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With the New Year of 2012 has come a couple of  trends already that many employees and job seekers have not expected, especially in the light of economic recovery beginning around the USA. 

First, a few employersor writers pretending to be employers – have offered some very harsh commentary on the Internet,  in emails, and in forum posts regarding employment for 2012.  Some have stated that illegal questions WILL be answered during interviews of job candidates “or else.” I think it is good advice to steer clear of these interviewers and think that the majority of job candidates out there this year will not suffer the inquisition and invasiveness of illegal interview questions.  Contact your local EEO to report such behaviors and ask additional advice if this occurs with you.

Another trend is the statement by some employers, or rather some reporting themselves as supervisors and bosses, that they expect to be able to call employees insulting names, curse them,  belittle them, throw things at them, and diminish them verbally in the workplace, all without consequence. They give the hackneyed excuse that they are either joking or that the target of abuse needs to grow thicker skin. This is not only illegal, but may be a mental illness.  See the links below for more help.

At the same time,  contacts in the UK assure us that name calling is not at all commonplace there, much less throwing things at employees and/or actually hitting them. This information lends even more credence to the fact that verbal abuse in the US workplace is perverse, not healthy.  Let us not permit it to become pervasive as well.  The body of related research and EEO case studies show that verbal abuse leads to physical abuse, even murder in the most extreme of instances. Stop it at the verbal stage by documenting it and speaking up – but not with name calling and profanity.

Bullying can kill a child at school and verbal abuse is a step down the same path in the workplace. Take care.

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