What to do in a Neglectful Workplace


Today’s topic is heavier than our standard fare, but it’s an important message worth conveying. Please read and pass along….

I was at a neighborhood hotspot watching yesterday’s game – Algeria v. Korea – when a young lady walked in wearing a hospital bracelet saying she had just gotten off work. “I need a beer. Who’s playing?” A few of us caught her up on the game and in no time we were all chatting, one eye on the screen, which is when she mentioned that she had been attacked by a client. Suddenly all eyes were on her, listening to the horrific story unfold. Hearing the details, the parea staged an intervention then and there.

Misconception #1: “In my line of work it’s expected.” Yellow Card #1: Clinic, office, retail, livery, food and beverage…. Whatever your profession, there’s never a reason to accept physical abuse in your workplace. NEVER justify abuse.

Misconception #2: “No big deal. It’s not the first time.” Yellow Card #2: Don’t allow yourself to be a victim. Step up and file a grievance immediately. If the institution is not responsive to your claim, don’t just roll over and let this happen again and again! You have to respect yourself enough to step away from the abusive setting. Contact the division of HR (or your Union) that provides for an Ombudsman or Referee to address the issue on your behalf.

Misconception #3: What had the company done after each incident to prevent it from happening again? “Well…. Not much, really.” Red Card: If – after your best attempt to communicate your grievances and request support, treatment for your injuries, etc. – your employer does not value you enough to take proper precautions to ensure your safety, it’s time to walk away… and find a good attorney. Don’t wait for yet another incident.

Just Say “NA!” Letting an abusive/neglectful work environment go unchecked just enables the organization to create situations like this for other employees in the future. It’s important to know when, where and how to file a grievance claim should the need arise. Respect yourself enough to know and defend your rights. In doing so, you may save the lives and futures of others as well.


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