Maybe you’ve been lucky enough across the spectrum of your career or spanning several different types of jobs to have escaped a workplace bully’s attention targeted specifically at you.
Or maybe you’ve seen firsthand and up close the behaviors of a bully and their pernicious on-the-job effects, but only when they’ve been aimed at co-workers.
Further still, it might be the case that you’ve been in a work pool that is broadly and collectively bullied, but you have simply learned to deflect the harassing and intimidating conduct or to fly under the proverbial radar.
Whatever the case, it’s virtually impossible to not note the presence of a bully and fail to appreciate that the work environment would lack toxicity and be materially better without his or her presence.
What types of behaviors does workplace bullying embrace?
It’s likely the case that survey respondents asked to define a workplace bully will come up with a wide variety of characteristics. There is more a collection of behaviors that flesh out a bully than there is any prototypical example. A representative list of bullying conduct will include entrants like these:
- Persistent exclusion/isolation of a single employee or select group of workers
- Imposition of work loads and deadlines that are impossible to comply with
- Comments that are routinely belittling or critical in a broad-based way
- Communication that is profanity-laden, threatening, delivered in a notably loud way or other singular manner
- Disciplinary actions that penalize a targeted worker more severely than is the case with other employees
- Micro-managing work to a point that makes its completion impossible
That bulleted group of behaviors is concededly varied and wide-ranging, but it serves as only a partial listing in a much broader universe of bullying conduct.
What can an employee do about workplace bullying?
Bullies in the workplace often shrug off their behavior as being merely a bit blunt and otherwise inoffensive. Most bullies fail to even note their harmful conduct, or simply don’t care whether it hurts one or more other workers Moreover, company managers often support such workers, especially if they are deemed productive.
Here is a point worth noting for a bullied workplace victim: Even absent a specific anti-workplace bullying enactment to rely upon in a claim, a bullied victim can often still turn to multiple federal and state legal statutes that safeguard against abuse. It bears underscoring that individuals discriminated against or otherwise mistreated in the workplace are often targeted because of a defining category that is allotted constitutional protection (e.g., race, gender, sexual identity, disability, religion and more).
The first logical move for a workplace victim to make often rests in directly confronting a bully and demanding a stop to harmful behavior. That might logically proceed in concert with reporting the conduct through formal company channels.
In some instances, though, successfully combatting a hostile work environment mandates a knowledgeable and aggressive response from a proven employment law legal team. That is equally true relevant to workplaces in both the private and public sphere.
If you are a bullied workplace victim, don’t remain passive. Take a proactive stance, because such conduct is anathema in the employment sphere and needs to be flatly eliminated.