A couple started the Workplace Institute after she experienced bullying firsthand, realizing that there was nothing illegal about her encounter with the “proverbial boss from hell” and that something was desperately needed. She and her husband started a campaign against workplace bullying their efforts lead to what is now the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). The WBI commissioned a survey, 53.5 million Americans or 35% reported being bullied in the workplace and 15% witnessed bullying. Workplace bullying is not always one on one it can also be done by a group which is referred to as “mobbing”. Workplace bullying is four times more prevalent than sexual or racial harassment. WBI finds that many employers are in denial that workplace bullying is even an issue, or at least fail to acknowledge the role corporate culture plays in bullying. At least there is a place that has the tools and personal experience to help with this growing problem.
The theory of the “Queen Bee” is workplace bullying at its best. Its covert nature allows it to go somewhat undetected as bullying. This article gives all the ingredients for the recipe of bullying. There is verbal abuse, exclusion and job sabotage. This Queen Bee syndrome is another name for bullying. This is mean girls all grown up and in the workplace. The problem is that the women in leadership positions are feeling the strain of being bullied themselves or as the article stated are made to second guess themselves so in trying to ensure their place must keep others down, known as crab mentality. Women may use a less “overtly confrontational” approach than their domineering male counterpart but its bullying just the same, but by another name.
“At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art. Then life will find its very existence from the arts.”- Frodor Dostoevsky
This quote puts many things into perspective. The Bully Project, a social action group that was inspired by the film Bully and asks all of us to take a stand against bullying. This shows that films can have a positive impact on society just as it can have the opposite effect, when it come to the depiction of adult bulling. We have all seen the person in films and on television that takes credit for someone else’s work or tries to sabotage a co-worker, well that is adult or work-place bullying. In most of these scenarios the underdog usually is triumphant, but we all know in the real world that is not always the case however. Some suggestion on what you can do if you are the victim of bullying such as use the internal grievance system, utilize the anti-violence policy, code of conduct or the ethics hotline, these are good options, but what do you do if it’s the owner of the company? That is a problem that was not addressed in this article. Anderson Cooper put it best when he said bullying is a phenomenon we are not growing out of, it is alive and well in the work place.
This is a growing issue. An employment attorney believe that workplace bullying will replace sexual harassment. However, some think laws would be too much as Mr. Freeman says, “We would look at a bill like this as overreaching,” Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said the bill would punish an employer for acts of its employees that it may not be able to anticipate .Even though he feels that way this issue is getting more and more attention because it is not just a schoolyard issue but a workplace issue as well. Even though many companies are putting anti-bullying policies into place, advocacy groups want laws that would allow for victims to receive lost wages, medical expenses and benefits for enduring an abusive work environment. Companies that have policies in place respond to bullying allegation with supension, reassignment, mandatory anger management training or termination. But trying to resolve a complaint if the bully is a senior manager or CEO is still a catch 22.
Workplace bullying is not necessarily illegal like sexual or racial harassment so it doesn’t get as much attention. The case mentioned in this essay was a breakthrough in regards to workplace bullying because it recognized bullying as an issue. Many employer are attempting to “nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem” says a professor at Cornell Law School. Some companies are being proactive and implementing policies that prohibit behavior that would constitute bullying in the workplace. Companies are discovering that having bullies can damage their reputation with customers and put a damper on company moral. Workplace bullying is not just the over mistreatment, humiliation and work sabotage it also includes sarcastic comments and social exclusion. Business groups and lawmakers say workplace bullying is too hard to define and there is a fear that it could expose companies to unnecessary lawsuits. However companies have to address this issue because it is not going away, as it effects both morale and productivity.
There is a lot of discussion regarding bullying and children but the line gets very blurry when it is pertaining to an adult. I believe it is because it’s more often than not referred to as harassment when and adult is on the receiving end of this type of mistreatment, which has a different connotation. When I think of bullying I rarely think of an adult problem, I always perceive it as a child or teenage issue. After reading this article I now realize that I was bullied at work by my manager and many of the examples given were situations I lived through with this manager. I never once thought of it as bullying, so information like this is useful to make people aware that if they are being mistreated, humiliated or made to feel inadequate that this is bullying, and to understand that they are not alone and that some companies have anti-bullying policies. This article also offered ways to deal with the situation if there are no policies in place such as visiting the Work Place Bulling Institute.
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