Threatened To Break My Neck To Get Me To Quit!


I am a 67-year old woman who has been threatened in the workplace. The estimator verbally abused me, calling me “a f—— b—-” threatened to break my neck – and said, “I’ll break your f—— neck you f—— b—-” He also said, “I’ll have you out of here in six months you f—— b—-. I’ll have you out of here by your birthday you f—— b—-.” These outbursts have been going on fir four years and the most recent happened eight days ago. This company has employed me for 13 years. A year ago, I mentioned to my boss the owner of this corporation that employs 40 people that I was thinking of retiring and we should start looking for a replacement for my position that is Accountant-Business Manager. The last I spoke with him he gave me six months to train someone and then he wants me out. I terminated my employment yesterday.


Threatened in Naples


Dear Threatened in Naples:

Apparently, the owner of your workplace either was unaware or did not care if you had a bully threatening you. Since you resigned, it may be late, but not too late to make this individual and the owner take back the threat and verbal abuse. Have you considered speaking with a labor attorney to explore if you have a case against the company for physical threats and verbal outbursts intended to cause you to leave?

Check with the local bar association or call an attorney get a recommendation of one who takes labor related cases. Then phone to learn if that individual has free consultation (usually 30-60 minutes) and takes a case such as your on contingency and then inquire if you have enough evidence to pursue recourse for threats and age discrimination. Do as you did in this e-mail documenting what was said and when as accurately as possible and who if any others heard the threats and abuse. Did you ever complain to the owner about this? If so, also document that. We do not give legal advice, but it seems to me you have reason, at the very least, to have an apology from the owner and assurance that he will stop such abuse to others.

Also, note how you responded to the threats and verbal abuse as accurately as you can recall. It may be that your reward is simply to be free from outbursts at work; however, those who physically threaten and explode in anger should be made to take responsibility for harm done. Will you let us know what you do and learn?

Bullies bully because it works for them and they will continue to do so until those who have power will cause them to face up to and pay for the harm their behavior does. Managers who permit threats and verbal abuse should be held responsible for correcting worker actions that foster a hostile environment and any kind of discrimination. The threatened and abused also have a responsibility for doing what they can to make their work environment free from incivility and potential violence.

Contributing to a healthy and happy workplace benefits all who work there. That is what we mean by our signature WEGO.

William Gorden