I can’t find it online, but this week’s Maclean’s has an interesting story titled: “Your boss is an ass. But now you can sue,” which looks at a couple of recent precedent-setting cases in Canada involving office bullies and the victims who were brave enough to go to court. Bad news for the enterprise: lacking soft skills can cost you a lot.
Some of the cases in the Maclean’s article ended up in $1 million settlements, even though, as the piece noted, corporate culture often defends those who rub others the wrong way. (They actually included a photo of former HP chief exec Carly Fiorina as an example of a bully boss, though I think her reputation had much more to do with her gender than anything else).
As these kind of cases start to pile up, it’ll be interesting to see whether the financial impact they have on firms might be factored into the overall risk management strategy. If so, we’re all going to have to work a lot harder to get along.