Four denizens of the Bay State have been named to eBossWatch’s “America’s Worst Bosses” list for 2011. Each year, eBossWatch assembles a panel of workplace experts who evaluate leading candidates for the distinction, basing their selections largely on publicly available records and news reports.
In addition to the personal hurt inflicted by their actions, some of these bosses are costing their employers a lot of money. eBossWatch reports that as “of December 2011, the 2011 America’s Worst Bosses have cost their employers over $145 million in monetary damages and lawsuit settlement payments.”
Jay Severin’s “grateful” interns
Former WTKK-FM talk show host Jay Severin finished No. 6 in this year’s listing after he bragged about his conquests of young interns and employees (link here):
Jay Severin, a controversial talk radio host at WTKK-FM, was fired after admitting on air that he slept with his interns and that they should be grateful for it.
Severin said, “I slept with virtually every young college girl I hired to be an intern or an employee for my firm.
“That’s not the purpose for which they were hired but it certainly was an ancillary dimension of the job.
“Those girls that got to sleep with me got to know their boss better, they got to go on trips, they got to travel in some cases to various parts of the world, to see things and meet people that they never would have seen or done.
Sexual harassment and sewing assignments at the Hull P.D.?
The Hull Police Department seems to be stuck in another era — the Neanderthal Age, perhaps? — when it comes to how it treats women, at least according to a lawsuit alleging harassment inflicted by top brass Richard Billings, Robert Sawtelle, and Dale Shea, who collectively ranked 51st in the 2011 list (link here):
A female police officer in Hull has filed a scathing harassment lawsuit against the department’s chief and two top commanders, alleging the men regularly demeaned her with sexist slurs, and forced her to mend other officers’ uniforms while off duty.
Wendy Cope-Allen, an officer on the Hull force since 2003, is accusing Police Chief Richard Billings and two other supervisory officers, Captain Robert Sawtelle and Lieutenant Dale Shea, of “pervasive and severe’’ sexual harassment, and contends they routinely denigrated other female employees in the department.
I appreciate eBossWatch for its annual list and other ways in which it informs us about gruesome workplaces. The annual list, in particular, serves as a stark reminder of how people can be mistreated, even when laws exist that address the offending behavior.
In addition, as I’ve said before, we must remember that dysfunctional organizational cultures often play a huge role in encouraging or enabling these behaviors. Changing those cultures is as important as dealing with individual bad apples and the damage they inflict.