After 6 years working for a vicious, abusive boss, I abruptly quit after one particularly vile incident. Now, I’m uncertain how to go about explaining my departure. Saying nothing bad about my past employer is not an option.
Perhaps you still have some unfinished business — to report the vicious, abusive boss. Don’t you owe it to yourself and to others there and those unsuspecting future employees to at least report the behavior? Otherwise, those people remain in power. As far as what you say to a prospective employer, the conventional advice is to not complain about your former employer.
And quitting without having another job might imply you were fired. Your talk track will also depend on how long you were there. Quitting after a few months raises red flags versus quitting after a few years. If not saying anything negative is truly not an option, keep it short. Explain that you would never complain about a former employer but circumstances are such that honesty is the best policy. Explain about the abusive boss, that you tried to remedy the situation through appropriate procedures, it wasn’t resolved and so you left. Spend the remainder of the interview projecting positivity about who you are, what you can bring and point to your track record before this unfortunate job experience.
One of my employees trashed the company on social media. Do I have the right to fire him?
Employer bashing and trolling on social media seems to have become a national pastime. As a journalist and Chief People Officer, I strongly believe in the freedom of speech and encourage employees to have an open platform for communication. That said, employers have the right to expect a duty of loyalty to the company that pays them, provides benefits, and so on.
So unless someone is exposing unlawful practices, which is protected by whistleblower laws, if an employee is just publicly bashing the company, an employer has the right to say that these actions are hurting the business and they don’t want them to work there.
Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com.
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