Contributed by Roy H.
Workplace bullying can take many forms: verbal abuse, threats, humiliation, sabotage and gossiping to name a few. Since most employment is at-will, reporting bullying can label you a whistle-blower and also lead to you losing your job.
According to the WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 27% of all employees report being bullied currently or at some time in their work life). Most employers have their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge bullying and, unless it is based on characteristics such as race or gender, there is no current law against bullying.
Workplace bullying affects both the business and the victim. When someone is being bullied, and feels trapped, they will become stressed. Stress leads to hypertension, depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, jobs and even careers can be disrupted. Businesses are affected because the best workers are often targeted by the least skilled workers; after all, why not try to get rid of your possible competition?
The United States is the only developed country without strong anti-bullying laws. There is a bill that has been repeatedly defeated, Healthy Workplace Bill. However, in light of the recent NFL case of bullying within the Miami Dolphins organization, hopefully more serious attention will be given to this form of abuse. You can write to your senator and congressperson about your support of the bill. But, in the meantime, as a company you can create your own no-bullying policy and enforce it.
Have you ever been bullied at work? We invite you to share your stories in the box below.