Abusive Bosses: When Enough Is Enough

By Paula Santonocito

smw - abusive bossHave you ever been bullied, belittled or intimidated by your boss?

Maybe the abuse wasn’t as dramatic as when supermodel Naomi Campbell threw her cell phone and hit her now-former maid in the head, but bad behavior from the boss is far more common than you might think.

First, the Facts

A nationwide survey conducted last year by Employment Law Alliance (ELA), a network of attorneys providing employment and labor expertise, finds 44 percent of American workers have worked for a supervisor they consider abusive.

Perhaps not surprising, the older you are, the more likely you’ve encountered an abusive boss.

Among workers 18 to 24 years of age, less than one-fourth, 24 percent, have experienced abuse by a supervisor. Among workers in the 25 to 34 age group, 37 percent have worked for an abusive boss. And the number of people continues to increase with age.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of survey respondents 35 to 44 say they’ve worked for a boss who demonstrated abusive behavior; likewise, 49 percent of workers 45 to 54 years of age have experienced an abusive boss. Meanwhile, among survey respondent 55 to 64, a majority, 56 percent, has worked for someone they consider abusive.