It can be difficult to go to work each day but even impossible to go to work every day when you know that a lot of unpleasantness, even fear, awaits you at your job. Bullying is not an uncommon occurrence in the workplace but it does go unreported in many cases. People who are being harassed and bullied on the job are often resistant to complaining or filing an official report, despite what protocol is in place to protect workers. This is due to embarrassment or being afraid of losing their job or being retaliated against. It can be a very emotional, distressful situation that workers just don’t know how to deal with.
Bullying on the job is a form of aggressive behavior, a situation no employer should tolerate. Aggression, even in mild forms such as teasing, can spiral out of control and leave the workplace very unstable. Anyone can become the victim of bullying whether the bully is a co-worker or an employer. In some cases, standing up for oneself results in only harsher treatment and bigger problems.
At this point, laws dictate that bullying in general is not illegal. Only if the harassment is due to racial issues, religious issues, gender, disabilities, or sexual orientation can legal action take place. Employers need to step up to the plate and ensure their workplace and employees understand the zero tolerance for bullying and make reporting incidents of bullying a safe thing to do. Because fear dictates that many won’t report issues, employers need to create a safe environment to seek help and report bullying problems. Otherwise, workplace morale will suffer, productivity will suffer, and should the bullying result in violence, employers may be held liable for the injuries or fatalities on the job when victims lash out.