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How to Deal with Bullying in the Workplace

Inappropriate behavior in the workplace has been a hot topic in the news lately, but calling attention to the trend can only go so far when it comes to your own personal situation.

Every employer is responsible for providing employees with a safe, professional, and well-functioning workplace. Companies need to have policies in place that address bullying. It makes employees feel uncomfortable and affects their performance.

If you’re being bullied or harassed in the workplace you have a right to do something about it. It’s important to identify the problem, report it to those in authority within your company, and if that doesn’t resolve the problem, to take further action.

If you’re being bullied, what are your options?

Your Employer’s Policy on Bullying

More and more, employers are instituting anti-bullying policies. Bullying, which includes actions or comments that demean, degrade, belittle, or harass others, should never be tolerated in the workplace. Employers are proving they take bullying seriously by taking action to prevent it.

These policies help, but we’re far from the problem being eliminated.

Some reports show as many as half of all employees in the workforce in the United States have felt bullied at some point in their career. It’s one of the most common issues in the workplace and it can take many forms. Bullying can happen between one co-worker and another, or it can occur when a supervisor mistreats a subordinate.

Regardless of your specific situation, if you feel bullied in the workplace you need to take action.

How Do You Know You’re the Victim of Bullying?

As strange as it might seem, it can be tough to pinpoint whether or not you are a victim of bullying. Bullies can be manipulative, and when bullying occurs among adults, it can be especially tough to know if you’re overreacting or interpreting things the wrong way.

How can you tell if you’re being bullied?

• You’re working for someone who takes their authority too seriously – and exerts it in all ways imaginable
• There’s a pattern of mistreatment – everyone has bad days, but bullying causes you to feel targeted on a regular basis or as if something is always occurring
• You suspect people are gossiping about you – or it feels as if everyone stops talking when you’re around
• You’re the target of some kind of group effort – if there’s a conspiracy against you, it’s an example of bullying
• There’s constant surveillance of everything you do – especially if it’s not your supervisor watching you

If you’re a victim of bullying in the workplace, realize this: you aren’t alone and what’s happening isn’t your fault. And you have a right to do something about it.

To read more about how bullying is affecting the nations’ workplaces, read this article from US News & World Report.

Help for Workplace Bullying Victims

You can find another job, if that’s really what you want, but hopefully you won’t have to. It’s not always easy to remain in your job and stop bullying, but with more attention being paid to these issues, you have more power than ever before. In general, you’ll be taken more seriously now than you would have been several years ago were you to have reported bullying.

Start by reading your company’s policy on bullying – if they have one – and reporting the problem to your human resources department. In many cases, this will be enough to change the situation.

If human resources does not take action, or you don’t have a resource within your company to address the issue, you still have options. Societal attitudes toward bullying have changed and more is being done to stop it from happening in the workplace.

To learn more or to discuss an issue you’re having, contact New York Employment Attorneys Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C.


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