Severe bi-polar employer

My employer is severely bi-polar. She's on anti-depressants, but they're not for bi-polar.

Needless to say, she is very abusive and has a high employee turnover. Nothing is ever good enough. Those of us who have stuck around agree that it is an abusive environment.

I've tried to tell her to go back to therapy and she laughed at me. She conintues to blame her mania on us. She's made everyone cry at one time or another.

Why isn't there laws to protect us from mentally ill or unstable employers? With the economy so awful now, we have no choice but to stay.

Please help us.

1 answer  |  asked Sep 3, 2003 5:10 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Coping With Unfit Bosses

You use the word "employer." Does that mean that she is the owner? If so, you will have a more difficult row to hoe. But, you've taken the first step -- which is acknowledging the problem. So, please allow me to say "thank you" for speaking out. I hope more people will follow your example.

If this is the owner of the company, you and your co-workers could get the maximum protection from being abused by a bully in a manager's clothes by forming a union. Is it easy? No, it will probably take a lot of your time. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

You can be part of a large union, or you can form your own. If you join up with a large union, you can get help from the full-time employees of the union.

As a union, you could bargain with the employer over acceptable forms of communication -- and acceptable reasons for disciplinary action.

I would suggest forming a union even if the person with the bi-polar disorder is not the owner -- because a union can help in so many, many ways. But, if she is not an owner, I suggest starting with a petition to the owner. I say a petition because there is safety in numbers. Be polite, be nice, but be firm in stating that the behavior is offensive and should be stopped.

I also urge you to become a supporter of Workplace Fairness, a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to educating and activating workers to stand up for (and improve) their rights.

Lastly, I am aware that several books have been written that give advice on working with bullies. I realize you have not characterized this person as a bully, but some of the strategies might be applicable.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Sep 7, 2003 5:44 PM [EST]

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