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Question
Posted by: Fed up | 2019/11/28

The devil at work

One of our directors, a female, is the devil incarnate! She is in charge of a department (legal firm) and everyone who works under her gets verbally and mentally abused by this creature. She has had numerous candidate attorneys working under her and over the past 4 years, 4 of them have ceded their articles and left to work for other firms. She verbally abuses them, calls them names, refers to them as being stupid, dumb or useless. She even tells them to F-off and die! For some or other unknown reason, the other directors turn a blind eye to her abuse. It has been going on for such a long time. It is now starting to affect staff members in other departments too, we are all so demotivated. She is plain cruel most times …. it has gotten to a point where her latest "victim", who worked with her for all of 3 months, has now also found alternative employment and is leaving soon. How can we make those in authority realise that she is damaging the reputation of the firm? She also had an affair with her professional assistant and it turned very ugly, when he resigned, she physically assaulted him after hours, leaving him with a bloody nose and a very bruised ego. She is very manipulative and uses her "feminine charms" to get people to do what she wants. Besides involving the labour department or CCMA what else can we do about this witch? Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/12/03

Hello Fed Up,
Who wouldn't be fed up, having to work with such a stunted and nasty person. The other directors /partners should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for accepting her persistent misconduct. Even if she's unbearably brilliant at some areas of the work ( which I somehow doubt ) it is intolerable to allow her to create needless misery for others.
This is unprofessional conduct, and the violent affair with an assistant is blatant sexual harassment and unacceptable in any competent firm, legal or otherwise.
It sounds as though many of her victims have been so relieved to escape from her, that they ran, rather than pausing to lay formal complaints which would force the cowardly directors to investigate and take steps to protect their staff,  as is their professional, ethical, and legal responsibility.
Why do you folks not work together and lay complaints with the partners / directors, the CCMA, Labour Department, and Law Society ? Surely the Society or some such professional organization, which requires and supervises the system of candidate attorneys has a responsibility to protect them from uncivilized supervisors ?  It might be difficult if one single person complained, but surely if a group of you did so, and confirmed each other's complaints, this would have to be faced ?  She should be persuaded to retire or to see personal psychotherapy, to sort out whatever demons are bothering her, and leading her to inflict her own miseries onto others
What do other readers suggest ?  How have you dealt with similar situations ?

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