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Bullying and Abuse in the Work Place
Transcript of Bullying and Abuse in the Work Place
Why does this happen and how can we prevent it?
The legal aspects and action within the U.S
The effects that bullying and abuse has on the recipient and the employer
“An estimated 54 million Americans have been bullied at some point in their career. Bullying can occur between a boss and subordinate or between co-workers” (Kane, “About.com”).
Bullying and abuse includes but isn't limited to verbal, non-verbal, psychological, physical abuse and/or humiliation.
Anyone can be a victim of bullying and/or abuse.
Bullying and abuse happen because of power hungry, manipulative, and/or self conscious people.
The effects of bullying and abuse can be seen in those who are the victim all the way up through the business.
There is little to no legal action that can be taken because there are no laws in place.
Bullying and abuse is a very real problem that people experience everyday within their day to day lives that can cause serious health problems for the victim and legal headaches for their employers.
Bullying and Abuse
in the Work Place
Victim Will Possess
-Positive attention/recognition for work
-Contribute innovate ideas
Victim Will Possess
Attraction to victims with Qualities
Bullies are attracted to co-workers
whom they find superior in work ethics,
due to feeling insecure or wanting to steal
ideas or take credit from their victims.
(Gordon, “About Health.com”).
Victim Will Possess
- Introverted -Stress-Related conditions
- Anxious -Non-Confrontational
- Submissive -Vulnerable
Attraction to Victims with Passive
Victims with passive
personalities are easier to control
and manipulate than
those with aggressive, extroverted, or
assertive personality types.
Attraction to victims with Popularity
Most victims of bulling will be “well-liked workers'' due to bullies social status not being as high or as liked as the victims. (Gordon, "'About Health.com”)
Attraction to Victims with Passive Personalities
Bullies will look for victims based on discriminators that are different than their own.
Victim Will Possess
- Gender -Disease
Attraction to Victims with Physical Features
Victims can even be chosen for simple physical characteristics they possess.
Victim Will Be
- Fat/Thin -Large/small Ears
-Tall/Short -Large/small Nose
-Wears Glasses -Acne
Statistics according to the
Workplace Bullying Institute
-58% of women are victims.
-62% of men are the bullies.
-68% of bullies are the same
gender as their victims.
-80% of victims are women who
are victimized by another
Work place bullying occurs when an employee experiences a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm (Rayner, C. & Keashly, L., 2005).
What defines Workplace Bullying?
an a act of aggression, physical assault, or threatening behavior that occurs in a work setting and causes physical or emotional harm to customers, coworkers or managers. (USLegal.com)
No actual law against workplace violence
Existing laws that protect against harassment, threats, assault, stalking, mistreatment or other unlawful violence
This is how majority of “workplace violence” cases are pursued.
Occupational Health and Safety
Act holds the employer responsible for
providing a safe working environment
for employees and all other
people present in their location.
If an employer is found
to have ignored signs of harassment
behavior the employer can
be cited by OSHA
States are encouraged to form their own
laws against workplace violence
but few have actually done so.
Rhode Island §28-52-2.
New York § Duty of public employers
to develop and implement programs to prevent
Employers are to evaluate the workplace or workplaces
to determine risk factors that might place risk for assaults and homicides.
Include night/early morning working hours, exchanging money with the public, working alone or in small numbers and uncontrolled access to the workplace.
Must create written workplace violence prevention program that includes identified risk factors in addition to above factors, making high-risk work areas more visible to other people, installation of good lighting, using drop safes, training in conflict resolution/self-defense and
incident reporting systems.
Outlines workplace violence and provides the employer the right to obtain temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and to file criminal charges.
''Employers Create the Bullying-Prone Environment and Can Stop It"'
(Workplace Bullying Institute)
"The Way We Do Things Here" type
of environment creates cutthroat
Employees are forced to compete against each other
Most "competitions" between the employees brings out one or two "winners"
Those who "lose" are shammed by those who are on top
The Workforce Mix
There are a wide variety of people in a workplace
This brings with it people who believe they are superior to others
Those same people tend to manipulate others of the same rank and those above them
The Employer's Response to
If the employer handles the situation/situations in an appropriate manner, with consequences, less bullying and abuse will occur and vise/versa
Employers working closely with their employees and being approachable about these situations greatly helps reduce the chance of bullying and abuse
Increased absenteeism due to anxiety, panic attacks, fear, depression, stress and ill-health.
Reduced performance caused by isolation, breakdown in work relationships, distraction and low morale
Unhappy, unmotivated staff
Increased staff turnover
Increased management time spent investigating and dealing with complaints
Unhealthy workplace culture and ongoing conflicts
The effects that an employer is likely to see in an individual
who is being bullied are:
Withdrawal, poor communication.
Bullying and harassment can have a big emotional impact and this can affect performance, motivation and attendance at work
Effects of harassment and bullying
Bullying will often adversely affect the health of the person being bullied. This includes things like:
Unaddressed stress can often lead to errors at work, injury, fatigue, illness and disease.
Anxiety, stress and depression (and related conditions) having a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an employee's day-to-day activities may amount to a disability, giving rise to protection under the Equality Act 2010.
Verbal, non-verbal, psychological, physical abuse and/or humiliation
Difficult because, unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society
Majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by someone in authority over the target
Bullies can also be peers, and on occasion can be subordinates. This behavior is often repeated over time and causes a real or perceived power imbalance
Workplace Institute. (2014)
Career Builder Survey on workplace bullying. Retrieved from
Safety & Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. (2013).
Workplace Bullying and Disruptive Behavior: What everyone needs to Know [Data file] Retrieved from http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Files/Bullying.pdf
Workplace Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7th, 2014 from Wikipedia
Gordon, Sherri. “6 Reasons Why Workplace Bullies Target People.” About.com, 04 June 2014. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.
Kane, Sally. “Who is a Workplace Bully’s Target?.” About.com, 2014 Web. 06 Oct. 2014
"How Workplace Bullying Happens". Workplace Bullying Institute. 2013 Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
Petroleum Marketers Assn, v. N.M Environmental Impr. Bd., 2007. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nm-court-of-appeals/1470771.html