Seven Burning Man Employees Died by Suicide

Daily mail reports about current and former employees at Burning Man, an annual festival in a Nevada desert. People said that work conditions are so poor and toxic it has led to several workers committing suicide.

-Between 2009 and 2015 seven Burning Man employees have committed suicide
-Current and former workers said the toxic work environment might be a cause
-The workers detailed alleged mistreatment by management, dangerous work conditions and unfair pay
-One employee who committed suicide is Caleb Schaber, who worked for Burning Man in 2003
-Friends and former co-workers said they believe Schaber committed suicide in part because he was ‘ostracized’ by the company for speaking out
-Another worker, Ryan Brown, killed himself days after he was fired by Burning Man
-One woman said she was left permanently blind in her left eye during an incident at a Burning Man festival in 2014
-Several women spoke out against unfair pay saying they male less than their male counterparts

Seven Burning Man employees have died by suicide between 2009 and 2015.

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, a psychologist and the lead of the Workplace Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, told the outlet that the number is shockingly high. ‘To give you a benchmark, in a community of 1,000 people we would expect one suicide death in one decade,’ she said.

Salon spoke with numerous current and former employees who blamed the high suicide rate on dangerous and stressful work conditions, alleged mistreatment by management and unfair pay. ‘They don’t help out the workers that are injured, quite often, and they just try to get them to work for the most by giving them the least and then discard them,’ former Burning Man staffer Caleb Schaber during a protest outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters in February 2007.

Read the full story here.


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