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Hostile Work Environment

07 Aug 2023 5:03 PM | Anonymous


I am a BCBA working in a school setting. My boss has created a hostile work environment (i.e. threatening job security, public humiliation, gaslighting, intentional sabotaging and retaliation). Due to stress, I have found that my quality of work is decreasing and impacting my ability to provide effective services to my students (ethical code 2.09). However, if I leave my job, my students will lose their BCBA (the school will not hire another) and they will not receive the behavioral services they need. I want to act in the best interest of my students (ethical code 2.15) and not leave them without a BCBA. However, working in a hostile work environment has impacted my ability to be an effective BCBA. I filed a complaint with HR regarding my boss’s behavior. An attorney was brought in and began an investigation. The results of the investigation stated that my boss had not done anything illegal and there would be no action taken against him.


  • Our responsibility is to transition clients following ethical guidelines, but it is not up to the employee to stay in order for the school to staff/fill the position 
  • Send letter of recommendation to school administration for student’s receiving services to providing supporting documentation showing the need for continued service/dosage 
  • Due diligence to have conversations with boss etc. first then moving to HR to attempt to resolve conflict 
  • Meet with families during IEP possibly bring up outside services the family could pursue and provide a referral list or resources for additional support if they choose

Arizona Association for Behavior Analysis
1800 E. Ray Road, Suite 106, Chandler, AZ 85225 | 480-893-6110 |

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