours necessitating working multiple part-time jobs, no benefits, no health insurance, no bonus or recognition for a job well-done, etc.), experience this type of damaging treatment on a daily basis.
Equally unfortunate is the fact that many hiring practices still employ the use of checking with prior bosses or supervisors. When my staff wanted to do this, I said "absolutely not!" as I bore witness to a boss sitting there telling someone who was checking a reference that the employee was "lackadaisical" which was a bold-faced lie. The employee was stellar and the boss did not want to lose her. Because of that boss' lie, the employee did not get a better job with better pay and better benefits. I am totally against US citizen's giving up their rights to legal redress because hiring systems demand that potential employees give up the right to hold someone accountable for falsehoods when references are checked.
I feel for this person as I have witnessed, stood up for, and helped people in these types of positions. It is devastating to have something like this happen then to try to put on a brave face, hide how you are feeling (angry, sad humiliated, etc.) during interviews, especially when HR is astute at picking up on demeanor, attitude, feelings, etc.
And, it is also tragic that some in HR now protect rogues like this--that is until a tell-all book that names names is published or a post on social media gets the higher ups to finally do something. So, I am concerned that if this person goes to HR or someone higher up, if this type of behavior has not been reined in, perhaps it is part of the destructive culture. Also, in some companies, if they find out you are looking for another job, they fire you which is ridiculous!!!!
Another troubling strategy some rogue bosses, departments, and organizations use is to give someone so much work that they cannot possibly get it done. Then, they write the person up and begin a campaign of hostility (also known as "constructive discharge).