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If you’ve not been keeping up with the world of wrestling, you might think that this article is about a former wrestler.

But the former World Wrestling Federation changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) back in 2002.

These days, the WWF refers to the World Wide Fund for Nature, a non-governmental organisation that was founded in 1961 with the aim of preserving wildlife and reducing our negative impact on the environment.

The conservation organisation has an office in Singapore, situated along Tanglin Road.

With such a noble objective as its foundation, you’d think that the work environment would be a rather pleasant one to be a part of.

But for one former employee, the opposite was true.

Former Employee in WWF S’pore Claims Workplace Bullying Gave her PSTD

Imagine this: you face constant bullying from your boss, and so, distressed, you bring the matter up with your HR team, asking for compensation. But instead of giving in to your request, you’re told that your bosses’ actions cannot be equated with that of the company’s, and therefore the fault does not lie with the firm.

Sound crazy? Well, that’s what former employee Coralie Ponsinet claims happened to her as reported in a SCMP article.

The French national worked at WWF Singapore from July 2015 to February 2017, after which she left the country for a job in Australia.

During her time at WWF, the 31-year-old said she suffered emotional abuse at the hands of her boss, describing it as a  “persistent pattern of mistreatment… which caused her undue emotional harm”.

In Oct 2017, eight months after leaving WWF Singapore, a doctor in Melbourne diagnosed Ponsinet with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her symptoms included insomnia, depression, loss of self-esteem, headaches, and digestive issues.

After her diagnosis, Ponsinet left her new job and spent a year undergoing psychological treatment while unemployed.

When she brought up the matter to the NGO’s HR team and made a request for compensation, she got an email informing her that her request was rejected because her former boss’s actions “cannot be equated with WWF” and so the organisation “does not accept any suggestion that it is liable”.

“A Toxic Culture of Bullying”

Three other former employees of WWF Singapore corroborated Ponsinet’s claims, with one saying there was a “toxic culture of bullying” in their Singapore office.

“People were going into work scared,” she said. “People were fearful of opening emails.” In one instance, the woman, who declined to be named, said she was told in a meeting in front of her colleagues that she was of “no value” to the organisation.

Ponsinet’s former boss was eventually dismissed for misconduct in January last year, but in relation to another case involving a WWF employee.

WWF’s Response

In response to the allegations, WWF said it has carried out investigations and will look into the matter further “should the facts warrant it”.

It also said that it has “no tolerance for misconduct or harassment of any kind”, noting that there’s a whistle-blower channel where employees can lodge complaints “without fear of reprisals”.

According to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, those who have suffered workplace bullying and wish to report it have several options:

  • File a claim for wrongful dismissal with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) if you have been dismissed
  • File a police report
  • Seek Protection Orders from the State Courts
  • Take civil action against the harasser or stalker via the District Court
  • Consider mediation by the Community Mediation Centre (CMC)

They can also call 6838 0969 for advice.

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Featured Image: Manuel Esteban / Shutterstock.com

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