CONGRATULATIONS: Power women, Leah Hollis

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination, Diversity Training

CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis   Feature in Mainline TODAY, OCTOBER 2012 Twenty-one of the Main Line’s most successful and influential women share their secrets to success. BY TARA BEHAN “I think you should be treated fairly at work,” says East Fallowfield Township’s Leah Hollis. “You shouldn’t be treated differently because of your gender, race or religion.” These days, that should be a given. It’s not. As founder and president of the Patricia Berkly LLC Group, Hollis has dedicated her career to preventing workplace discrimination. She’s even written books about it. Her first, Unequal Opportunity: Fired Without Cause? Filing with the EEOC, came out last year, and her second, Bully in the Ivory Tower, is due this fall. Advocacy runs in Hollis’ family. Her mom was president of the NAACP in central Pennsylvania, and both parents are civil-rights champions. Once a diversity trainer at Northeastern University, Hollis is hired by companies throughout the country to offer her expertise. She also has an online training series viewed by employees across the country. “You essentially spend more time at work than you do at home with your family on a daily basis,” she says. “So I believe that...

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YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show….

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in companies who offer diversity training, cultural diversity training, Discrimination, Diversity Training, diversity training consultants, sexual harassment

 YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. By Dr Leah Hollis, author of Unequal Opportunity: Fired without cause? Filing with the EEOC… Raquel had been a rising star in her company since her initial point of hire four years previous.  She had landed major clients, bonuses, and was recognized regionally and nationally for her work.  Despite the recession, Raquel’s life was laden with hard work and well deserved pay.  She had made the necessary sacrifices by delaying marriage, relocating three times, while reaping the financial rewards.  Raquel was at the height of her earning power.  Her performance record was so solid, no wonder she didn’t flinch when her boss retired. So of course, the new boss, Jacob would value her as a longstanding member of his team, even though she was passed over for his position.  Or so she thought. All teams go through the aches and pains of adjusting to a new leader.  Raquel felt the tension between Jacob and the rest of the team was no different. Everyone was adjusting to his new communication protocols, and reporting expectations.  Therefore, when Raquel walked in to her weekly meeting with him, with the Director of Human Resources present, she could only anticipate a conference about one of her direct reports.  The meeting was short… not sweet… “You’re fired….” Jacob blurted out.  “We are going in another direction. Budget cuts.” Raquel was stunned.  Clearly this was a joke. She had earned letters of commendation the last three quarters straight.  Her slack jawed pause allowed Jacob to continue… “You can have the next two hours to clean out your desk. We already cut off your internet service.  It’s 3 pm now. You should be out by 5 pm…” Raquel had nothing to say…what was this some reality show?  When will the commentator come out…? Candid Camera… You’ve been PUNKED… something?!? The HR Director did and said nothing.  Jacob got up and went to the window. “You have two hours…” Raquel’s mind was spinning.  She just built an addition on her house with a second mortgage.  Sure she could call headhunters, but she couldn’t move.  Budget cuts?  But they just hired two staff member last week… Budget cuts? *** Raquel’s story unfortunately is played out every day in this recession.  What Raquel’s manager and many other managers don’t realize is that Raquel and other jilted employees feel betrayed and start looking for ways to be heard. At this point, they have nothing to lose by pursuing a lawsuit. More than ever, employees know the federal discrimination laws, and know where to file a complaint either with the EEOC or an attorney.  Employees who are well educated or advanced in their careers are more likely to file...

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Reflection on the Rutgers bullying case

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination

Reflection on the Rutgers bullying case Reflection on the Rutgers bullying case Reflection on the Rutgers bullying case By Dr. Leah Hollis, author of Unequal Opportunity: Fired without cause? Filing with the EEOC… As a Rutgers alumna I was asked today “what do you think of the sentencing of Dhuran Ravi for the cyber bullying incident of Tyler Clementi?”    Ravi was originally facing up to 10 years in jail for a cyber bullying incident that led to Tyler Clementi  committing suicide.  Instead, Ravi faces 30 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. Was the sentence too light? Should the conviction be appealed?  Is the isolation faced by Ravi the last 20 months already sufficient?  Maybe some of the other questions we should ask, where do kids learn this behavior?  Who teachers civility?  How does this behavior continue to manifest as we supposedly grow up and into careers? I had to pause. I am a 20 plus year veteran of student services, and worked in academic affairs and students affairs.  I have seen the best and worst of student behavior at some of the most elite campuses.  The antics of any dorm life can shame unwitting bystanders.  In this case however, a young man is dead, and the lives of the three students, (remember the hall mate Molly Wei who hosted the webcam) are irrevocably changed.  Therefore I initially say the obvious, no one is a winner.   Our society is chocked full of competitive and negative behaviors where decency is the least of concerns.  We learn competition and incivility from the school play yard when someone  was berated for being  weaker, smaller, younger or just different than the mainstream. Remember the days were students would race at the school bell to see who won the latest skirmish. The battle cry  FIGHT FIGHT?!? would bring a small troop of prepubescent spectators to witness the latest bullying battle. On a smaller scale, it was nothing for kids to punch, kick and push others, regardless of gender.   What we learned in kindergarten is often carried through our school years and college. Further, such behavior moves with us into middle age and our professional lives.  And consistent with the current behaviors regarding bullying,  people at one time or another tend to be on both the giving and receiving end of this behavior.   As the last few years of media coverage have confirmed that  bullying affects all age groups.  Youngsters in grade school and high school are facing bullying; as a result several states have anti bullying state wide policies.  New Jersey has one of the strictest anti bullying school policies in the nation.  On the heels of the Tyler Clementi tragedy, Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2011 was introduced in Congress to protect university students from harassment and bullying.  . In the face of pervasive workplace bullying, 18 states have...

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Workplace Bullying: Battling it out in higher education….

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in bullying, Discrimination

Workplace Bullying: Battling it out in higher education…. Workplace Bullying: Battling it out in higher education…. Workplace Bullying: Battling it out in higher education….   Workplace bullying is a documented phenomenon in corporate sectors and in Europe.  Workplace bullying is actually an extension of the school yard bullying.  Workplace bullying targets the people who are viewed as reasonable, empathetic or in the lower power position.  It is interesting then, that of late, several people have approached Patricia Berkly about their careers in higher education.  Workplace bullying is a critical issue that destroys the careers of many.  And as studies show, workplace bullying disproportionately affects women, people of color, the LBGT community and those over 40 in greater numbers.   Bullying means harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks.. it has to occur repeatedly and regularly over a period of time (about six months)… it is an escalating process, the person confronted end up in an inferior position and becomes the target of systematic negative social acts. (Einarsen, Hoek, Zapf, and Cooper, 2003, p 22).   Therefore, when a seasoned colleague feels he or she is hanging on until retirement, enduring put downs and unreasonable criticisms from a newly appointed leaders, workplace bullying can be the reason.  When the department or division cowers in its tracks just to make it another semester because their ideas are not valued, workplace bullying may be at the root.   Patricia Berkly LLC is focusing on an original study on workplace bullying in higher education administration.  The goal will be to identify the cause of workplace bullying, the targets of workplace bullying and offer solutions to workplace...

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Definition of Bullying

Posted by on Apr 14, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination, Diversity Training, diversity training consultants, sexual harassment

Definition of Bullying Definition of bullying Definition of bullying   Definition of Bullying in the workplace includes: harassing, belittling, insulting behavior, especially if enduring such becomes a condition of maintaining a job. What is the definition of bullying as it applies to the workplace?  The definition of bullying includes harassment, discrimination, belittling and insulting comments… constantly. The definition of bullying is similar to the definition of harassment.  However, the definition of bullying includes ALL people, regardless of race, class or gender.  The definition of bullying also relates to a pervasive behavior, often at the hands of the boss or supervisor.  The definition of bullying should be considered by leadership.  Once the definition of bullying is taken serious, then quarterly training and support for supervisors can eradicate behavior under the definition of bullying. The definition of bullying should also include the cost of bullying. The definition of bullying should be something that human resources managers along with supervisors.  The definition of bullying should be something the executives consider.  Once the definition of bullying is understood, and the effects of bullying are understood, those who understand the definition of bullying understand that it costs organizations millions of dollars to harbor a bully.  The definition of bullying can lead to health problems; the definition of bullying can create a toxic work environment.  The definition of bullying and those behaviors that comprise the definition of bullying erode an organization and undermine productivity. Those who understand the definition of bullying also understand that the effects of bullying of similar to the stress of those who are subject to sexual...

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STOP Workplace Bullying

Posted by on Feb 26, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination

STOP!  workplace bullying STOP!  workplace bullying STOP!  workplace bullying We might have thought bullying was one of those things we endure  as kids, but it is no coincidence that during a recession and season of budgets cuts, bullying has taken a serious foothold in schools and in the workplace.  Stressful situations breed workplace bullying as it triggers insecurity and the need to have absolute control in these stressful environments.  Ironically, the last thing a stressful situation needs is a bully who brings more stress to the environment. Workplace bullying brings emotional and psychological attacks to staff who then spend time fending off the threat, instead of time focusing on being productive.  Why then don’t organizations crack down on workplace bullying if it is so destructive? 1. Workplace bullies are often the boss, welding control, even threatening targets with demotion or job loss if they don’t comply with unreasonable demands. 2. Organizations often protect their management- the workplace bully-, even when management is wrong, therefore targets subordinates quietly suffer and plan an escape instead of addressing the problem. 3. Staff often makes excuses and won’t address the workplace bully: there is not enough time, or not enough energy to address the toxic personality. Patricia Berkly LLC offers some organizational solutions to help everyone maintain a healthy work environment and stop workplace bullying.  The time spent to put protective measures in place will help to maintain quality and productive employees. 1.   Establish a culture of zero tolerance with strong anti- workplace bullying policies.  Be clear about what behavior is acceptable and the steps the organization will take to protect itself from a workplace bully. 2.   Follow that policy.  Too often organizations craft wonderful policies, yet fail to follow them, or apply them inconsistently.  This allows workplace bullying to flourish. 3.   Offer regular and consistent training to address workplace bullying.  With natural attrition, any staff needs training.  Such training will also empower staff as a whole to address workplace bullying as the grassroots level. 4.   Establish information interviews with staff as a standard operating procedure to stamp out workplace bullying.  In addition to other aspects of the operation which need attention, this standard procedure could also uncover incivility in your workplace. Protecting your organization from workplace bullying is everyone’s...

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