Patricia G. Barnes, J.D.


I am a licensed attorney (PA only), former judge, author and public speaker.  I also serve as a consultant and provide anti-harassment training to employers seeking to foster a healthy workplace through education of managers and employees. I advise employers and employees who are dealing with workplace bullying and discrimination.  For more information, email me at barnespatg@gmail.com.

Age Discrimination

I recently completed a groundbreaking new book on age discrimination in employment called Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace.    The book was hailed as “well researched and well written” in a review by David Godfrey, senior attorney for The ABA Commission on Law and Aging.


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) was weak to begin with and has been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Older workers literally are second class citizens under the law.  Almost 50 years after the ADEA’s passage, age discrimination remains epidemic in the United States, hidden behind terms such as “long-term unemployment” and “early retirement.” And the problem is trickling down to workers in their 40s and 50s, who are otherwise considered young.  Even workers in their 30s experience age discrimination in certain fields, such as high-tech work in Silicon Valley.

Age discrimination is problematic for younger workers but it can be a devastating life-altering catastrophe for older workers. They often are plunged into long-term unemployment,  forced to take poorly paid part-time or temp work, and forced into early retirement, which will result in reduction of at least 25 percent in their Social Security benefits for the rest of their lives.

The ADEA  is based upon the false theory that age discrimination is somehow  more acceptable than discrimination based upon race, sex, religion and national origin. All discrimination is the result of false stereotypes and fear and animus  directed toward a discrete group. Despite this, age discrimination remains the one form of discrimination that is widely tolerated in American society.  The book urges repeal of the ADEA and adding age as a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin.

Workplace Bullying & Abuse

I am also the author of  Surviving Bullies, Queen Bees & Psychopaths in the Workplace,  the best-selling legal guide to the problem of workplace bullying and abuse in the United States. T he book has been called an invaluable tool for employers and Human Resource professionals who wish to avoid the potentially catastrophic risk that results from bullying, which is at the core of many sexual harassment and race or sex discrimination complaints. Employers can learn  how to prevent and address workplace bullying and abuse. Te book also helps workers recognize and address the problem, potentially saving jobs and avoiding damage to their mental and physical health. The book has garnered numerous five-star reviews from prominent workplace bullying experts on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  It is available both as an e-book and in paperback.

My book  Transcend Your Boss: Zen and the Difficult Workplace (2013) provides targets of workplace discrimination and abuse a path to survive in a hostile workplace environment long enough to effectively address the problem. Workplace abuse debilitate a worker in a surprisingly short amount of time, causing potentially severe physical and mental health damage.  Zen theory and practices offer a proven way of dealing with workplace stress.

Employment Law Blogs: AbuserGoestoWork.com and AgeDiscriminationinEmployment.com.

I created and edit two blogs on employment discrimination, workplace abuse and bullying. The first,  When the Abuser Goes to Work, offers extensive resources for employers and workers on the topics of  discrimination, bullying and abuse. This blog is syndicated by Newstex,  which provides news and commentary  from the “world’s best authoritative sources.”  More recently, I have begun a blog called, Age Discrimination in Employment. that deals specifically with the systemic inequality of older workers under federal law