To remind you, we had three finalists in contention for this … honor:
- The Cancerous Boss — An employee was diagnosed with kidney cancer and required immediate surgery to remove the tumor. His employer denied the request for a 10-day leave of absence, while telling him she doesn’t “need people with cancer working in her office … this is America and in America you have to work even if you’re sick.” She finished by informing him that “with your illness, people die and I cannot keep you as a worker not knowing what is going to happen to you.”
- The Horny Head of HR — A male HR employee complained that the female head of HR nibbled on his ear while romantically whispering, “I hope you’re not going to sue me.” The nibble followed on the heels of her repeatedly telling him about her and her husband’s swinging lifestyle, hugging him against his will, peppering him with questions about his sexual orientation, and sending various inappropriate text messages, including a picture of a man reading the book, “A** Eating Made Simple,” a video of a masturbating monkey, and a picture of a man with an erection going through airport security.
- The Racist Boss — An African-American employee complains to her boss about his repeated racist comments in the workplace (“We’ll just make the Mexicans do it,” and telling his African-America employees, “Y’all are my b******.”). Thereafter, he Christmas gifts her a rhinestone-studded purse of the Confederate flag and several photos of him posing with said flag.
The final vote wasn’t close. The winner tallied an astounding 66% of all first place votes.
The Worst Employer of 2017 is…
The Cancerous Boss
At the end of the day, I think people’s choices came down an issue to which they could best relate — needing time off to deal with a serious medical issue.
As for me, I awarded my first place vote to The Horny Head of HR. While the misconduct may not be the most egregious among the contenders, if this is how your HR department functions, you have zero chance of success as a employer. The Horny Head of HR had the second most first place votes (18%), but finished third overall in the weighted score.
Which leaves The Racist Boss and his rhinestone studded Stars-and-Bars purse as the runner up, to assume the title in the event The Cancerous Boss cannot fulfill its duties.
This brings 2017’s contest to a close. I hope everyone had fun reading during the course of the year, and learned something along the way.
The contest will resume on Jan. 2 with the first nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018 — The Holy Harasser.
Jon Hyman is a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland. Comment below or email email@example.com. Follow Hyman’s blog at Workforce.com/PracticalEmployer.