Q&A Session: Bullying Bosses


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I was hit on the shoulder by an upper level employee during a staff meeting. I did not report it at the time. Six months later I received a negative performance rating. Since that time my requests for training, telework, alternate work hours, etc have been denied. I feel bullied by my supervisors and am afraid to go to work. I am a rehired annuitant. What should I do?


If you are a rehired annuitant, you work at the discretion of the agency. Your failure to report the assault you describe at the time it happened decreases the chances that someone will take it seriously if you complain now. Also, as a re-employed annuitant, the more you complain about your personal workplace situation, the more likely you are to experience your agency’s exercise of discretion to let you go.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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