Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace

A recent survey indicates that as many as 50 million Americans are victims of regular workplace bullying, according to CBS News in Chicago. The Zogby poll estimated that 53 million US workers are bullied at work. Workplace bullying can cause a drop in productivity, high turnover and a hostile atmosphere, according to John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, an outplacement firm. Bullying can often be mistaken for workplace harassment.

“Unreasonable intimidating treatment, usually it’s someone who’s in a position of authority, who feels threatened by the victim,” said Challenger. “But some cases, just a bully who is insecure about his or her job.”

Harassment is usually based on your gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Harassment often has a physical element to it, whether it is intruding into personal space or physical touching. Bullying tends to be psychological, passive aggression or criticism of your work. Bullying is rarely a single occurrence, and generally gets worse over time. With bullying, the aggressor starts out small at first and over time increases the bullying.

“A good manager needs to be talking with his or her people, listening to what the issues are,” Challenger said. “Sometimes, you won’t hear it from the person who’s the victim, you’ll hear it from others.”

If you are the victim of workplace harassment or bullying, contact Los Angeles harassment attorneys for a free consultation and learn what your rights are.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—California employment law attorneys