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Worst Bosses?

Offices with the most staff turnover might also include some of the worst bosses. Some members of Congress get a reputation for being hard to work for, whether due to anger management, shady ethics, poor pay, demanding too much or creating a toxic work environment.

Whatever the reason, the resulting office dysfunction can lead to high turnover, helping to make a member of Congress more ineffectual. One possible side-effect of high turnover is making an office less responsive to constituents while being more dependent on lobbyists for advice.

LegiStorm's collection of congressional staff salary data combined with real-time tracking of staff gives a unique picture of who has the most turnover, and therefore who might be Congress's worst bosses. Below are the current members of the House and Senate with the worst turnover in the most recent year and in prior years. The list was calculated by using annual salary-weighted turnover. For the below "worst bosses" list, we excluded members in leadership since they tend to provide staff plenty of work opportunities outside of the office, such as in national political leadership jobs or prestigious government commissions.

Important caveats
The data can't tell us why turnover is so high. Short periods of time like a single year can make such measurements particularly unreliable. In single years, members might be hit by bad staffing luck or need a change in strategic focus caused by outside events. Members who are a few months away from leaving Congress particularly should not be compared with their peers since high turnover is expected, sometimes even with the member helping staffers get placed in other jobs. When new presidential administrations begin, particular offices with affinities to the administration might be tapped for talent at a much higher rate than normal. But for longer periods of time, turnover becomes a more reliable indicator of which offices staff might want to avoid if they can.