Experts have been raising awareness of bullying and its effects throughout 2012, and even highlighting how bullying occurs in the workplace. A new study from BMJ Open revealed that people who were victims of bullying in the workplace were between 50 percent and 200 percent more likely to be prescribed medications such as antidepressants, sleeping aids or tranquilizers.
The study determined that 5 percent of its subjects were currently being bullied in the workplace. Approximately half of the workers reported witnessing bullying in the workplace.
“We’ve all seen it go on,” says Dr. Nadine Kaslow. Kaslow was not involved in the study but serves as vice chair of psychiatry at Emory University. “It’s the bystander effect; nobody wants to do anything about it.”
“Workplace bullying is about situations at work, where the victims are in an unequal position with respect to their bully and are unable to defend themselves against the negative actions,” the study says.
Sometimes the line between bullying and harassment is unclear. If the bullying is of a sexual nature, or predominately picked on people of a certain race, ethnicity or gender, it can be considered discrimination or harassment. Regardless of the reason for the bullying, you do not have to tolerate it. Report any bullying or harassment to supervisors. If your supervisors fail to act, you may have to resort to legal action.
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles discrimination attorneys