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Workplace Fairness Weekly

Workplace Fairness Weekly (9/27/21)

Topic of the Week  Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying typically involves continuous or repeated malicious behavior such as deliberate insults, threats, demeaning comments, constant criticism, overbearing supervision and profane outburst. It may also include blatant exclusion, being overworked or simply not communicating with colleagues. This type of situation at work creates a hostile environment and impacts productivity.

Q: What is the difference between bullying and harassment?

A: Bullying and harassment are sometimes used as synonyms and treated was words that mean the same thing. When bullying is directed at a specific type of person or a protected class of people, it is called harassment. Additionally, there also some violent acts of bullying that qualify as criminal harassment.

Q: Is it illegal for my boss to bully or harass me? 

A: Generally, no. It is not illegal for your boss to harass you unless it is done for an illegal reason. The law does not require that your boss be nice, kind or fair, only that your boss does not treat you differently because of your age, sex, race, religion, national origin or disability. However, if bullying starts as retaliation against an employee who has reported ethical concerns about the company, the employee may be protected under whistleblower statutes.

Q: How can an employer protect employees from bullying in the workplace?

A: To discourage and eliminate bullying, it is necessary that direction comes from the top. The most effective strategy employers can pursue is to treat bullying as though it is already illegal and create a workplace culture wherein bullying is not tolerated. 

Thought of the Week

"One of the reasons bullying doesn't get reported is that bullies are often high-functioning employees who bring top-dollar to the company. As a result, it might give the target a sense that the company will do anything to keep such toxic workers around and happy, making their complaints futile."

–Max Woolf | My Perfect Resume

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from My Perfect Resume

    • 79% of individuals say that they have experienced or witnessed bullying at work
    • 47% of workers have quit a job due to bullying
    • 66% of women say they have felt regularly undermined or picked on at work


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