Workplace Bullying is an epidemic

By Deborah O’Rell There’s been a lot of media coverage of cyber-bullying and its sometimes fatal consequences. Most everyone has been bullied at some point in their life as a kid.

What is needed is more awareness of workplace bullying and protections for the victims. 1 in 3 employees are effected by bullying making this an epidemic. To learn more about why we need the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, watch this shortvideo by Deb Falzoi of Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill advocates.

What is bullying? According to US Department of Health and Human Services website “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”

I have taken calls from people who are victims of workplace bullying. These are adult men and women who are being humiliated and harassed; in 72% of the cases they are their bosses. Because they fear losing their jobs, they are left feeling helpless as there are no laws to protect them.

The Workplace Bullying Institute has produced a six minute video explaining the need for updated research.

I also recommend following David Yamada’s blog Minding the Workplace. David is Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston and an expert of the legal aspects of bullying in the workplace.