America's Worst Bosses 2009


In the first ever contest of its kind, a panel of workplace experts assembled by eBossWatch selected and ranked the 25 Worst Bosses of 2009 who made headlines across the country. 
The Worst Bosses of 2009 include several restaurant managers, a coroner, the former NASA inspector general, an NFL head coach, and a candidate running for US Congress.
The eBossWatch highly regarded panel of workplace experts include:

  • Dr. Gary Namie, founder & president of the Workplace Bullying Institute and author of "The Bully at Work"
  • Dr. Christine Pearson, professor of management at Thunderbird, The School of Global Management and co-author of "The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It"
  • Kevin Kennemer, board member of the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium and founder of The People Group
  • Erica Pinsky, workplace consultant and author of "Road to Respect: Path to Profit"

The eBossWatch Worst Bosses of 2009
1.  Paul Martinez, co-owner, Alamos Verdes Restaurant, Arvada, Colorado

    • Sued by the EEOC for repeatedly groping and sexually harassing a 16-year-old female employee, and then firing her in retaliation after she complained about the abuse.  

 2.  Dr. Peter Galvan, coroner, St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office, Slidell, Louisiana

    • Accused of racial and sexual harassment and retaliation by a former employee who filed a complaint with the EEOC.  

3.  Alan Parks, manager, US Army Warren Arsenal, Warren, Michigan

    • Sued for workplace bullying and disability discrimination by a former soldier who received a Purple Heart and who lost his hand and suffered other serious injuries in an explosion while serving in Iraq.  

4. Alan Jilka, candidate for US Congress and former director of the Salina Housing Authority, Salina, Kansas

    • Sued by the former director of the Salina Housing Authority in Kansas for allegedly making sexual advances towards her and then trying to get her fired for refusing his sexual advances. 

 5.  Sean Benton, water distribution superintendent, City of Monroe, Louisiana

    • Benton's employees recorded a four hour meeting that took place late last year where Benton used hundreds of obscenities and ordered one of the supervisors to physically attack an equipment operator.

6. Robert Cobb, former inspector general, NASA, Washington, DC

    • Cobb resigned in April after three US senators asked President Obama to fire Cobb for creating a hostile work environment and mistreating subordinates. 

 7.  Tom Cable, head coach, Oakland Raiders, Oakland, California

    • Numerous eyewitnesses saw Cable punch an assistant coach at the Raiders training camp in August.  The assistant coach suffered a broken jaw from the attack. 

 8.  Stjepan and Nancy Sostaric, owners, The Country Inn at Berkeley Springs, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

    • Sued by the EEOC for retaliating against and not helping several female employees, including several teenagers, who were allegedly subjected to ongoing and offensive sexual harassment and groping by a number of male employees over a two-year period. 

9.  Randy Hammer, publisher, Asheville Citizen-Times, Asheville, North Carolina

    • Sued by his former editor for workplace bullying and wrongful termination.  Hammer allegedly threatened to fire the editor and ordered her not to Contact corporate headquarters concerning him.

10.  Gary Moore, president, ITBOF, Caseyville, Illinois

    • Sued for sexual harassment and retaliation.  Former employee alleges that she was publicly humiliated and fired after refusing Moore's repeated requests for an intimate and romantic relationship.

11. Maria Olvera, HR director, City of Tracy, Tracy, California

    • Two former employees filed a hostile workplace lawsuit against Olvera for using “obscenities and loud and abusive language” with city employees.  The victims both confronted Olvera and complained to others regarding Olvera’s hostile and inappropriate conduct.  After confronting Olvera, both were fired from their jobs with the City of Tracy.

12.  Charles Ferrari, vice president, and Walter Gorski, supervising assistant manager, Bank of New York Mellon, Jersey City, New Jersey

    • Named in complaint filed by former employee for racial and sexual harassment that included name-calling and derogatory comments about victim's sexual orientation.  Victim's complaints to management allegedly fell on deaf ears, and he claims that he was ultimately fired for complaining. 

13. Andy Lee, supervisor, California Pizza Kitchen, Palo Alto, California

    • Sued by a former employee who was allegedly harassed by Lee almost immediately after she was hired.  The company allegedly failed to stop the bullying when managers were informed about Lee’s abusive behavior.  Instead, the victim claims that she was illegally retaliated against and fired.

14.  Vincent Milio, supervisor, CBM Construction, Mt. Laurel, NJ 

    • Accused of making racially offensive remarks about a black employee and of creating a racially hostile work environment.  After complaining to the company general manager, the victim was fired a month later in retaliation.

15.  George Shumate, owner, George C. Shumate Sawmill, Lexington, Virginia

    • Sued by the EEOC for allegedly trying to kiss a number of female employees, making inappropriate sexual comments to female employees, and offering a female employee $100 if she would show him her breasts.  One victim who complained to supervisors about the harassment was fired.

16.  Mike Swindle, supervisor, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama

    • A federal jury found Swindle guilty of sexually harassing a subordinate, making lewd comments to her for about five months, and pressing his body against her while propositioning her on at least one occasion.  Other supervisors who the victim complained to either ignored her or harassed her themselves.

17.  Jill Landesberg-Boyle, former president, Florida Keys Community College, Key West, Florida

  • College administrators and other faculty criticized Landesberg-Boyle’s management style and described a litany of verbal and mental abuse, humiliation and intimidation by the president.  On Sept. 21, Landesberg-Boyle announced that she will take paid leave until her contract expires in June 2010.

18.  Mary Kay Peck, former city manager, City of Henderson, Henderson, Nevada

    • Fired in April after only 18 months on the job after creating what City Council members called “a culture of fear” that included publicly embarrassing several employees. 

19.  Rod Raymond, fitness instructor, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota

    • UMD Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity investigated complaints by numerous women about a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior by Raymond and recommended that Raymond be fired for creating “a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment.”

20. Juan Rojas Campos, owner, Mama Mexico Restaurants, New York, New York

    • Sued for allegedly violating federal and state labor laws by withholding minimum wages, overtime compensation, misappropriating employee tips, retaliation, pregnancy discrimination, assault and battery, and creating a hostile work environment for numerous employees.

21. Cindy Iverson, kitchen manager, American Legion Post, Wheaton, Minnesota

    • Accused of sexually harassing a male bartender, grabbing his groin, trying to kiss him, and sexually propositioning him.  The victim's complaints to supervisors were not investigated, and the victim ultimately quit several months later after developing ulcers and suffering from nightmares and depression.

22.  Leon Shaulov, senior trader, Galleon Group, New York, New York 

    • Allegedly berated traders and analysts at the now-defunct $3 billion hedge fund currently caught up in one of the largest insider-trading cases in decades, screaming such insults at them as, "You’re a disease, you’re a jinx."

23.  Niklaus Leuenberger, managing director, New York Palace Hotel, New York, New York

    • Fired after obscenely ordering a Catholic employee to clean the ashes from his forehead that he had received during an Ash Wednesday service.

24.  Nick Landeweer, executive chef, Allgauer’s Restaurant at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville Hotel, Lisle, Illinois

    • The EEOC filed a hostile workplace lawsuit against the hotel, claiming that Landeweer bullied Hispanic employees, calling them derogatory names such as “wetbacks, f—— Mexicans and stupid Mexicans.”

25. Tim Bish, former superintendent, Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Oak Harbor, Ohio

    • Bish agreed to resign after numerous employees accused him of creating a hostile work environment where employees were subjected to physical and verbal intimidation by Bish.  At least 20 employees complained of developing stress-related health problems because of Bish’s hostile behavior. 
 
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