Bullying In The Workplace: Examples And What You Can Do
Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stay in middle school, and bullying in the workplace has become a hurtful trend. The trouble with bullying is that it’s often indistinct or quietly manipulative. Even though we’re no longer in middle school, we still have to deal with bullies. They can be in your workplace, a boss or a coworker, and their bullying techniques have sometimes become subtler but maybe just as, or more, damaging.
Workplace bullying may not be as obviously illegal as any other type of workplace assault; however, the effects of workplace bullying can be detrimental to the work environment and the victim’s health. Workplace bullying kills productivity. Beyond that, these interactions decrease company morale and increase employee turnover. These employee actions can cost many company dollars in work completed and training new workers.
On the individual employee level, bullying negatively impacts the victim’s job, health, and overall career. Since bullying can be sly, it’s often hard to recognize. Companies have been known to sugar coat the situations of workplace bullying in fancy or weak terminology to belittle the problem.
Let’s look at the definition.
Workplace Bullying – an action or series of actions that are non-physical but verbal forms of emotional or mental violence. Workplace bullying can be a large contributor to a hostile work environment. What makes a hostile work environment?
Is Workplace Bullying Illegal?
Bullying in the workplace can be significantly difficult to recognize. But the effects stress the entire work environment. Workplace bullying is not illegal unless it crosses into the realm of workplace harassment as defined by Federal and State law. This reality makes it difficult for employees to know how to pursue this matter, if they want to take it to the law.
Bullying In The Workplace Examples
Discovering that you or a fellow employee is experiencing workplace bullying can be a very shocking yet freeing realization. But sometimes the actions or comments are so subtle that you may not realize it.
The below list is not comprehensive.
- spreading rumors, gossip, or lies about someone
- altering work guidelines
- sharing incorrect information
- underwork or overwork
- constant criticism
- keeping a mistake record
- making an impossible schedule
- stealing the credit for a project
When you realize that you’re experiencing bullying in the workplace, it’s normal to freeze up and not know what to do. Since workplace bullying is not immediately illegal, it creates an interesting problem. Bullying in the workplace is not good for any company or employee. Therefore, workplace bullying should not be overlooked.
What To Do About Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying must be confronted. A quick rule of thumb is to begin documenting the behaviors that have lead you to the conclusion that you are being bullied in your workplace. Keep track of date, time, and other details. Check your employee handbook about the workplace policy on bullying. What to do when you experience workplace bullying explains the more in-depth process. As the situation intensifies, you may want to seek legal counsel.
If you find yourself in the stressful situation of workplace bullying and you’re not sure what to do next, contact an employment lawyer who will know how to navigate your situation and what your rights are under the law.