Ranked at number 65 in the seventh iteration of the eBossWatch 100 Worst Bosses List, Lombardi was included for his part in a lawsuit settled by the city for $115,000, according to the organization’s founder and CEO Asher Adelman.
“In this case, you have someone, a school principal who was accused of sexual harassment,” Adelman said. “The teacher filed a lawsuit, the principal abruptly resigned, and the school district settled a lawsuit for over $100,000. I certainly wouldn’t consider someone like that a good manager.”
According to Lombardi, he did not resign after his lawsuit came to light. Rather, he filed for his retirement shortly before the lawsuit was introduced. Lombardi said he felt his inclusion on the list is “just craziness.”
“I was nominated by Joel Klein to be the CEO of Leadership Academy, I teach at Columbia,” Lombardi said. “I can’t fight the press and I can’t fight rumors. Hopefully the things I did over 17 years – trying to improve my school and trying to improve programs for teachers – will be the way I’m remembered.”
None of this is taken into account by eBossWatch, which doesn’t perform industry specific evaluations of their subjects, but rather commissions a panel of generalized workplace experts to comb through publicly available data to determine who they believe to be the worst bosses in the country.
This year’s panel included psychotherapist Linnda Durre; founder of the People Group Kevin Kennemer; founder of Civility Partners Catherine Mattice; respectful workplace solutions expert Erica Pinsky; organizational consultant Marilyn Veincentotzs; and co-founder of the National Workplace Bullying Coalition Beverly Peterson.
While many factors contribute to their final decision, the experts make personal contact with neither the potential candidates on their list, nor those who have complained about them.
“We go through the cases that have made headlines and workplace harassment cases that have been filed throughout the country,” Adelman explained. “Then, a panel of workplace experts goes through and ranks and gives a score to each candidate [using] publicly available material.”
In Lombardi’s opinion, the methods used by the eBossWatch panel are the tools of “poor journalism” based on “inadequate research, salacious headlines and innuendos.”
“If it was the United Federation of Teachers who put [the list] together, maybe I could understand and it might have some merit, because I fought adamantly against tenure,” he said, “but obviously this wasn’t researched at all.”
Adelman said the goal of eBossWatch, which he founded in 2007, is to provide transparency for job seekers and to help them avoid negative working environments.
“There are tens of millions of cases of workplace harassment and abuse every year. We started the America’s Worst Bosses list to highlight the more extreme cases,” Adelman said. “Employers and bosses should know there’s going to be ramifications for abusive behaviors on employees.”