Editor’s Note: Most managers are diligent, empathetic and savvy professionals who know how to get the best from their people and stay on the right side of the law. And then there are the other ones — those whose blunders land them in court, on the news and, sometimes, on HR blogs. Here are a few cautionary tales from the darker side of management:

Welcome to our hotel … sorry for all the screaming
A hotel manager called an African-American desk clerk a “welfare mother” and implied that she should abort her pregnancy, the EEOC has charged in a lawsuit. In the suit for racial, sex and religious discrimination, the EEOC further claims the manager made inappropriate comments about female employees’ appearance and personal lives. The manager also belittled employees who professed faith in God. And he yelled and, on occasion, threatened violence, the EEOC said.

You can say what you want about me, but don’t insult my dog
An area manager spared no effort to put a store manager down. Knowing the latter was homosexual, the area manager called him “Virginia” and “Peggy,” said he looked like a female librarian and referred to his small dog as “Fluffy.” Eventually the store manager got fed up, claiming a hostile work environment. Luckily for the company, it had reprimanded and transferred the area manager, and so got the case dismissed.

Thanks for getting me sued, boss
A supervisor at Electric Boat Co. in Groton, CT, allegedly got into a racially charged discussion with a black employee and called a third employee over to take part. That employee says he quickly realized the talk wasn’t about work, and left. Even so, the black employee included him in the racial harassment and assault lawsuit that he filed against the boss and company. So now the third employee has also sued the supervisor — for negligently exposing him to a lawsuit.

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