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.

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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

The HR Myth

First and foremost, Happy New Year to all! I wish you peace, good health and joy in 2020.

In my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon), I speak rather forthrightly about the realities of the Human Resources (HR) system. To cut to the chase, I contend that most – though thankfully not all – HR offices in the public and private sector are nothing more than pawns of the management gang. 

After my book was published, I braced myself for a wave of pushback from the HR community. I anticipated an avalanche of angry rants: 

“How dare you say such a thing about the HR community! We are dedicated to protecting employee rights and ensuring that bullying, harassment and retaliation do not occur in the workplace! You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Titus!”

To my utter surprise, I have actually received just the opposite feedback from HR professionals. Rather than scorn, I received praise for my stance on HR:

“Attorney Titus, you are a blessing! Thank you for boldly speaking the truth.” 

One individual lamented:

“I have always wanted to be a Human Resources professional. I thought I could help a lot of people in that capacity. Instead, what I have found is that office politics rule the day. If an executive wants a particular person hired for a good job – usually his/her friend or due to a favor owed – HR will make it happen whether that person is actually qualified for the job or not. It’s just a matter of posting the job announcement in a way that fits the friend’s background.

Oh, and forget about harassment and bullying complaints. If it’s brought against a favored manager, we (HR) might conduct a pseudo investigation just to put it on the books that the agency “takes these matters seriously.” But unless there’s a smoking gun in terms of evidence, the complaint will almost always be “unfounded.” 

And then I pity the poor soul who brought the complaint against the manager. HR will help management find ways of “dealing with” that “troublesome” employee. That sort of gamesmanship and ugly politics was not why I went into HR work. It made me feel very ashamed.”

I have heard from HR professionals who, having tried to do the right thing in these situations, found themselves out of a job due to “poor performance,” notwithstanding the fact that prior to their principled stance, they were considered “high achievers” and held a spotless record. For such noble souls, I always felt the worse because they represented all the good that Human Resources is supposed to stand for.

Throughout my professional experience as a public servant and executive over 22 years, I have witnessed much corruption in the HR system. Where I formerly worked as the first-ever Anti-Harassment Program Manager, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters, one of the adverse parties in my successful legal action was, get this, the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer!

Can you imagine the sad irony of that? The Anti-Harassment Program Manager takes legal action against, essentially, the personnel office for harassment, bullying and retaliation! Being a pretty decent lawyer, I prevailed in the action and reached an honorable settlement. 

Yet it is most sad, indeed pathetic, that such an action was necessary in the first place against the very office established to protect the integrity of the workplace. Yet that is what happens in the real world when power goes unchecked, and accountability is nonexistent.

HR equality is a myth. Most HR offices in the public and private sector are arms of the management gang. I stand by my assertions.

Yet this does not mean that all HR professionals are corrupt and devoid of principles. On the contrary, I truly believe that most people enter the HR field with good and noble intentions to help people, and to do the right thing. 

Yet somewhere along the way, the weak and faint of heart surrender their values to the system – to peer pressure and politics. They are rewarded with salary increases and bigger titles. Yet they become hollow shells, having abandoned their original sense of purpose. 

The valiant HR professionals continue to do what they can to help people, with what little authority they have left. They often become the targets of the management gang – bullied, harassed, retaliated against. 

Their so-called friends at work have long since abandoned them, out of cowardice and preservation of their comfortable suburban lifestyles. The noble souls often feel alone.

If there is a central theme to my book, it is just that – You are not Alone. You Deserve Better.

I firmly believe we can work together to make things better. What do you believe?


Attorney Shenandoah Titus is the Founder and CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). To learn more, visit: 


Daily Progress Commentary

From The Daily Progress – Charlottesville, Virginia 

With the current national — indeed international — media frenzy surrounding the White House and apparent whistleblowers, I will try to shed a little light on the whistleblower concept while delicately avoiding political landmines.

What are my qualifications to speak to this issue? I am a whistleblower myself. I formerly served as the first program manager for the Anti-Harassment Unit at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington.

I then was asked (cajoled, really) to engage in conduct that I found to be inconsistent with both my oath as a public servant and my personal honor. I vehemently refused management’s request, and I subsequently reported the matter to Congress.

Like many whistleblowers in the public and private sectors, I suffered fierce retaliation, bullying and harassment.

Yet unlike many whistleblowers, I fought back legally and prevailed to my full satisfaction. I subsequently authored a book sharing my experience as a whistleblower and rendered insights on how one might combat workplace bullying, harassment and retaliation — whether or not one is a whistleblower in the conventional sense.

Despite public rhetoric in some circles branding a whistleblower as a “traitor” or “spy,” whistleblowers do not deserve such nefarious labels. Indeed, whistleblowers are a unique breed of honorable men and women who value service above self, and whose staunch commitment to serving the public good often places them at risk of losing their employment, health and even families. The whistleblower will certainly lose his or her “friends,” as people run and hide in fear rather than stand by the person they once called friend.

Nevertheless, the whistleblower stands tall because he or she feels compelled to do the right thing. This is not at all a new concept. Honoring and providing protection for whistleblowers has a long history in the U.S.

The true whistleblower — as opposed to someone whose sole agenda is to cause public embarrassment to another — is the noblest of souls. Think about it this way: As a hardworking taxpayer, would you want to see your tax dollars subjected to fraud, waste or abuse at the sole discretion of public officials who have no fear of accountability?

In the private sector, would you want your loved one to drive away from a garage with shoddy brakes because the company placed profit over safety, with no fear of accountability? Would you want a pharmaceutical company to issue a loved one unsafe drugs, having bribed health inspectors to write fraudulent reports with no fear of accountability?

And what of your children? It is a sad fact that institutions designed to educate or provide spiritual guidance have harbored officials who would prey on innocent children. Among the fearful and silent adults, who would hold the child molesters accountable for their crimes?

Enter the whistleblower. This is the man or woman whom fraudsters fear will keep them accountable to the public. To the people. To the rule of law.

And so, as you wade through the political tsunami these days surrounding a possible whistleblower, there will of course be those who will vilify whistleblowers and, conversely, those who will elevate whistleblowers to sainthood. In the existing political climate, whether the whistleblower is feared or revered may very well come down to one’s political agenda.

In truth, the legitimate whistleblower is neither a saint nor a villain. This is simply a man or a woman who, notwithstanding inherent human flaws, believes in doing what is right for the common good.

It’s not about politics — liberal or conservative. It’s about honor and courage — hopefully not obsolete principles.