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Employees from Hell March 25, 2007

Posted by Stacey Swift in Employees.

Its getting harder to fire those worthless employees.  In 2006 a law was passed that makes it easier for employees to collect money from employers, claiming they were only fired as retribution.  Furthermore, employment lawyers are getting more experienced from all the cases and learning more angles to go after employers.

“if an employee fears he may soon be fired, he can preempt the action by filing a complaint against his boss. Then he can argue that any subsequent disciplinary action is retaliatory.”

Is this fair that employees are taking advantage of their employees and collecting on their own incompetence?  It is very difficult for organizations, especially small businesses, to spot those employees from hell because the organization is caught up in the everyday activities of business.  An employment lawyer in the video suggested most employment retaliation cases could be prevented if the employer took the time to listen to their employees problems because they would feel like their employer genuinely cared.  Whose responsibility is it to ensure the employees are happy and are not going to back stab the company?

The article offers a number of preventative actions a company can take in order to avoid these hellish employees:

  • 1. know the employment law
  • 2. create an employee handbook that will establish a uniform way to treat employees
  • 3. don’t use contracts because it will be more difficult to fire employees
  • 4. keep written records for evidence
  • 5. transferring an employee is not always a solution
  • 6. hire well- at least 2 interviewers
  • 7. address even smallest personnel issues immediately

It seems that in recently organizations have become increasingly liable.  Do you see this trend, and is it fair?  How much should an organization be responsible and how are they supposed to focus on their business when they have to worry about sneaky employees suing them?



1. Elaine - March 25, 2007

It is weird and uncommon to read an article actually helping out the bigger man, the employer. Most of the cases we hear, we are informed that employers are unfair, prejudiced, or abusive. However, there are employees that may have similar traits. I don’t believe this will be a widescale problem. How many employees really know when they are going to be fired soon? As long as their doing their work, they have nothing to be worried about. Employers should treat their employees with respect, and vice versa. If everyone followed that trend, there would not be any of these problems in the first place.

2. Lady - March 26, 2007

Since I am personally interested in the role of Human Resources, I am more likely to side on the employee’s side in this case. I believe that it is essential that Human Resources and management do a good job in measuring and evaluating an employee’s satisfaction within the organization. If an employee seems to start becoming “worthless” after a particular incident occurred, then that may have happened only because an employee’s morale in the company has gone down. This is the total opposite of a case where an employee might display “worthless” work habits all the time, regardless of the situation. I think it is crucial for Human Resources to recognize the difference and avoid the case where employees become “worthless” only because their morale has dropped. When this problem is managed effectively, organizations can avoid these lawsuits from their employees.

3. wilson7 - March 26, 2007

Personally I don’t have much sympathy for many of these employers because many companies do not treat their employees like they should be treated. Employers recognize problems in their organization and don’t do anything about these problems because it does not affect them on a personal level. As long as employees are doing their job they could care less how they feel. WalMart is a great example, how can you forget to put your workers overtime in their checks for almost two years. There is no way this is supposed to happen, I would understand a week maybe even two but two years there is no excuse for that to happen. Companies get over on individual all the time maybe it is time for them to get a taste of their own medicine.

4. silviamocanu07 - March 28, 2007

It is certainly unethical of employees to claim wrongful dismissal to justify their own incompetence, as in this way they are abusing the very laws meant to protect them. In addition, I believe that employers should treat employees fairly, but I do not think it is possible for them to ensure that employees will not take such an approach. People are unpredictable and, ultimately, no matter how well an organization treats its employees, one can never fully trust the ethical behavior of others.
In addition, it is the companies’ responsibility to set internal rules to minimize such behavior. Employee handbooks and internal organizational rules serve this purpose. In my view, if an organization does not take the trouble to clearly establish these, keep informed with the legal framework, as well as establish proper controls, they deserve to be prayed upon by unethical employees.

5. Jordi - April 13, 2007

Was there supposed ot be a video link? Doesn’t seem to work.

What was hellish about the employees? What was the law passed?

6. Axona - May 5, 2007

It is rare to see an employer who is a victim most of the time it’s the other way around. It’s about time that employees have some protection against employer’s abuse.

7. chased by the devil herself - October 7, 2008

I have my own tale of horror to share. I had an employee make really outlandish claims about me personally and professionally. When she didn’t get the response she wanted from our boss and board of directors she started calling all of our funding sources and then took it a step further by calling the BBB, EEOC the EDD every state and federal agency she could and with each call her claims became more and more outlandish. Each one of those agencies investigated her claims and cleared us of her allegations. But does she get into trouble for making false claims? NO! Now, she’s trying to take us to court for $30K. She’s so unstable, but chances are she’ll get some money out of it, even though we were more injured by her claims than she thinks she was by being terminated.

8. Bad Employees Eat Decent Small Business Owners - May 5, 2010

I agree with bedevilled

I’ve been on both sides of the equation and would say that employees from hell are at least as much of a problem as employers from hell.

I think the scales of justice have become unbalanced, where a particular employee might feel free to engage in slander, telling big lies, deleting company files and so on, because they know they are not going to be held accountable for their actions on the same level as an abusive employer would.

Over-correction is a human tendency. It’s time adults are held responsible as individuals, not as members of some particular class or profession.

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