If you think bullying is a problem isolated in the school systems, you are greatly mistaken. Bullying is occurring more frequently in the workplace and is a common form of workplace violence. It endangers employees and employers will alarming frequency and can lead to injuries and fatalities if not dealt with properly.
What Constitutes Workplace Bullying?
Bullying in a work environment refers to repeated and unreasonable actions by single individuals or groups of people that is meant to cause intimidation. In many cases, workplace bullying involves persons in a position of power who misuse their position to offend, humiliate, degrade, or intimidate workers, typically in front of other employees.
- Unwarranted, unnecessary criticism
- Becoming a target for practical jokes
- Being screamed at, sworn at
- Isolated from other employees intentionally
- Being excessively monitored without reason
- Being blamed without facts
- Being treated differently than other employees
- Bullying Causes Health Concerns
Individuals that are regularly bullied in the workplace may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, musculokeletal problems, phobias and fears, insomnia, depression, digestive problems, self-esteem loss, all of which can lead to work absences and additional stress over financial concerns.
What to Do
The first step to take is to keep a journal of the occurrence times and dates as well as record a description of what happened. If you are certain you are the target of a bully at work, approach your supervisor immediately. The company should have a workplace bullying protocol in lace to launch an investigation. You should also read the employee handbook to follow the instructions for dealing with a bullying or harassment issue in the workplace. Local resources may also be helpful to deal with workplace bullying.
When You Need Legal Help
Bullying is not illegal per say but if the bullying escalates to actual physical violence or you are being harassed due to your sex, race, nationality, age, or disabilities, you should contact an attorney experienced in workplace issues.