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Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is a common phenomenon—an estimated 53.5 million people have reported being bullied at work. It is a serious issue that affects the lives of many young adults entering the workforce. Bullying is four times more common than sexual harassment or racial discrimination at work. Bullying isn’t acceptable in school, nor is it acceptable in the workplace.

What Is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a worker by one or more perpetrators that consists of verbal abuse; offensive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; or work interference or sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

Types of Workplace Bullying

Bullying in the workplace can be more damaging than bullying in school. Although psychological and emotional damages still take their toll, being a victim of bullying in the workplace can have monetary damages if it leads you to quit your job. It’s important to recognize when bullying is taking place. Workplace bullying can take many forms; it can be done by one person or a group, by a supervisor, or by a competing agency.

Serial bullying is one individual who continuously oppresses person after person.
Pair bullying is a serial bully with an accomplice.
Gang or mobbing
Gang bullying is a group of people against one individual.
Bullying by regulation is forcing an individual to comply with inappropriate rules.
Legal bullying is using legal action to control or punish.
Corporate bullying is committed by the employer; includes overworking or denying leave.
Organizational bullying is failing to adapt to market changes, reducing income, or cutting the budget.
Institutional bullying is forcing the accepted culture; “agree or else.”
Client bullying is abusive or derogatory action from those served by the organization.
Cyberbullying is bullying using email and Internet forums.

What it Might Look Like

  • Falsely accusing someone of making a mistake
  • Dismissing someone’s thoughts or feelings
  • Purposely excluding someone from discussions and meetings
  • Making up rules to embarrass or isolate someone
  • Sending harassing emails
  • Denying a raise or promotion unless the worker complies with illegal activity
  • Someone from a competing company pressuring a worker to release confidential or insider information

If you are being bullied at work, contact your supervisor or human resources department. File a grievance against the person(s) and, if warranted, contact an attorney. Search for “workplace bullying prevention” to get more tips on how to prevent and fix workplace bullying.

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