It is scientifically proven that bullying can cause extreme damage to your mental health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep issues and other forms of psychological damage. You may feel that there is nowhere to turn or that your employer doesn’t care about you and will not help you. You should know, though, that bullying is against the law and that there are things you can do about it.
What Is Workplace Bullying?
Workplace bullying is about any repeated, deliberate behavior directed at an employee that is purposely to degrade, embarrass, humiliate, or even sabotage their performance. It can be a colleague, supervisor, or the management, and is a true nightmare for employees at all levels.
The mistreatment may include: verbal abuse such as threats and insults; nonverbal behavior such as staring, glaring, and gesturing; work interference such as sabotage; and/or physical violence. Workplace bullying may be obvious or subtle. It may involve individuals in the same work group or across an organization. In some cases, it may even involve a single perpetrator’s “ganging up” on a target for malicious (or sometimes even playful) purposes.
Workplace bullying is not limited to the actions of supervisors towards their subordinates. An employee can be bullied by peers and by other employees with whom he or she interacts closely (such as a team leader).
According to a Portland workers compensation attorney, One of the top reasons for workplace bullying is a worker’s disability. The employer may not realize that the worker has a disability and makes inappropriate statements or actions. Federal law prohibits discrimination against workers with disabilities.
If you know that someone is bullying you at work, then just be sure that you know how to deal with a bully at work.
1. Determine the situation
You have to trust your instincts when it comes to feeling bullied. If you already feel bullied, then you are most likely a victim. Determine the situation by simply asking yourself what is happening between you and the person.
All employees have the right to work in a safe working environment without the fear of harassment or bullying.
There are many statistics on workplace bullying, and here are just a few:
- Over one-third of employees have reported experiencing some form of harassment in the workplace.
- Half of all employees who experience workplace harassment say it affected their health.
- Employees who report being bullied at work are twice as likely to quit their job as those who don’t report being bullied.
Is it just you or is everyone afraid of that person too? Or is there anyone who experienced that same situation? Then, if others also experienced this behavior from that bully, gather with them, and plan for the next step.
2. Don’t ignore the bully’s action
Don’t think that if you ignore the situation, then it will just go away. It is still not going to stop the bully. In fact, you are just giving the bully authority by not addressing the situation. It might lead to many alarming situations such as depression, anxiety, or even minor injuries. If that’s the case make sure to consult with Bridge City Law Firm, they have expert personal injury attorneys that can help you with your case.
You should not ignore bullying. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim, instead try and succeed. If someone bullies you, tackle the situation with someone whom you can trust at work. You need to disclose it to someone so that they can help you and be aware.
Here’s what you can do:
- Stand up for your rights.
If you feel that your rights as a worker have been violated, you are not alone. Over half of all workers have reported experiencing some form of bullying in the workplace. And it’s not just about feeling intimidated or belittled by a colleague: workplace bullying can be physical and sexual harassment, deliberate isolation from colleagues, and discriminatory treatment based on race or gender identity (among many other things).
If you feel that the actions taken by your employer to address this issue aren’t enough—or if they’ve even done nothing at all—you should remember that you do not have to put up with it anymore. You can take legal action against your employer if they fail to protect their workers from workplace abuse. In fact, it’s actually illegal for an employer not to do so!
3. Document all bullying events
It is an important way of dealing with a bully. Every time that you experience any bullying behavior from the person, record the date, time, and the name of the bully and the details about the incident.
Keep documentation of every single thing like curses, insults, and any backstabbing moves done. So, if you finally want to seek help from the HR, the complete documentation of the situation and the business results provides the HR information to work on your behalf.
4. Take action by confronting the bully
Confronting the bully can be hard and scary, but you can make a simple statement and gesture to bring out when you’re feeling intimidated.
Try to inform the bully to speak with you in private but with a trusted third person present. Inform the bully about his behavior towards you and how his or her actions are affecting your work.
The confrontation can be done in the middle of the office as well. If the bully is abusively yelling at you in front of everyone, be firm and be calm in telling the person to stop right there in the presence of everyone.
5. Follow up and inform trusted seniors at work
If the bully still continues and you haven’t noticed a small change, then you have the right to report the higher up like the HR management, or any senior personnel. Continue until your complaint is seriously taken care of and the situation is corrected to allow you to work in a welcoming workplace.
Get help from the HR department.
When dealing with workplace bullying is to let your company’s HR department know what’s going on. Having an open dialogue with an impartial third-party may help you and your coworkers feel like there is a safe space for them to raise their concerns and ask questions. This could be especially beneficial if you think the verbal abuse is becoming physical, as it will give them a chance to assess whether or not they need to take any further action.* Keep all records—physical or digital—of incidents of bullying at work.* Make sure that whoever you talk to about this understands that they have a duty of care towards you (employees) under the Health & Safety Act 1974 so don’t be afraid of making an official complaint through their proper channels.* If things aren’t improving after making your official complaint then get advice from a lawyer before taking any action
But if there is still no action from the management, consult a legal advisor such as attorneys who handle this kind of situation.
Get help from legal experts.
- Don’t assume that you have to deal with workplace bullying on your own.
- Seek legal advice.
Legally speaking, every employee has the right to a safe and respectful environment at work. This means that if you’re being bullied by another colleague, it’s important that you get the right legal advice as soon as possible so that they can help you take action against this.
6. Don’t blame yourself.
When you’re being bullied at work, it’s important to remember that it is not your fault. If someone is hurting you or making you feel uncomfortable, they are the ones in the wrong. You deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your workplace.
That said, it’s also important not to blame yourself if bullying is happening around you—and even if it’s happening to you directly as a result of your own actions (or lack thereof). The person who bullies others has a problem with themselves, not with their victims.
If bullying does happen in your workplace, here are some steps that can help protect yourself from further harm:
- Stay informed about what’s happening in the company and take steps when necessary
- Make sure all important documents are stored safely outside of the office and backed up on an external drive somewhere else where nobody else has access
- Seek out support from friends or family members outside of work who know what’s going on so they can offer advice if needed
Bullies might exist in the workplace, even if they are not obvious as they were in grade school. Whether the person is stealing credits for your work, criticizing you, or talking badly about you to others, or hurting you, the bully’s reason is always the same, and it is to bring you down. Take appropriate actions and if you’ve been hurt, seek help from Bridge City Law Firm and don’t let the bully win over you.
Atty Jim Dwyer
Atty Jim Dwyer is a relationship-driven attorney, who has been practicing law for over three decades and comes from a family of experienced and responsive personal injury lawyers. He is passionate about helping people who have suffered from life-changing injuries navigate how to make the best possible choices about their specific situation and circumstances. His number one goal is to ensure that people get the information they require, the care they need, and the justice they deserve.