In addition, victims of and witnesses to workplace bullying may develop negative physical and mental health symptoms that can affect both quality of life and career development.
Bullying Definition Bullying can best be understood as a pattern of aggressive, contemptuous and abusive behavior toward another party.
In some cases, this behavior may be illegal, and it could result in criminal and civil penalties for the perpetrator and the business owner.
Business owners, managers and employees all have a part to play in identifying and combating workplace bullying and intimidation.
This means a hostile work environment caused by company owners, managers, employees or non-employees may be subject to disciplinary measures by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In addition, victims of bullying, as well as other co-workers affected by a hostile work environment, may be able to sue an employer for its failure to address and stop the intimidation.
Workplace intimidation and bullying can take many forms, including cyber-bullying, sexual harassment, insults and put-downs, lashing out against the employee by yelling and cursing, and threats of violence.
In all cases, the conduct of the abuser serves to intimidate and humiliate the victim or victims.
If necessary, victims should call 911 and ask for police intervention.
However, some states and municipalities do provide workers with broader protections against bullying bosses and co-workers.
Protected Categories Federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit harassment, bullying or intimidation of workers on the basis of age (for victims 40 and over), sex, national origin, race, disability or religion.
Whistleblowers Whistleblowers also have federal protection against employer retaliation.
Employees who have reported misconduct or criminal activity are protected against hostile workplace conditions.Many targets of bullying report experiencing extreme stress, which can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as digestive problems, insomnia and high blood pressure.