Commentaries

NEVER FORGET

Dear friends,

I recently shared with you my vision to try to bring about local change. I am pleased to now share with you the official letter that is being submitted to officials within my local community.

I am a man of action. I hope each of you will also be men and women of action, and seek to bring about change within your respective communities.

If you support my proposal herein, you have my consent to copy my letter to fit your message to your local officials. And should you respectfully disagree with my proposal, no offense taken.

I urge you to come up with your own proposal and pursue local change. Don’t just disagree and do nothing. That is the easy, convenient path of apathy.

We are change agents. Just DO SOMETHING!


June 19, 2020

Re: Proposed Action to Demonstrate Commitment to Racial Inclusion

Good morning,

I respectfully write to you – the public leaders of Charlottesville and Albemarle County – on the day marked for commemoration of the emancipation of U.S. enslaved people – Juneteenth.

As a preliminary matter, in full disclosure, I have posted this proposal on social media. I have also forwarded a copy to the editor of The Daily Progress.

A brief introduction is in order. My name is Shenandoah Titus. I am a resident of Keswick, VA. My wife is a professional educator in Charlottesville, VA. Hence, we are stakeholders both within the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

But note that my wife – while an ardent supporter of racial equality – has absolutely no official affiliation with this proposal. This is my sole initiative.

I am an attorney, licensed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. I am a former police executive, Boston Headquarters. I formerly served with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC Headquarters.

I am an African American and Native American male. As a former police executive and national security official, I believe in law and order – carried out professionally, ethically and without prejudice or bias.

The blatant murder of Mr. George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020, has garnered the attention of the world. Many powerful and well-meaning statements have been issued by politicians and scholars nationwide, rightfully condemning this egregious, evil act.

Yet the African American community has grown weary over many decades of sympathetic speeches, and well-crafted letters following yet another needless death of an unarmed black man by white police officers.

I thus present to our local officials an opportunity to lead with action, even if symbolic, that will reverberate across the nation and perhaps even the world.

PROPOSAL:

I hereby propose that the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, respectively, dedicate a street or road in honor of George Floyd. 

RATIONALE:

Although in the past there have been, tragically, many similar incidents of fatal police bullying against unarmed African Americans, no incident has galvanized the nation, and indeed the world, quite like the murder of Mr. George Floyd. For nearly nine minutes, the world witnessed this atrocity in real time.

Naming a street or road after Mr. Floyd in no manner diminishes the value of other victims. On the contrary, it honors other victims.

Mr. Floyd has become a worldwide symbol of what African Americans have been saying for centuries regarding the disdain our communities receive from law enforcement in general, versus the favorable treatment afforded to middle class Caucasians.

By naming a street or road after George Floyd, citizens – and especially police officers – will be prompted to remember this racial divide every time one takes “George Floyd Road/Street.”

The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County already have plenty of streets and roads after the namesake of Caucasian males who – arguably – have done absolutely nothing to advance racial inclusion locally or nationally.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County have before it now an opportunity to set the national stage. To be thought leaders.

I respectfully urge you to adopt this proposal forthwith, and thus make it clear that our community is committed to racial inclusion beyond lofty words.

Furthermore, if my proposal is adopted, I ask that the new George Floyd Street/Road be placed within mainstream travel, rather than relegated to some obscure backroads area or within a largely impoverished community.

The true objective is to give this human symbol of police – minority relations high visibility. We as a local community – indeed as a nation – must be reminded of where we are – and the arduous journey ahead.

Thank you kindly for your consideration. I wish you peaceful reflection on this solemn day in American history.

Let us never forget!

Regards,

Shenandoah Titus, Esq.

www.warn-honor.com

Wrongly Accused Of Harassment?

Were you ever wrongly accused of harassment and
did the truth come out in the end?

(question posed on Quora)

Hello,

Indeed, I have been wrongly and maliciously accused of workplace harassment and bullying. In my book, I describe a conniving tactic employed by the very supervisors whom I had originally brought up on charges of harassment, bullying and retaliation.

Get this, they sought to accuse me, who served at the time as the Department’s Anti-Harassment Program Manager, of harassing them.

Their rationale? Anyone who filed harassment charges against management must, by default, be harassing management! What circuitous logic! They sought to turn the tables on me.

Think about this for a second. Under this deceptive reasoning, the target of workplace bullying had two equally damning options: either accept being bullied and harassed by management on a daily basis – or – file a complaint against management and be accused of harassing management!

Clearly it was a ploy designed to have me throw up my hands in despondency and just quit the job on the spot. Of course, they failed to realize that Shenandoah Titus never runs from a fight, no matter how unfair and overwhelming the odds may be.

What did I do when faced with this corrupt plot? I fully documented their scheme to deprive me of my right to due process. I kept my cool, remained calm and professional at all times.

And when the evidence was sufficient in my judgment as an attorney and anti-bullying expert, I took the fight to them. Their own fully documented subterfuge led to my successful legal action, where I received 100 percent of my settlement demands!

I have since resigned so that I could be free to author a book, and start a national law office committed to helping people confront workplace bullying. That was certainly not the sheepish outcome that management bullies had hoped for, and unfortunately gets in most cases.

But it was poetic justice!


Shenandoah Titus, Esq., CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network)  WARN-Honor.com

Attorney Shenandoah Titus – The Whistleblower E-Book

Policing and Bullying: Making the Connection

*This article printed by The Daily Progress Newspaper in Charlottesville, VA

As an internationally recognized subject matter expert on anti-bullying, it has been suggested that I write a piece connecting the George Floyd atrocity to bullying. Initially, I rebuffed this request. How could I, an African American/Native American man, even approach such a tragedy without discussing race – which is historically at the very core of police brutality in America?

Yet I am buoyed by the fact that the racial issue will be addressed in the media. Thus, I am now able to commit pen to paper and draw parallels between the George Floyd tragedy and bullying.

But first, what are my unique qualifications to discuss policing in America and bullying? As to the former, unlike most commentators, I actually have law enforcement experience. I served for five years as the Deputy Director of the Transit Police Department, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston Headquarters. I served as a police executive and a member of the Command Staff, where I oversaw community policing within a department with virtually statewide jurisdiction – one of the largest Transit Police Departments in the country.

As to the latter issue of bullying, I served as the Anti-Harassment Unit Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters, Washington, DC. I established the unit and investigated complaints of harassment, bullying and retaliation across DHS Headquarters. And to make matters personal, having experienced bullying myself by DHS management, I successfully filed legal action against DHS, reached an honorable settlement, wrote a book about my experience and founded the Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN).

Having solidified my qualifications to address this issue, what then is at the very core of bullying within any context – work, school, academia, home (as in domestic violence), and yes – policing? You may think the answer is “power.” But that is a common misconception.

There is nothing inherently wrong with possessing power. In the context of law enforcement, we as a society need to bestow a certain degree of power on police officers in order to perform their job and keep us safe.

For instance, society does not want to see a police officer, while observing a drunk driver speeding towards a school zone, politely ask the drunk driver to slow down, go home and sober up because children might get injured or killed by the drunk driver’s vehicle. We want to empower the police officer to activate her cruiser’s lights and siren, command the drunk driver to pull over, and – acting professionally and within the law – arrest the drunk driver so that he will not pose an immediate threat to children, staff and parents within the school zone.

The same principle applies in criminal investigations. If someone has been kidnapped, we want to empower police officers to act – professionally and within the law – to do everything possible to rescue the kidnap victim and possibly save the victim’s life.

Therefore, you see, power alone is not the issue when it comes to police bullying. Rather, the issue – as is the case with bullying within any context – is the UNACCOUNTABLE ABUSE OF POWER!

The subsequently jailed police officers in the Rodney King incident decades ago beat Mr. King to a pulp because they felt that their power was to be used totally at their discretion, fearing no accountability from their department or the public. As police officers, they knew that the power imbalance weighed tremendously in their favor.

If the victim were to fight back in self-defense against an unlawful use of force, the police officers could then either add charges of “resisting arrest” or “assaulting a police officer.”

Worse yet, they could escalate the situation to justify – in their mind – the use of deadly force. And, yes, in America, where the citizen defending himself is African American and the police officer applying unlawful deadly force is Caucasian, it would be an easy sell.

The major difference between the bully cop and the workplace bully – typically a manager bullying a subordinate – is that the bully cop can bring about immediate deadly consequences. Often with impunity, sadly.

Prior to serving as a police executive, I had the honor of serving as the Human Rights Director of Amherst, Massachusetts. In that capacity, I investigated civilian complaints of police bullying and harassment. That was one measure used by local government to prevent the abuse of police power, and to ensure police accountability.

Also, in my capacity as the Human Rights Director, I served on panels that hired police officers. I distinctly recall two interviewees – one, a Caucasian male who volunteered his opinion that all citizens deserve police protection – “except for gays… I look down on them.” Another interviewee – a dark complexioned African American male – shared with us that if it were the police chief’s policy to racially profile minorities (it was not the chief’s policy), then, just to “fit in,” he would racially profile if hired by our police department.

As the Human Rights Director, I was delighted to strike from the realm of possibility these two police candidates ever wearing a badge in Amherst. Both police officer candidates demonstrated their likelihood of becoming bully cops. As for the candidate who despised gay persons, a key element of the bullying psyche is that only his/her opinions matter in the universe.

His worldview reigns supreme.

As for the African American candidate, he exhibited a disposition that is more common in the workplace – coddling (kissing up) to the bully boss. If the police chief’s agenda was to abuse the badge by bullying racial minorities, then the African American police officer candidate would surrender his own morals, abuse his power and bully members of his own racial community in order to curry favor with the bully in charge.

As I find my hand and mind growing weary from writing this piece – struggling mightily to refrain from discussing a racially charged video that the world has seen, but that I find too heart wrenching to view as a Black man – a Native American man, a former police executive and former Human Rights Director – allow me to conclude on a hopeful note. I have spent many years with police officers in large cities, broken bread with them and attended training with them.

Most police officers seek to perform their duties honorably, and strive to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of society to wear the badge. They are mostly decent men and women who take the commitment “to serve and protect” seriously – and not just serve and protect middle class whites.

We know that there are corrupt, racist, bully cops out there. But the good news is that society does not have to merely stand idly by, mourning the loss of yet another human being at the hands of deadly bullying cops. Society creates police departments and determines, through laws enacted by elected officials, what range of authority to grant police officers.

Soon, unfortunately, the George Floyd story will fade to the back pages of the media, and the back corners of our collective memory. The question, then, is what can we as a society do now before this atrocious event evades us.

We can take back control. I have shared my experiences as a police executive where I helped train police officers in building community trust. I have also shared my prior experience as a city Human Rights Director, where I investigated alleged bully cops, and helped weed out bully cops as a member of the hiring committee before the bully ever got to wear the badge.

This is a model that any county, city, town, or village can follow, without hiring new personnel in hard economic times. I firmly believe that in every community, there are capable citizens ready to volunteer to help ensure that prospective bully cops are never hired – and cops proven to be bullies will soon be fired.

We must stop weeping and start working! Working towards a society where all law-abiding persons – not just privileged whites – will come to trust the ubiquitous promise of police officers: “To protect and serve.”

___________

Shenandoah Titus, Esq., is Founder and CEO of the Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN). He is author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers and Management Gang Retaliation. Visit www.warn-honor.com for more information.

Workplace Bully – You Picked The Wrong Target!

Picking the wrong target means that the bully has targeted someone who will stand up for himself or herself (peacefully – the attached photo is just for fun), as opposed to taking the abuse and adopting the victimhood mindset.

Many targets of workplace bullying take the sheepish approach of just quitting and seeking greener pastures elsewhere. No pushback. No standing up for oneself. Just take flight.

That’s precisely what the workplace bully and management gang desires. Thus, nothing in the bullying culture changes. On to the next sheep.

I wrote a book on the subject of workplace bullying, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, based on the factual account of my experience as an attorney successfully taking legal action against my former employer – a large federal agency.

I prevailed in my action, and reached a very honorable legal settlement. They chose the wrong person to bully and harass!

Rather than use the funds from my settlement award to purchase a fancy car or sip wine in Paris, I used the funds to write a book and start my own national law office helping whistleblowers and survivors of workplace bullying, harassment and retaliation!

Thus, in my experience, not only did I stand up to workplace bullies and the management gang – unfortunately including their HR colluders – during my employment, I continued the fight to change the workplace bullying culture even after I resigned.

The bullying cohort did not count on that!

Everyone has the ability to fight back. And even if one must do so anonymously using pseudo names in support of anti-bullying efforts, then engage somehow. The point is, stand up – civilly and peacefully! Do something!

YOU DESERVE BETTER!

Stay safe and healthy, all!

Shenandoah Titus, Esq.

Author, CEO, Anti-Bullying Expert

Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN)

How can I stop thinking about the people that bullied me?

Greetings,

As I state in my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, we feel what we feel. Advising the target of workplace bullying to simply “get over it” or “move on,” though clearly sincere advice, nevertheless fails to appreciate the emotional wounds left by the bully.

That is tantamount to advising one who has been mugged to simply forget the painful experience. It won’t happen.

We feel what we feel. The true challenge, however, is to learn how to manage our feelings in a productive manner.

Workplace bullying, especially when committed – as it most often is – by a higher level official (supervisor/manager), is a betrayal of trust.

Employees have a right to expect that their employer will treat them with dignity and respect. When that does not happen, he or she feels betrayed. And betrayal, in any context, is a difficult thing to forget.

Thus, as I share in my book, we must find ways to manage our feelings constructively. I have found that trying to help others who have experienced workplace abuse actually helps me to manage my feelings – and painful memories of my own experience being bullied and harassed at work.

As an attorney and expert in confronting workplace bullying, I successfully took legal action against my former employer – a large federal agency. I prevailed in that action and reached an honorable settlement, where 100 percent of my demands were met.

I have since used that successful experience to help others nationally and internationally, via my book and more directly where possible.

Have I forgotten about those who bullied and harassed me? No, I doubt I ever will. But do I dwell on them? No, I refuse to give the bully such control over my life.

Helping others is my way of managing constructively my painful memories. It is a powerful avenue.

We each must find our own constructive path, whether the bullying experience is ongoing or a haunting memory of the past. That is how we heal and grow stronger.

Stay safe and healthy, all!

Best,

Shenandoah Titus, Esq.

Author, CEO, Whistleblower Attorney, Anti-Bullying Expert

Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN)

Attorney Shenandoah Titus – WARN

What is the best revenge you ever had on a bully? (a question from Quora.com)

I have a different perspective. First, I don’t think “revenge” is what the target of bullying would be wise to seek. Secondly, I respectfully disagree with any suggestion that one should simply “ignore” the bully, in the perhaps naive hopes that the bully will just go away.

Bullying, especially in the workplace, takes a heavy toll on the emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing of the person being bullied. Suggesting that one simply ignore the bully is tantamount to asking a human being to ignore any other form of abuse inflicted upon her or him.

I wrote a book on the subject of workplace bullying THE WHISTLEBLOWER: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, based on the factual account of my experience as an attorney successfully taking legal action against my former employer – a large federal agency. I prevailed in my action and reached a very honorable legal settlement.

Rather than using the funds from my settlement award to purchase a fancy car or sip wine in Paris, I used the funds to write a book and start my own national law office helping whistleblowers and survivors of workplace bullying, harassment and retaliation!

I don’t see my success “revenge” against the bullies and harassers in my former agency. However, I do see it as poetic justice!

Thus, that is my message to those targeted by workplace bullies. Don’t seek revenge.” And by all means avoid violence.

But also don’t simply do nothing. You are not the bully’s doormat. YOU DESERVE BETTER!

Meeting On OSHA Whistleblower Program

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold a teleconference meeting May 12, 2020, in Washington, D.C., to solicit public comments and suggestions on key issues facing OSHA’s whistleblower protection program.

This is the fifth in a series of meetings on how the agency can improve the whistleblower program.

Open to the public, the meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT via telephone. Those interested in joining or participating in the meeting must register by May 5, 2020. Call-in information will be provided to all registrants. There is no fee to register.

The agency is seeking comments on:

  • How can OSHA better deliver its whistleblower services?
  • What kind of assistance can OSHA provide to help explain the agency’s whistleblower laws to employees and employers?
  • Where should OSHA target whistleblower outreach efforts?

Materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by mail. Written or electronic comments must be submitted by May 5, 2020. See the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be identified with Docket No. OSHA-2018-0005.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

# # #

For more information about our organization to support the Whistleblower, visit Warn-Honor.com or purchase my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation on Amazon.

Watch us: https://bit.ly/Workplace-Human-Rights

Perspective – A Letter To My Sister

Sis,

It was good hearing from you last night. I’m happy your family is well in Boston. I sensed from your note that you may be feeling a little anxious and apprehensive about the current virus crisis. If so, you’re in plenty of company. Yet I offer you this small piece of sage counsel as your big brother. As with everything in life – keep a proper perspective.

Everyone is going around shouting how “unprecedented” the coronavirus is, as though this were some sort of alien invasion from a B category scifi flick.

Perspective folks… perspective.

The U.S. (indeed the world) has faced far deadlier viruses and diseases throughout history. Have people forgotten Typhoid Fever (“Typhoid Mary”)? Asian Flu? Polio? The aforementioned calamities had death tolls in the many thousands – each year – before vaccines were discovered. I think what is “unprecedented” about the current epidemic is that it is taking place in the modern information age, where news media and social media are on a 24/7 cycle. And of course it’s always bad news. That is what the media thrives on.

The end result of a pandemic occurring in 2020 is widespread panic, fear, doom and gloom. After all, they didn’t have around the clock CNN, Google, et al, back in 1906/07 when Typhoid Mary broke out.

The Coronavirus is real. Very real. It’s not just an annoyance, as some out of touch politicians would have us believe. The coronavirus should be respected as a very serious international public health threat. Yet prudent people must not allow themselves to get caught up in the media induced panic. America – indeed the world – has faced much deadlier viral foes. And we survived. Life went on.

My counsel to you – to myself? Stay calm. Stay reasonably informed but not locked into the media – just a few media minutes a day does it for me. Take prudent precautions to stay healthy. Be flexible and open to change from routine as much as necessary. Accept inconveniences. It’s the new normal. And likely to stay. Manage your environment – namely how you interact with others. That is, stay sane, calm, aware but optimistic. Surround yourself with like minded people. Avoid where possible the doom and gloom crowd.

Sis, last night I scrolled to a text I saw from you. It showed a picture of you smiling and having a blast riding a camel during a trip to Morocco. One doesn’t often see a Boston girl on the back of a camel in the dessert! Keep that joy and laughter in your heart. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your zest for life, and the crazy fun feeling of riding a camel! Don’t allow the “unprecedented” media frenzy to rob you of that which makes you uniquely you.

Be safe, sensibly cautious, and prudent in these unsettling times. But very importantly – be you!

In the final analysis, this pandemic – ugly though it is – is a test of who we all are underneath the surface. Our true character is revealed. It’s so easy to be sane during sane times. But who are we really when things become unglued? Are we still the kind, considerate, thoughtful people whom we previously imagined ourselves to be in times of calm? Are we still honorable and valiant, committed to the principle of the good community? Or have we been reduced to the bottom line – every person for him/herself? The attitude of bullies – the biggest, meanest, most powerful survive.

It has been said that fire is the test of gold – adversity is the test of strong men and women. This is our personal and global test of 2020.

Be well, sis. Wellness in all aspects.

Love,

Your brother – Shenandoah

Attorney Shenandoah Titus, Author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (Amazon)

Watch us: https://bit.ly/Workplace-Human-Rights Visit us: www.warn-honor.com

The Case for Settling

I often receive queries from supporters across the country who, after sharing their horrid stories of workplace abuse, inquire whether I would “advise” them to settle their claim or go the full route of litigation. Their questions are always sincere, as they are seeking my counsel as one of the nation’s premier attorneys on whistleblower law and anti-bullying. I am flattered by their vote of confidence in my expertise.

Yet as an attorney, I must reply each time that I cannot render legal advice to nonclients. That is a boundary that I must strictly adhere to as a matter of professional ethics. Therefore, you guessed it, I must give that disclaimer herein.

The decision as to whether or not you choose to settle your action or take it the distance is for you to make, hopefully guided by a competent and committed attorney who has formed an attorney-client relationship with you. Accordingly, what I share herein is absolutely not to be construed as legal advice. Each case is different, both in terms of the strength of the case and what approach makes the most strategic sense.

I offer here only my personal observation based on my experience as a whistleblower and survivor of workplace bullying, which I write about in my book – The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon).

There are several realistic factors that heavily influenced my decision to settle my retaliation and harassment case against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), namely against the Office of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. Allow me to briefly address each factor:

Time and Expense of Litigation. People are mesmerized over Hollywood dramas and news clips where the underdog plaintiff (complainant) succeeds in a multi-million-dollar jury verdict against the Goliath corporation in a whistleblower retaliation action. Of course, we all know that Hollywood does not depend on reality to stay in business.

And as for the media, be not fooled by the one sensationalized case out of one thousand cases that go the other way. It stands to reason that if winning big at trial were the norm in such cases, it would not be on the evening news.

What we don’t see in the media clips and in the movies is the many years it took for the case to reach that dramatic conclusion – the emotional, physical and spiritual drain the toll took on the lowly plaintiff. We also don’t see how much money, often to the point of bankruptcy, it cost the plaintiff in legal fees and oftentimes medical expenses to stay the marathon course.

Appeals. Large employers – corporations, government, etc., typically have on their payroll an army of lawyers whose job it is to defend the agency’s interests. Sometimes appeals occur due to a legitimate sense that the lower court wrongfully decided against the company. Yet in the real world, which is the one that I focus on as an attorney, oftentimes companies exhaust their appeals simply in an effort to crush the will of the plaintiff – even as an act of retaliation for having brought the claim in the first place.

In my book, I coined the phrase “Management Gang.” These conniving bullies know full well that the plaintiff’s financial resources are typically very limited, while theirs is virtually unlimited because their company lawyers need something to keep them busy.

Drawn out appeals do not cost the management gang a single penny personally. It is the plaintiff who must bear his or her own burden of challenging appeals – often to his or her own detriment.

I have heard from so many supporters who have shared their outrage and true hurt over the dastardly deeds of workplace bullies. When treated with such indignity and disdain by those who hired you to be a part of their “team,” it is only natural to desire to bring the full weight of the law down upon these bastards. For many who have reached out to me, they view settlement as a “cop out,” abandoning their principles.

I hear you. Remember, I am not just an author and attorney who has a passing intellectual interest in the issue of workplace bullying. I’ve walked a mile or two in your shoes. I’ve felt your pain and outrage.

Yet I walked away on July 27, 2018, feeling and in fact knowing that my (undisclosed) settlement against DHS represented a victory for me, not capitulation. Why? Because I knew it was FINAL and could not be appealed.

I also knew, with great satisfaction, that I had deprived the bastards of draining my resources, my health and my spirit for years to come had I continued the case. I knew that I had exercised keen intellect, prudence and savvy in reaching what was a very honorable and unusually high settlement.

I walked away having won on every single issue that I cared about – my dignity being the top issue, and of course a considerable amount of money which enabled me to write my book and launch my national office – WARN.

In conclusion, does settling always make sense? No. Sometimes the offered settlement is meant to add insult to injury. That, too, is a fact of real life dealing with management gangs and bullies.

To be perfectly clear, am I “advising” you to settle your claim? No. I offer advice only to my clients. See your attorney for advice on this matter.

I am merely saying it has been my observation that many people are led astray by Hollywood and media accounts of trial drama. If I have any advice to give you, it is simply this – be sensible and prudent in making these decisions. Define for yourself what victory means and looks like for you.

Fight the good and intelligent fight. And as always, dear comrades, stay noble.

EEO Illusion

In my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, I devote an entire section espousing my views on the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) labyrinth. In short, I contend that the EEO process is primarily just an illusion. 

A controversial stance? Of course! Yet I have never been known to shy away from controversy.

Some who work within the EEO field will be inclined to throw rotten tomatoes at me because of my comments. Some lawyers who have made a nice, profitable business off of EEO cases will want to stone me in the middle of town square. They will fear the possibility of losing potential EEO clients as a result of what I have to say here. 

Nevertheless, I welcome the harsh criticisms to come if it possibly means that I have struck a nerve, such that people are moved to re-examine the EEO process in efforts to improve upon it. One has to disrupt the soil in order for the seeds to grow.

Before sharing my views on the EEO system, allow me to assert that the following are my views only, which of course I am entitled to hold and to share with you. I do not herein offer any advice as to whether or not to engage the EEO process, or how to navigate the EEO terrain should you elect to go that route. 

In the final analysis, should you ever find yourself at the EEO crossroads, you should always do your own research. Be resourceful, and make your own determinations as to what help you need and how best to address your unique circumstances.  

With that introductory caveat aside, I do not waffle as to my position. I shall state forthrightly that I am not a proponent of the EEO system, for several reasons.

First of all, I think it is a very lengthy, convoluted process that seems to contain so many twists and turns that ultimately do not end up anywhere useful. Secondly, in order to prevail on a typical EEO complaint, for the most part one has to meet a standard that often proves extremely difficult if not downright impossible, especially in contemporary times. 

I am referring to the “because of” standard. That is, the complainant normally has to show that because of his/her legally protected status, e.g., race, age, gender, disability, etc., the employer engaged in unlawful discriminatory conduct. In modern times, managers are not likely to be so dense as to overtly discriminate against employees. They have found more clever ways to discriminate without handing the employee complainant an easy EEO victory. 

That is why, according to numerous sources, statistically nowadays it is not very common to prevail in EEO cases. Management gangs are well aware of this fact, and are therefore not particularly afraid of an EEO complaint. 

Mind you, this is not to say that managers across the country are not capable of demonstrating such idiocy, and indeed some EEO cases are quite winnable. But again, I do not think victory is the norm in such actions. 

Therefore, one is left with a situation where one knows in her heart that she is being subjected to unlawful discrimination at work, yet feels she cannot meet the “because of” standard. Management gangs are savvy enough to circumvent the EEO system by finding a token employee who will say: “I am [fill in the blank] and management has always treated me wonderfully.” 

Out goes the “because of” allegation.

Furthermore, I am not an advocate of the EEO process because of the strong network within the EEO community. I successfully filed a whistleblower retaliation and harassment action against, in part, the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Headquarters (DHS). Some of the very officials named in my action had worked in the EEO field throughout their professional career, making many friends who would go to bat for them. 

In fact, the DC Headquarters for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the very agency that adjudicates EEO matters, was located in the same building where I suffered daily retaliation, bullying and harassment by “EEO, civil rights, diversity and inclusion” officials. Imagine how many lunches and social get togethers were shared between EEOC officials and DHS EEO management gang bullies who were just an elevator ride away. Imagine the comradery established over the years.

Lastly, I have witnessed just how political most (though hopefully not all) EEO offices are. EEO managers at the upper echelon are hired by management – often personal friends who skirt the HR merit process to bring on their pals. 

Most EEO complaints are filed against management. Well, you figure it out. Where do you think the typical EEO manager’s loyalty is going to be placed? In justice? Or in the pal who literally gave him/her the lucrative position? 

 In fairness, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with EEO staff who possessed some of the brightest minds and caring hearts of any profession I have ever encountered. These individuals truly wanted to do the right thing and promote equal justice. Yet they had bosses, higher ranking EEO officials who had a separate political agenda other than equal justice. 

Now, having stoked the flames of controversy, let me be clear as to what I am saying and, conversely, what I am not saying. I am boldly saying that, for the foregoing reasons, I do not have the highest regard for the EEO process.

However, I am absolutely not saying that the EEO process is incapable of being helpful and can never deliver justice. The process can and has worked for some complainants. 

Like any other program designed to help balance the scales of justice, the EEO system needs work to make it better, more efficient and fair, and more accessible to the many who must rely upon it. The Equal Employment Opportunity system is not yet “equal.”

Equality under the EEO system is but a mere illusion. 

 

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Attorney Shenandoah Titus is the author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon). He is the Founder and CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). 

For more information, visit:  www.warn-honor.com