It’s one of those end-of-year best-of/worst-of lists that multiply like flies this time of year. But this one caught the eye for two reasons: It purports to list America’s Worst Bosses — and who hasn’t got a story to tell about an awful supervisor? — and it lists a former Navy commanding officer and a fired executive officer among its 100 worst for 2011.
According to “the eBossWatch panel of workplace experts,” coming in at No. 25 was Cmdr. Liam Bruen, former commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 136 out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., who was censured by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for condoning the hazing of a junior officer and failing to immediately stop the meeting and for retaliating when the subordinate filed a sexual harassment complaint. Bruen defended himself, saying he didn’t condone the behavior at the “call sign” meeting and properly addressed it later. Bruen retired this summer.
The No. 76 Worst Boss, Cmdr. Joseph Baxter, former XO of the Mayport, Fla.-based cruiser Gettysburg, was found guilty at a nonjudicial hearing of sexual harassment and assault. If not for a “pretrial” agreement, Baxter would have faced a general court-martial on charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman, sexual harassment, wrongful sexual contact and assault.
On the face of it, one can argue that the eBossWatch panel didn’t really do its homework by leaving off if not highly ranking Cmdr. Jay Wylie, former Momsen CO, who was court-martialed and convicted for an alcohol-fueled rape of an enlisted woman in his shipboard cabin and, on a separate occasion, sexually assaulting a junior officer while drunk.
It’s the third year in a row eBossWatch has published its Worst list. The group was launched in 2007 “to help people avoid hostile work environments and workplace bullying” and enables members to anonymously rate their bosses to help job seekers avoid the worst workplaces.
The group subtitles itself with, “Nobody should have to work with a jerk.”