If your boss was a jerk before the economy went south, chances are things have gotten worse. “Employers are definitely getting meaner,” the editor of one career blog tells MSNBC. Knowing that employees may be fearful about leaving in an uncertain job market, the worst managers are pressuring employees to do the work of two people without extra pay, giving people grief for taking time off, and doling out negative reviews.
Pressures often start at the top and roll downhill to the rank and file. But one expert argues that bosses' bad behavior tends to be counterproductive. "The meaner they get, the more the team shuts down and the less they are able to perform.” Worried employees should request a private meeting to discuss concerns, or talk to someone higher up.