Intimidating office chair
But Pinkston has clashed regularly with many employees, according to interviews and a Tennessean review of messages, and the result was an overall climate of fear and intimidation.Said former Metro Schools Superintendent Jesse Register, who retired in good standing in 2015: “If you disagree, you become (Pinkston's) adversary.” Pinkston, responding to The Tennessean's request to address the complaints, flatly rejected the notion his conduct was inappropriate."It is abusive conduct or acts that would cause a reasonable person based on the severity, nature or frequency of conduct to believe that the employee was subject to an abusive work environment," Hargis said. A government ethics expert added that while civility might not be a requirement for school board members, public officials should refrain from disrespectful behavior.“Any actions that show disrespect, lack of civility, pettiness — things of that nature — raise an appearance of impropriety and the public can lose trust in those public officials,” said Hana Callaghan, a Santa Clara University expert on government ethics.Pinkston said he reported Egly to the district's chief academic officer because the teacher was “a serial harraser” on social media.Vesia Hawkins, a former district employee and board administrator, said she felt singled out by Pinkston after she began working for David Fox’s mayoral campaign in 2014.frequently ducked them and, generally, delegated it to staff.That’s the only reason I had interactions with staff." Coverstone was criticized publicly numerous times by Pinkston during school board meetings.
Coverstone said he had no knowledge of the demonstration, but Pinkston accused him of being a part of it.“From the staff perspective, we expected to hear Mr. Pinkston didn’t get his way, he would throw someone under the bus,” the former employee said.Pinkston verbally abuse different staff members during board meetings. Jason Egly, a former district teacher, said he was afraid of Pinkston after the two got into a debate on Twitter.Tennessee enacted in 2014 a healthy workplace statute that defines abuse or bullying in the workplace, according to Kathy Hargis, a Lipscomb University human resources expert.Behavior covered by the statute includes repeated verbal abuse in the workplace, derogatory remarks, insults and epithets; verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating or humiliating nature in the workplace; and sabotage or undermining of an employee’s work performance in a workplace. Department of Labor, if someone’s behavior in the workplace unreasonably interfered with work performance or if it had an effect on another employee’s psychological well-being, it could be considered a pattern of unlawful harassing conduct.