Shows Lousy Leadership Skills
Donald Trump, real estate mogul and boss of The Celebrity Apprentice, hit a new low this week when he fired a target of workplace bullying and retained the bully.
Trump retained Richard Hatch after Hatch, in his capacity of Project Leader, actually physically pushed away his “employee,” David Cassidy, when Cassidy tried to make suggestions.
Hatch, who won the first Survivor reality TV show, is physically considerably larger than Cassidy, who is a performer and former teen idol. Hatch treated Cassidy like a pesky fly, physically pushing him away a couple of times. At one point, Cassidy confronted Hatch, complaining that Hatch had physically touched Cassidy twice and telling him to stop.
Notably, Hatch did not physically touch any other team member.
In addition to physical bullying, Hatch repeatedly referred to Cassidy in demeaning terms, at one point calling Cassidy delicate and one of the “little people.”
Meanwhile, in a behavior that is typical for a workplace bully, Hatch at first denied the abuse, which was caught on film, and then minimized the abuse.
Unfortunately, the scenario is all too typical.
In a 2008 poll by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 53 percent of targets of workplace bullying said they reported the abuse to their employer, and their employer substantially did nothing; 71 percent said the employer retaliated against them!
Cassidy and other team members reported the bullying to Donald Trump but, sadly, Trump’s response was essentially to criticize Cassidy for failing to be more assertive. Trump said his gut (which he said is always right) told him to fire Cassidy and not Hatch. However, cynics might infer that Trump’s gut told him the villainous Hatch is better for ratings.
This is an appalling example of poor leadership for any boss but especially one who is making noises about running for the Republican nomination for U.S. President. (I’m referring to Trump)
In addition to Cassidy, Trump failed Cassidy’s team-mates. Witnesses of bullying often fear that they may be next, and experience guilt that they didn’t intervene on behalf of the bullied. Several of Cassidy’s teammates watched in silence while Hatch physically dominated Cassidy.
Hatch, by the way, spent three years in prison for failing to pay taxes on his winnings from Survivor and subsequent earnings. (A federal judge ordered Hatch back to prison on 3/11/11 for nine months because he still hasn’t settled up with the IRS.) Fellow Survivor cast member Sue Hawk threatened to file a lawsuit after Hatch, while nude, brushed up against her during a Survivor challenge.
Hatch calls himself a corporate trainer.
God help us!
By the way, for all you employers out there who think the workplace should be a battleground, here’s an overview and definition of the tort of battery.
Battery occurs when the defendant’s acts intentionally cause harmful or offensive contact with the victim’s person. [See Restatement §§ 13, 16, 18.] While battery requires intent, the prevailing tort definition does not require an intent to harm. It is only necessary that the defendant intend to cause either harmful or offensive contact. [From: J. Diamond, et. al, Understanding Torts (Lexis-Nexis, 2010)].