Work on TV: CBS’s “The Good Wife” highlights worker abuse

Those who are knowledgeable about workplace bullying and abuse may regard this as ho-hum, but earlier this month a network television drama featured a story line involving a lawsuit against a deliberately abusive employer.

CBS’s “The Good Wife” is one of the better network lawyer shows, featuring Julianna Margulies as a Alicia Florrick, lawyer and wife of unfaithful spouse Peter Florrick, a one-time Chicago state’s attorney who is running to recapture his office after serving time in prison for corruption.

The Good Wife features strong acting and fun plot twists, making for a very watchable series.

“Wrongful Termination”

Earlier this month, in an episode titled “Wrongful Termination,” The Good Wife featured a story line built around a workplace suicide and allegations that the employer deliberately created an abusive work environment in order to push workers into quitting their jobs.

Alicia Florrick is part of the legal team bringing a lawsuit against this employer, with the claims grounded in allegations of psychological mistreatment of the workers.

Why this matters

If we want workplace bullying to be mainstreamed as an employment relations concern, then we need dramatic depictions of abusive work environments in the popular media. Putting these narratives before the general public serves as a powerful validating force for this movement.

In short, stuff like this shows us that workplace bullying is coming out into the open. It’s a seemingly modest but important development.


For Comcast cable subscribers, the episode is still available via On Demand as of this writing.

2 responses

  1. I never miss The Good Wife. It’s an excellent show. That particular episode was so good – and could have been based on a true story (or several).

    It’s worth looking it up online if you missed it. I think they have full episodes on line.

    Thank you for the post.

  2. Dear Dr. Yamada,

    The Good Wife is one of two of my favorite programs; the other ‘was’ Harry’s Law (I hope it comes back). The main reason I enjoy both programs is they open your thought processes; and, there is always a lesson to be learned or reinforced to do: The Right Thing!

    In “Wrongful Termination” it was revealed that the reason they created an abusive work environment was ‘greed;’ and the CEO’s were doing: The Wrong Thing!

    Abusive Behavior is used to cover up: The Wrong Thing!

    Skills are needed to recognize Abusive Behavior before it Hurts You.

    In the meantime, follow your ‘GUT!’

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