When you apply for a job, your potential employer gets to check you out — running background checks and credit checks, calling up past employers, asking for your measurements and a demonstration of your sexual prowess… What? Is that not normal?
But what do you find out about your potential boss? You get a sense of their style and their curiosity during the interview. (Do they talk about themselves? Or ask you questions? Or just kind of stare at you malevolently?) You can tentatively reach out to your future co-workers and delicately ask whether said boss has any psychoses. You can Google them, of course, and try to stalk their Facebook pages (though most people are savvy enough these days to turn up those privacy settings). Or you can check them out on eBossWatch, a site that’s been around since 2007 that allows employees to anonymously review their bosses.
But perhaps there will be more soon. The site recently instituted a “National Sexual Harassment Registry” (kind of like the Sex Offender Registry, but with more executives and less violence). But the Connecticut Employment Law Blog calls foul…
Daniel Schwartz writes:
Just take the “National Sexual Harassment Registry”, which was launched this week, for example. eBossWatch professes that this registry’s purpose is to “help people avoid sexual harassers and to help put an end to sexual harassment by sending a strong message to those intending to harass their employees or coworkers that they will be publicly held accountable and will suffer serious consequences for their abusive actions.”
The problem is it doesn’t do that. It only lists a few people accused of sexual harassment (and appears to be limited to those that eBossWatch has selected). By its own terms, people on its registry are “sexual harassers”, even though what it really compiles are a few people who have [been] named in sexual harassment complaints — whether those have been settled or resolved or still pending.
That sounds… reliable?
Heck, it even suggests that some of these sexual harassers have not yet been found “guilty” by a jury — never mind the fact that juries in sexual harassment cases don’t find people “guilty” because the cases are civil, not criminal. You just can’t be “guilty” of sexual harassment.
But beyond that, the site contains inaccurate or outdated information. My brief search, for example, reveals that there are people listed there that a jury has concluded did not commit sexual harassment.
ABA Journal: One of my editors suggested that eBossWatch.com is a little like DontDateHimGirl.com. Do you see any similarity? In one lawsuit, DontDateHimGirl.com claimed the Communications Decency Act offered protection from a libel claim. Does the same law protect your website from libel lawsuits?
Adelman: I think the main difference between eBossWatch and DontDateHimGirl.com is that eBossWatch does not allow free text comments in the “boss review” forms. Our boss reviews consist solely of a number of opinion statements that the reviewer can either agree or disagree with, so we are able to avoid libel issues while providing our users with an effective resource. Since statements of opinion cannot by definition be considered libelous, we are not worried about libel lawsuits.
ABA Journal: Have any suits been filed against you by people who are unhappy because they were rated as bad bosses or listed on the harassment registry?
Adelman: We have been threatened with lawsuits a number of times, but nobody has filed suit against eBossWatch. I imagine that their attorneys had advised them that it is not worthwhile for them to file since they have no case.
We wish the ABA had asked Adelman if he was a good boss. There’s a review on the site for him and it’s highly unfavorable.
“National Sexual Harassment Registry” on eBossWatch – Not Even What It Claims To Be [Connecticut Employment Law Blog]
Founder of Boss Rating Website Doesn’t Fear Lawsuits [ABA Journal]
Boss Review of Asher Adelman [eBossWatch]