Can You Start a Petition to Remove Your Boss From the Workplace?

Getting support from co-workers against your boss could backfire.

Getting support from co-workers against your boss could backfire.

There couldn't be more truth to the old saying, "there's strength in numbers" than in the workplace, which is one of the reasons why unions exist, but if you're looking for support to get your boss removed from the workplace, think twice about the ramifications. If your boss learns that you started the petition, you probably won't get a letter of recommendation from her if you ever decide to leave the company.

Performance

Whether it's you or your boss, generally performance is what determines whether an employee gets to keep her job or has to pack up her personal items and look for another job. If you think your boss's performance is below par, consider whether you'd like to be on the receiving end of an unofficial performance evaluation from someone who doesn't supervise you. You might believe that getting your boss removed from the workplace is helping the organization, when instead it could cause your department to suffer. Spend more time sharing ideas about efficient work processes with your boss and co-workers and less time trying to wreck her career.

Safety Violations

If you see your boss departing from safety procedures, starting a petition for his removal is probably one of the least effective ways to ensure employee safety. Follow your company's protocol for reporting safety violations -- contact the safety and risk manager or an HR staff member. In some cases, you might prefer to go directly to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to report violations, especially if your boss is the one who's ultimately responsible for ensuring workplace safety. When you report instances of safety or ethics violations, the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program protects you against retaliation. You don't get the same protections if you champion a campaign to get your boss fired.

Policy Violations

Starting a petition isn't your company's recommended method for reporting policy violations, such as unfair treatment or workplace harassment. Many organizations have policy statements that prohibit any form of discrimination, as well as steps employees should take to resolve these issues. Discrimination and harassment are serious workplace issues that your HR department needs to address; therefore, you should never campaign for your boss's removal when it involves potentially unlawful acts that must be investigated by your company or an enforcement agency. It won't hurt to have a written record that describes your boss's harassment, but it shouldn't be in the form of a petition. Document the incidents and give your HR leader a copy of it when you report the actions.

Department Division

You probably could start a petition to get your boss removed from the workplace, but soliciting support from your co-workers will likely create a divide that might never heal. In addition, the time you spend trying to persuade your co-workers to sign your petition may be frowned upon by your peers and colleagues, and especially your boss, even if she doesn't know that the petition concerns her employment status. Leading the charge to get your boss terminated can destroy others' trust in you -- they'll never know when you might initiate a petition for their terminations.

Alternatives

If you're that dissatisfied with your boss's performance or effectiveness as a leader, avoid launching a campaign to get her fired. Depending on the relationship you have with her, you might be able to share your concerns directly with your boss. On the other hand, if you're at the point where you want to file a petition for her removal, your supervisor-employee relationship could be strained. Don't let a petition cause more stress on that relationship and also rethink going to your boss's supervisor. If you can't have a candid talk with your boss, go to the HR department to ask for guidance.

 

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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