Bullying in the workplace is unfortunately a common occurrence. However, many organizations do not have anti-bullying policies, while others have policies but do not communicate or enforce them. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 60 million employees are affected by bullying in the workplace. If you or someone you know has been a victim of workplace bullying, you have options.
Importance of Anti-Bullying Policies
Organizations that have anti-bullying policies will earn credibility with employees. Anti-bullying policies should be detailed and specific, as well as communicated and enforced regularly. Many employees quit their jobs because of abusive supervisors, while others put up with the abuse and fall into depression. Workplace bullying and violence policies should also address psychological violence.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Interagency Security Committee (ISC), most acts of workplace violence occur as some form of harassment, intimidation, verbal or non-verbal threats, or non-fatal physical assault. The ISC recognizes bullying as a form of psychological violence, affecting victims’ health, and that ignoring bullying and abusive conduct can potentially lead to physical violence. In order to have a credible safety culture in the workplace, it is important for management to address concerns of abusive conduct, both verbal and nonverbal, regardless of whether the abuse is visible. There are certain companies that resist anti-bullying policies due to fear that having them will interfere with a manager’s role. Examples of workplace bullying include:
- Humiliation, threats, and other verbal abuse
- Unjust criticism or criticism that is overly harsh
- Continued denial of requests for time off without a valid reason
- Wrongful blame or work sabotage
- Social exclusion
- Retaliation for talking to a manager about the bullying
Who is More Likely to Bully?
According to Healthline, 61 percent of bullying comes from supervisors or bosses, while 33 percent comes from coworkers, and six percent comes from lower-level employees who bully those in a higher position. Bullying behavior from managers may include:
- Abuse of power
- Continuous denial of transfers to other departments
- Negative performance reviews that are not justified
- Threats of firing or being demoted
Bullying can have both physical and psychological effects on a person. These effects include:
- Physical symptoms, such as an increase in blood pressure and digestive issues
- Feeling anxious or sick before work or from thinking about work
- Not being able to sleep
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts
- Worrying about work, even on your days off
Steps to Take If You are Being Bullied
If you are being bullied, you have options. Be sure to document the bullying in some way. This might include saving demeaning emails or recording witness accounts of those that saw the abuse. Reviewing your workplace bullying policies can help point you in the right direction to reporting the abuse to your Human Resources representative and seeking legal counsel.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Workplace Bullying
Bullying is never okay. If you or someone you know was the victim of workplace bullying, contact a Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-888-1221. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.