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It's Possible You'll Be Bullied On The job If...
December 05, 2011


Employee Rights News You Can Use


Top Tip!

Is Cobra A Snake?

Most job seekers and employees I know and have researched have little or no knowledge of COBRA. In fact many When asked, "What is COBRA?" will respond "It's a snake." Well COBRA is not a snake, however it can bite the employee that doesn't understand how it works or doesn't work.

What exactly is COBRA?

(COBRA) is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986...that's a mouth full :0) It allows for group health care coverage to employees and their families who would lose this insurance because of employment termination, divorce, death or some other life circumstance.

Employees that are covered by group insurance are eligible for COBRA with one exception.

Take this quick COBRA quiz to test your knowledge. Don't worry I always grade on the curb. Besides the answers are below but don't cheat ;0)

  • 1 Fired for misconduct am I eligible for COBRA?
    a. True b. False

  • 2 My spouse is covered under COBRA up to 36 months if:
    a. I become eligible for Medicare
    b. We legally separate or divorce
    c. I die
    d. All of the above

  • 3 Only hospitalization is covered regardless of other insurance
    a. true b. false

  • 4 Are children reaching majority covered under COBRA?
    a. true b. false

  • 5 Health insurance continues for 18 to 36 months
    a. true b. false

  • 6 Am I eligible for COBRA if I'm fired?
    a. true b. false

  • 7 If I divorce when must I notify the COBRA health plan administrator?
    a. 30 days b. 60 days c. 90 days

  • 8 while employed I lose health insurance coverage, would I still get COBRA?
    a. true b. false

  • 9 COBRA premiums are paid by me and the company
    a. true b. false

    Hmmm....let's see how you scored!

    Answers to Basic COBRA quiz

    1. b No, examples would be violence, stealing, etc.
    2. d
    3. b COBRA coverage includes dental and vision.
    4. a Yes up to 36 months
    5. a Yes up to 3 1/2 years
    6. a Yes, the exception is gross misconduct
    7. b Notice must be within 60 days of the event
    8. a Yes, for up to 18 months
    9. b False, unfortunately, WE pay the entire premium which can be very expensive!

    I will be talking more about COBRA and its implication in future posts. Until then ask your employers HR to explain how COBRA will affect you if for whatever reason you lose your job.

    **What matters to to help my fellow employee!**

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    Date December 5, 2011

    Issue #33


    Important News!

    Hello My friend,

    I hope you and your family had a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, many American families continue to go through extremely hard and challenging times. The economy while it appears to be moving in the right direction is still far from where it needs to be.

    The gridlock game being played in Congress means there will continue to be hardship for millions. Nowhere is this being felt more felt than in the workplace. There are some changes for the better and just as many for the worse for employees.

    Many in Congress and those running for political office want to dismantle many state and federal regulations protecting our rights in the workplace. As always I pledge to "watch your back" and keep you informed about the most immediate and important changes affecting you and your family at work.

    That said....

    So let's get to it!



    It's Possible You'll Be Bullied On The job If...

    When I think of a bully, images of "big" Darryl from my grade school playground days terrorizing me and other classmates. Unfortunately, bullies aren't just a problem in schools; actually, 35% of American employees report suffering at the hands of bullies. In addition, instances of bullying occur in the workplace far more frequently than sexual harassment.

    Nevertheless, a lot of employee rights advocates including myself believe there's a general lack of awareness about what constitutes bullying. Because of this, many people today don"t understand that their co-workers, and even their boss, is often a bully until it's too late.

    The problem is that if you're the one being bullied, it can seriously effect your health, morale, peace of mind and productivity. Bullying can affect your sense of well being in daily life. That's why it's so vital to face the issue head on.

    So what exactly are some signs you're getting bullied? Here are some questions you might ask to determine if you and others are workplace bully victims;

    Is there someone that "trashes", trivializes or criticizes just about everything you say or do?

    Is there a co worker or manager who consistently goes out of their way to make you the "butt" of insults or jokes?

    Do you feel like you've just been paroled from prison every Friday looking forward to the weekend?

    Do you get a sick feeling of dread knowing you have to start the work week all over again?

    Is there a group of co-workers who always seem to get greater enjoyment and laughter when you are the target of insults and jokes?

    Has your spouse, family or friends noticed how you aren't as happy and upbeat since you've been at this company?

    Are you taking aspirin or other medication for headaches and stress when you rarely used to?

    Does your supervisor take virtually everything you say or do and distort it into something negative, like on a job evaluation?

    Now these are just a few examples of possible bully conditions at work. There are of course many more. One of the most insidious aspects of workplace bullying is the blurring of the lines or overlap of what constitutes bullying, harassment or discrimination. It can also be very difficult to navigate the process of proving it and getting the bully off your "back".

    This is especially true when the bully is your manager. Nevertheless, the first course of action is to make the individual(s) aware that you believe bullying is occurring and also inform human resources.

    I would be prepared to show specific situations over a period of time that reveal a clear pattern. Also as in every instance of conflict on the job the the number ONE thing to remember is to STAY CALM! I know that is sooo easy to say. I have been in situations where the employer tried to "set me up" for provocation hoping I would "go off".

    Thus providing them with a justification for firing me. Do not fall into that trap.I stayed focused on what I had researched and could prove about the employers bias or not following its own policies and procedures. When you can prove through various forms of investigation and documentation your position is rock solid there's no reason to get upset.

    Your employer will be the one prone to the emotional "hissy fit". Since there still are no federal laws passed by Congress to prohibit bullying employees must learn all they can about how to recognize it beforehand.

    Until next time as always.....

    Be something good to someone!


    Employee Rights Educator, Coach, Trainer, Advocate, Internet Presence Consultant (work in progress) =================================================

    Are you a SALARIED or HOURLY employee?

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    Not Knowing could be COSTING YOU M.ON.EY!!



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    Written by Yancey Thomas Jr.


    (c)copyright 2011


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