Arab-American who alleged hostility at state agency wins $337,000 award
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
CLAYTON — A jury has awarded $337,000 to a former Missouri Department of Natural Resources supervisor who claimed he was subject to a hostile work environment after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Iraq.
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Comment by ABC
Hurray for Mr. Alhal abi! Even when people are in a protected class like Mr. Alhal abi is, it is still hard for targets of workplace abuse to obtain justice. In Mr. Alhal abi’s case, a jury was convinced that the workplace hostility occurred because he is an Arab-American, of the Muslim faith. Ethnic and religious minorities are considered protected classes, whose members are legally protected from discrimination in the workplace. It is usually easy to prove that abuse occurred, but often hard to prove it occurred because of discrimination.
There are many barriers when seeking legal recourse for workplace abuse, even when someone in a protected class, has solid evidence. It’s often hard or impossible to find an attorney willing to work on a contingency basis and few targets have the financial resources to pay out of pocket upfront.
Not only is the expense prohibitive, but the length of time it takes to go to trial, can be problematic as well. If the case should go to trial years later, witnesses may have forgotten important details or may no longer be available or willing to testify.
People who experience hostility in the workplace, but are not considered to be within a protected class, have no legal recourse at all in The United States. It is not illegal for a bully boss to be verbally and/or emotionally abusive, as long as the abuse is not related to the target being a member of a protected class. Only when a bully breaks existing laws, such as physical assault, or damaging personal property, can legal justice be sought.
These are the reasons that all working Americans need to learn about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing. All working Americans need to understand that without laws to protect them, they can be chosen as the serial bully boss’s next target, for no valid reason at all. Once chosen as a target, the bully may brutally emotionally abuse them, turn their coworkers against them, then suddenly fire them on a whim and without a valid cause.
Serial bully bosses have the potential to destroy dozens of employees’ physical and emotional health, sometimes disabling a person for life. Despite this destructive force in our workplaces, likely the largest hidden expense in business today, few people in the United States even heard of the bullying and mobbing phenomenon. The time has come for all working Americans to learn to recognize it, name it, and end workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC