The Bad Boss Contest: Could Your Boss Be the Winner?

News & Politics

Imagine you're at work and you get a call that your mother died. Then imagine your boss saying you might as well stay at the office the rest of the day--there's nothing you can do because she's dead anyway.

Even worse: That true scenario from Amy in Florida is just one of the many workplace horror stories piling in for this year's My Bad Boss Contest. Now in its third year, the contest for the nation's worst boss, sponsored by the AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America, provides a frightening look at the demons on the other side of the cubicle.

The contest runs through Aug. 19 and offers suffering employees a chance to win the first prize, a week's free stay at a condo in one of more than 50 countries, plus $1,000 toward airfare and other travel/trip expenses. Second prize is a week's free stay at a condo in one of more than 50 countries and $500 toward airfare or other travel/trip expenses.

(You can read stories here as they come in, and vote for those you think are particularly egregious.)

Every year, it seems impossible employers and supervisors could get any worse.

But every year, the bad bosses keep coming back.

In fact, a survey conducted for Working America estimates that some 15 million of us work for bad bosses. In the Lake Research Partners survey, 10 percent of the respondents say they had bad bosses, the equivalent of 15 million workers in the nation's workforce. In addition, 36 percent say they feel pressure to stay with a bad boss because of today's worsening economy.

Last year, Pete received 1,276 votes from visitors to the Bad Boss site and beat out five other semifinalists, including a waitress whose boss knowingly hired her stalker.

Pete's boss callously threw away his employee's paid leave paperwork, leaving him without paid leave or disability benefits for those days. The father of three small children was battling a rare form of cancer and needed paid leave to help pay his family's bills.

In 2006, the worst of the bad bosses was the millionaire dentist who, because so many patients canceled appointments on Sept. 11, 2001, took the money he would have made that day out of his employees' paychecks.

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