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I was a 33-year state employee who was bullied and driven to suicidal ideation, panic attacks, and gastric problems. I would grind my teeth in stressful situations and cracked a molar. I spent a night in the hospital for stress-associated illness. I was prescribed anti anxiety and anti depressive meds and had a gastric ulcer. I spent time sobbing in the ladies room. I nearly was killed on the highway after taking too many anxiety meds prescribed to me because I just couldn’t take the stress.

I wrote a book, published in 2015, related to my work. The new administration where I worked warned me not to write the book after previous administration gave me permission.

I was harassed with letters from my agency’s lawyers sent to my house, threatened with termination, and had disciplinary letters placed in my file containing statements that weren’t true. Every day I suffered some form of bullying and gaslighting. I incurred an industrial accident that was documented but not acknowledged.

Hearing impaired, I filed complaints with MCAD. My well-documented case was thrown out. I was an exemplary employee up until the administrative change in 2013 (also documented).

I am an author and have published five books, one in the academic genre and several journal articles.

I was able to get into another agency, as I had certification as a peer counselor, which saved my life. I was highly regarded in the new agency as I was in the previous agency prior to the administrative change. I was an exemplary employee who always overachieved. I designed and developed innovative programs that were on the cutting edge.

When I went to my new agency, my state employee file was mysteriously “lost.” It was difficult to get my seniority from my previous agency transferred to my new one, and I was nearly laid off during a privatization of my worksite. With my seniority, I was able to transfer to a hospital, where I was highly regarded and was up for promotion. My file was eventually located — in my previous agency — although they stated to my new agency that they did not previously have it. Files just don’t get lost in Boston.

I retired in January 2018. My 35+ year career as a state employee included positions such as program director, public relations, building manager, volunteer coordinator, and counselor.

During all of the bullying, I was awarded an honor from the House of Representatives for “hard work and dedication to public service.”

I was nearly a casualty. You don’t believe it can happen until it happens to you.

 

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

 

We believe America’s workers have a right to safe workplaces where their psychological health is recognized as a vital component of their overall well-being. All people – regardless of their gender, race, disabilities, sexual orientation, age, income, faith, and political affiliations – deserve to lead healthy and productive lives and to work in safe environments free from abuse and oppression.

 

We are part of End Workplace Abuse, which strives to protect and promote workers’ right to psychological wellness – critical to physical health, by advocating for the elimination of abusive behaviors (bullying, mobbing, and harassment) from the American workplace. We achieve our mission by organizing and leading a collective movement advocating for psychological safety at work. We lobby for protective legislation and policies, raise public awareness about psychological harm at work, build leaders who campaign for abuse-free workplaces, and collaborate with other organizations advancing workers’ rights. Because bias and prejudice are often an integral part of workplace abuse, we advocate for protections against discrimination.

 

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