Patricia G. Barnes, J.D.


I am a judge, licensed attorney (PA only), and legal writer who is a recognized expert on employment discrimination, workplace bullying and abuse. I recently completed a groundbreaking new book on age discrimination in employment called Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace.  


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 30s, 40s and 50s, who are otherwise considered young.

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 or forced to take poorly-paid part-time or temp work until they age into early retirement, which will result in significantly lower Social Security benefits for the rest of their lives.

The ADEA  is based upon the irrational theory that age discrimination is somehow different than and more acceptable than discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. This concept is and always was completely and false. All discrimination is the result of animus and false stereotypes directed toward a group.Age discrimination remains the one form of discrimination that is widely tolerated in American society as a result of unfounded fears and stereotypes and ignorance about aging.

The sad fact is that older workers have no real advocate in the legislature. The AARP seems to be more interested in protecting its $3 billion a year health insurance business than insuring equal treatment for older workers.

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. The book helps employees understand what is happening to them and to effectively use their company’s internal complaint procedure, while avoiding common pitfalls that could derail their  complaint.  The book also provides an overview of legal options available to targets of workplace abuse.

The book is 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. 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 achieve a resolution to the problem. Workplace abuse can be debilitating to a worker in a surprisingly short amount of time, causing potentially severe physical and mental health damage.  Zen theory and practices offer a proven method of dealing with workplace stress.

Employment Law Blog: abusergoestowork.com

I write a syndicated legal blog on employment discrimination, workplace abuse and bullying called,  When the Abuser Goes to Work. The blog is syndicated by Newstex,  which provides news and commentary  from the “world’s best authoritative sources.”