Characteristics of Blackballing in the Workplace

Got a pinkslip? Could be the result of blackballing.
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The process of blackballing is an exclusionary one in which a current, former or future employee is unjustly denied the right to participate in the business arena. While the origins of the term are old, the practice isn’t extinguished and is still present in today's workplace. Being blackballed by a coworker or boss does still happen. If you suspect that you are being blackballed, there are tell-tale signs that you are on the receiving end of this negative treatment.

Private Meetings

Often, one of the first signs of blackballing is exclusion from company meetings to which you may previously have been invited, suggests Bill Gorden for “The Workplace Doctors.” By simply not inviting employees with whom they are displeased to meetings, those in power can deny them the opportunity to actively participate in business decision making and perhaps even create situations in which these workers will fail. For example, if an employee is inadequately informed of an upcoming change in the business model, he will be unable to adapt to this change and his performance will suffer, giving the employer potentially looking for a reason to oust the employee ammunition to do so.

Unjust Termination

Getting fired is tough, but it can happen. Not all firing is a result of blackballing, but if you were fired without cause it just might be.

If your firing is preceded by actions that seem to indicate that your employer is unjustly unhappy with you, a sudden firing might be a sign that you are being blackballed, at the company and even in your industry.

If you think this is the case, going to your human resources department or taking legal action may be necessary.

Being terminated could look bad to future employers and may result in a bad reference from your ex-employer as well. Negative references could blacklist you from finding a new job and make your job search impossibly hard.

Application Denial

The reach of your employer may extend beyond the office walls. Employers that truly have a beef with an employee might not be satisfied with simply dismissing the employee. They may actually reach out to other companies and put in negative words about the now job-seeking employee. This can happen post-firing or if you leave a company against the employer’s wishes.

Because applications can be turned down for a multitude of reasons, it is next to impossible to prove that your application was rejected as a result of blackballing. This is another good reason to consider finding a law firm to assist you. (ICS World)

Client Contacts

Maintaining a steady stream of paying clients is a must for success in the world of business. In some instances, blackballed individuals or companies will have this steady stream cut off. The person championing the blackballing may do so by contacting clients with whom the individual or company has formerly worked and encouraging them to no longer engage in business with the company or individual. This can happen on a large scale -- with companies being denied contracts by major organizations or governmental agencies, or on the small scale -- with disgruntled former employers contacting all of a beautician’s clients and spreading some negative gossip to dissuade them from seeking her services.

Future Complications

Being blackballed in a workplace and eventually being fired causes lots of issues. Finding new employment may be difficult, you could have a hard time finding referrals and discussing your work history or past work environment in interviews may be awkward. Prospective employers will not want to hire an employee with a previous history of difficulty in their work life. All of these things considered, sometimes being blackballed is not a fault of your own and is just a result of a negative workplace culture. If this is the case, it is probably best to lawyer up and properly settle the matter so you have a better chance of being rehired in the future.

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