April 27, 2011 at 2:07 am #89509
AnonymousInactiveApril 27, 2011 at 2:07 amPost count: 14413
Ever since I “came out” to my employer as having ADD my supervisor doesn’t miss a chance to make snide embarrassing remarks about it. I am considered a very good employee (having over compensated for my ADD failings) but if someone at work makes any kind of mistake she compares them with me. She has actually looked it up on the internet so she knows exactly what she is doing but nothing seems to stop her. I cannot quote every comment because it is daily and persistent. Recently my boss told me that my name had come up at a company meeting and everyone had declared it an amazing miracle that I had not been late in several months (true and hard won). When I repeated this to my supervisor she responded by telling me that that wasn’t true and she knew of at least seven times that I had been late that month. On top of that unless I supply her with “just a few pills” of my adderol she tries to spread rumors to my employers. When I finally told her that I wasn’t taking medication any longer to stop her from asking I was called in by my boss and told that my supervisor complained that I just wasn’t focusing on my work. She agreed that my assignments had been completed on time but suggested that I get back on the meds since my supervisor had said that I couldn’t focus without them.
If I hear “that’s our Wendy!” one more time I’ll scream.
At a ADD conference we were warned not to tell our employer. I only did because they were enforcing strict rules about being late and I knew that this disorder was listed under article 9 of the Disabilities Act but now I think I should never have said anything. Any advice of how to deal with this supervisor would be appreciated.REPORT ABUSEApril 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm #103533
AnonymousInactiveApril 27, 2011 at 12:50 pmPost count: 14413
If you haven’t already, make careful documentation of every such interaction with this individual and get collaborating accounts from witnesses whenever possible. You have a clear case of harassment going on and you need to report it to HR right away. Assuming you are in the US, the ADA prevents such behavior and businesses that fail to accommodate individuals because of their disabilities can get in a lot of trouble. Obviously, you do not want to be in a situation where everybody sees you as a “troublemaker” but at the same time, it is clear that this person is creating an environment where it is difficult for you to work.REPORT ABUSEApril 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm #103534
AnonymousInactiveApril 27, 2011 at 1:17 pmPost count: 14413
Stargoop, I couldn’t agree more with gameguy. Document all individuals who witness any of these interactions, date, time, circumstances. I feel for you. although a couple of trusting colleagues know my situation, I’ve been hesitant to disclose, and your situation is a strong example of why. I hope you can get through this as smoothly as possible. Keep us posted.REPORT ABUSEApril 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm #103535
shutterbug55ParticipantApril 27, 2011 at 6:59 pmPost count: 430
If you can, start recording ALL your conversations with your supervisor and co workers. Your situation is a classic Harassment issue. DO NOT tell anyone you are recording. It makes them nervous. In non criminal matters, you don’t need to announce recordings. Turn over your notes to HR and keep the recordings, in the event you need them later. I am a vet, and I have been in a very similar situation.REPORT ABUSEApril 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm #103536
AnonymousInactiveApril 28, 2011 at 7:00 pmPost count: 14413
Stargoop……. I’d be careful……really careful….many HR departments in a conflict situation line up and back the management team,sorry, that’s what they do. I know this may not be morally or ethically correct, but, none the less, it’s true. All the legal support and human rights documentation is nice to know, however, mostly it’s bureaucratic bullshit…..the application and execution (the reality) may leave much to be desired when tested in the workplace. Managers will generally back their managers……sorry but you asked.
I don’t want to come off a negative or cynical …..but… I’ve seen and experienced this kind of immoral behavior by HR and management or management teams in my career, and too much of it!!! I was on both sides of the fence, staff and management……I’d be careful. The seemingly friendly “open door” policy is often completely the opposite.
If I had had another avenue, other than open confrontation, I would consider examining that first. I only say this from experience, I personally was always supportive and gracious with my staff, they would walk through fire with me ………..always……but, I observed many, too many manager/supervisors who were not. I never understood how they got to be managers, but they were, what does that tell you about the people above them??? If I could get out from under that person’s supervision ASAP…..I’d do it, do it as soon as possible…..try do it without doing myself any damage, but I’d do it!!! Making any sort of verbal charge against one’s supervisor while working directly for them is….hmmmmm…… dangerous, and would almost always go badly. It’s true…..
Here is my rationalization……if my supervisor has already exhibited behavior that is more than questionable, unethical at best, and is using undermining controlling behavior as a tool (bad choice)…. if I would think he/she, will suddenly become forthright and ethical if it comes to open an open conflict situation (your ass or theirs), I would be dead wrong, wrong wrong. I would expect the lies, expect exaggeration, misdirection…..and more. They will not go down for this, they will do or say anything and I mean anything, to save their own ass!!! To think an unethical person of low morale fiber will suddenly turn over a new leaf and do what is right, would be magical thinking on my part!!! Honesty is what is needed here….. it’s a tuff spot. If nothing else I’m honest, brutely so…..handing out Adderall to one’s boss, that’s trafficking in amphetamines……in the work place!!! That will not bode well for anybody, if that fact was brought to the table……your word against their’s kinda thing…..damage done. Consequences of that could be devastating.
To resolve this, I would keep my head down……give them no reason for rebuke, nothing….I would never ever share medication ever ever ever again, ever…..I would also try my hardest to bid out on a different position, in the mean time, I’d be on time always, always always…. be early, I’d make sure my manager saw me being in early. Subtle, I’d walk by say “good morning” so they knew…thats all. I’d do my work, I’d be a star, I could do that, and I’d keep this to myself the whole time (if I needed to share, it would be with a counselor for ensured privacy)…….and, I would get away from my supervisor ASAP!!! It’s their game, remember that…….but I would beat them at it….and win.
Just my take…….this not intended as advice…
toofatREPORT ABUSEApril 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm #103537
Curlymoe115MemberApril 29, 2011 at 5:36 pmPost count: 206
When you have a supervisor approaching you and trying to blackmail you into giving them medication I would invest in a pocket recorder and whenever the issue comes up make sure you say that “The medication was prescribed to me to take care of a medical condition. It would neither be ethical or fair for me to give you any medications and that if she/he feels that they need medication it would really be best for them to see a doctor.” That way if you are still taking the medication she will not try to turn it around and use it to exact revenge.
As Toofat said the system usually backs the supervisor not the employee. Even when they are totally wrong they usually get the benefit of the doubt and you get none. Since you have been striving to curb your tardiness and you are conscientious with your work habits make sure you give this person no reason to complain. If your employer is complementing you and then the supervisor then turns it around and tries to undermine you make sure you ask that they put in writing and add to your file any positive feedback. You can simply state that you want it to be there for your staff review and that if it is in writing it helps everyone remember it in a few months time. If it is true they should have no problem putting it in writing. It is also ammunition if this supervisor decides to be punitive at review time.
A bully boss often finds one person (or a few) to pick on and they hound this person until they quit or a new target comes into view. This type of behavior starts early in their life and continues on until they get too old or they are stopped. If you know a few others whom this person is picking on or who have been picked on in the past ask them to write letters outlining what happened. When it is one stray animal in the herd the herd often closes them on the outside. When the bully is confronted by a larger number then they can be stopped. But before you go this route make sure that these people are committed to going forward. Examine their reputation and make sure that you won’t be labeled as a bunch of belly aching whiners who don’t want to work and just trying to get someone else in trouble. Then go to management discreetly and ask them if they have a few minutes to sit with you because you have encountered a problem that you really don’t know how to deal with on your own. Then lay out the problem and ask them to help you brainstorm some solutions. You don’t want to cause trouble or suggest anything. Then listen to what management has to say. From there you will have a better understanding about the type of organization you are working for. In the meantime document, document, document. Then if you have to go outside of the company it isn’t just your word against the company supervisor.REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm #103538
ADDledMemberMay 1, 2011 at 12:20 pmPost count: 121
It sound to me that boundaries have to bet set regarding what is appropriate and not appropriate to say in your workplace about your ADD. This all should have been confidential, so for a management team to freely discuss your disability, especially when you ‘re not here to defend yourself is unethical to say the least.
In addition to all of the above, there are relevant provincial/state labour laws or human rights codes that usually have specific language about harassment and bullying.
The bullying aspect is now becoming more and more of an issue in the workplace and many jurisdictions are enacting anti-bulling legislation. And it seems that there is a lot more of this happening because many employees don’t have unions now, so companies can basically stomp on your rights any time they want, in my opinion. Now before this gets into a “unions protect lazy workers, promote mediocracy and aren’t needed anymore” debate, they are usually more aware of human rights and are in a better position to protect your rights. I can say this because I have been on both sides of the fence and my life was generally better when a union member. If you are a member, let them fight that battle for you.
And as everyone has indicated here….do not trust your HR department. They are not your friend and are really the “blunt object of corporate policy”. Avoid them.
Another option might be contacting a labour lawyer just to get a reading on what can be done in your case. Sometimes just a letter from a lawyer to your HR department can prevent further bullying by your superiors.
The tape recording works, too. In my case I asked my supervisor during a “performance improvement plan” if I can tape the meeting “because having ADD means I have poor short term memory and can’t always remember what we said”, well, he went pale. Because he knew he had crossed the line several times.
The last thing you may consider should you decide to go the HR route, is to avoid the low-level flunkies and go right up the chain of command to the manager, director an present your concerns directly to him/her. The flunkies will do the least amount to address your issues hoping you’ll go away. Sometimes the HR head have a little more knowledge of the impact of bulling and harassment in the workplace and be in a better position to help you. Hopefully.
Hope this helps…and good luck.REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm #103539
GeoduckMemberMay 1, 2011 at 5:25 pmPost count: 303
Ask yourself this, if this were sexual harassment, how would you proceed? There are ways to deal with this. You should not ever suffer abuse. My guess is you aren’t this person’s first victim, either.
EEOC website, what constitutes discrimination: <http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm> There is a time limit to file grievances, 180 days…see the website. In addition, if this goes unreported, and the longer it goes unreported, you will find it harder for people to believe you, and to prove your case. Same with the legal system. It’s going to be harder to prove your case the longer you wait, and also harder to prove that you were extorted out of your medication.
First thing to do, whatever you decide, and do it today…GET A LAWYER!!! Check with local agencies. If you can’t afford one, there are several charitable agencies that will provide council to people who can’t afford it. A lawyer can tell you what your legal rights are and how best to proceed, either through HR or the legal system. Also, I agree with everyone else, document everything! Write it down, or record it, whatever, and keep all good reports that you receive about you. This will be key to your case.
My suggestion would be to call the police (after getting a lawyer)!
You’re boss is violating both local and federal laws! One, extorting you for class 2 medications (according to my pharmacist, adderall is a class 2 med- up there with cocaine). That’s actually two laws in one stroke, the extortion, and then taking the meds (stolen by coercion-this is not your fault!). The third would be violating, and heinously so, the ADA act, which states that you cannot be harassed for your disability, or be discriminated against because of your non-transient (longer than 6 months) mental disability.
So if you don’t call the police and are thinking about HR:
Now here’s where I disagree with everyone else. When I was working at a big time corporation, they FEARED people with disabilites. Basically, they knew that it would be impossible to fire these people without extremely strong grounds. They feared lawsuits.
I saw a woman with a mental disability, bipolar disorder, totally run over management. She came to work late, if she showed up at all, she was abusive to others, she was not getting any work done. Even considering the ADA, there were still grounds to fire her, because she was becoming a danger to her co-workers. When I confronted management about her, because, lucky me, I had the privilege of briefly working with her, they said their hands were tied. They said that because of the ADA, it would just be too much of a hassle to deal with her, and any lawsuits that may be filed, even if she was rightfully terminated.
So no, I don’t buy that HR will side with them in this instance. Besides the fear of lawsuits, the embarrassment to the company that your supervisor will eventually provide, will be a publicity nightmare. However, there is one thing to consider. If you do go through HR, and even if you do win, you may be marked as a whistle blower, and it may be hard to get jobs or promotions in the future, which totally sucks, and is totally evil, but is a fact of life.
If you decide not to inform anyone, unfortunately, since the job market is so bad, you can’t just quit. Maybe look for another job before you quit, or request a transfer to another department, at least. Be careful, though, not to just jump into a situation that may actually be worse for you. Also realize, that by not reporting it at all, and just quitting, you may be just passing the problem on to the next unfortunate soul that is put under your supervisor.
My heart goes out to you. This is a horrible situation with no easy solution.REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm #103540
ADDledMemberMay 1, 2011 at 6:59 pmPost count: 121
I think the most important thing to remember in all of this is: do you like your job and like working there? Because once you start advocating for your rights at work it can get very weird, very quickly. This would be a big CLM (Career Limiting Move).
So unless your CEO has ADD up the wazoo, expect to be marginalized such as when interesting and important projects are handed to junior people or you find yourself being past over for promotion because of “‘your condition”. It may not be said quite that way, but their intent is obvious…
Hope this helps….and good luckREPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm #103541
AnonymousInactiveMay 1, 2011 at 8:23 pmPost count: 22
I am moving this one over to the workplace forum, everyone.REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm #103542
AnonymousInactiveMay 1, 2011 at 10:47 pmPost count: 14413
Thanks for the heads-up on the move J@T. Stargoop, you have seen my take on this issue….I think ADDled, has it right too….as a bare minimum, or at best, head-on is career limiting. Fighting the good fight, lawyers etc…..using the “letter of the law”….. all very noble, and in theory it would be the right thing to do……. as has been stated “there are laws”…………..right.
Pardon my cynical ass, but relying on the corporate world or the legal system to defend your rights……and do the right thing…..well……….after 60 years I’m still looking for evidence. It’s a stacked deck……have a look around.
Stay the course………I know “first hand” how stressful it can be….if you have an Employee Program you can reach out to for sharing and stress relief , you might want make use of that.
If you need to chat we are here!!!!!! We’re all here……
toofatREPORT ABUSEMay 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm #103543
BillMemberMay 2, 2011 at 11:17 pmPost count: 227
My advice would be to dust off your resume, decide what you want to do next, and quietly start looking for another job.REPORT ABUSEMay 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm #103544
AnonymousInactiveMay 10, 2011 at 2:45 pmPost count: 14413
That is horrible and your supervisor needs a swift kick in the arse. Write down everything you remember, and carefully document everything going forward. Secretly record any interactions too, so you will have proof of your supervisor’s extortion attempts (because beyond all other harassment, this is illegal). Even if you do nothing with the recordings, you will be able to defend yourself knowing that you have a leg to stand on if it comes to it. And in these situations, hard proof can be good for your own sanity too, for those times that you second-guess yourself. I wish I had recorded meetings with my manager when she was busting my ass about medication, because sometimes I wonder if I’m just insane or oversensitive or misinterpreting, etc etc.
I think you are smart to have said you stopped the meds…you are putting yourself in danger every time she successfully extorts meds from you. And now you can say “this person is pressuring me to restart meds saying my performance has dropped, but it hasn’t, because I’m still secretly still on the meds…so if not for performance, why do they want me to be on the meds so badly?”
Do you think you could have a discussion about this with the boss? “Hey boss, I am concerned that the supervisor has a drug problem…” You’ve got good ammo already so anyone with a pulse should be able to put 2 & 2 together…unless they’re longstanding buddies.
Anyway, good luck with this, cover your ass, tread carefully, and keep us posted!REPORT ABUSEMay 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm #103545
AnonymousInactiveMay 12, 2011 at 5:16 pmPost count: 14413
There are anti harassment and bullying rules in place for a reason. Your place of employment should have a policy that is very clear if not you have a long fight.
Don’t get sucked into their games or let it “get in to your head”. You are doing the right thing, find more support and go from there.
Cheers.REPORT ABUSEJune 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm #103546
AnonymousInactiveJune 29, 2011 at 2:02 pmPost count: 14413
As an attorney, I agree with what everyone has said here about harassment. you have rights, and you should feel empowered to exercise them by complaining. I also agree that, short of telephone cleaners, HR people are the most useless form of waste in corporate America. They’ll be the first with their backs against the wall when the revolution comes (apologies to Douglas Adams).
Some (non-legal) advice:
(1) One of the few useful things I learned in college was advice a boss of mine gave me (I worked for the college) when I took on the administration over some inequalities. I asked him, “what if they fire me for complaining.” Without missing a beat, he said, “why would you ever want to work for someone who would do that.” Since then, I’ve never had trouble confronting a boss. There are other jobs out there, and you don’t have to settle for one with a company that promotes a jackass to be your supervisor.
(2) More effective than writing things down, get a digital recorder, or use the one on your mobile phone. Record everything and archive it on your home computer. The jury will love to hear it. Pro tip: be sure to get your boss being explicit; demanding pills, etc. Vague allusions won’t be as effective as “give me the pills or you’re fired.” (Some states have rules about recording conversations, so look into it in your state. So long as you’re in person (not on the phone), you will probably be okay.) When you think you have enough (10 really good bits), take it to a lawyer to get their view on whether you have enough, and play them for the most senior HR person at your company. Everyone else is either a mindless troll who spends their day joking about people’s medical files (true story), or too naive to be of any help. A senior executive will instantly see the dollar signs attached to your lawsuit and will bend over backwards to fix it. You also will likely need to exhaust your internal remedies before suing.
(3) I would be willing to bet that you were diagnosed after taking this job. It sounds like you’re better than that job now. Don’t run from the job out of fear, but realize that you’re worth more than what they can give you. It sounds like a crappy place to work, especially if they think a psychopath like that is supervisor material.
(4) If you’re still giving her pills (which is illegal, and constitutes blackmail on her part), stop. If you cannot, tell her your doctor switched your medication and give her generic ex-lax. (She sounds like a moron, but generic should be a plain white pill). When she complains, tell her that’s a known side effect. (Diarrhea is a side effect for Adderall and Strattera). For added fun, cellophane over the toilet seat.
I truly believe what they call ADD is really a hunter mentality. Approach the problem like a dragon that needs to be slayed–stalk it, find its weakness and kill it. Enjoy the feast afterwards. (Don’t actually kill her, but getting her fired and seeing her dragged out in cuffs sounds more than justified). Good luck.REPORT ABUSE
I "came out" to my employer2011-04-27T02:07:18+00:00
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