More than half of workplace bullying targets don’t move onto equal or better paying jobs. And yet workplace bullying is perfectly legal.

Uncategorized Jul 05, 2018

When workplace bullying happens, it’s not just the organization that suffers a financial blow. It’s also the workplace bullying target. In a 2011 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) poll, more than half of respondents who lost a job from workplace bullying said there either wasn’t a next job or they took a pay cut.

“To the 53 percent who suffered economic setback, we emphasize the benefit to personal health and sanity of leaving the toxic workplace. You were too good for that place anyway,” says WBI.

“The saddest fact is that over one-quarter of bullied targets were not able to replace their lost job. We know that bullying comes uninvited. No one asked to be intimidated or humiliated. Since the most veteran, competent workers are targeted, it is safe to assume that they once loved their jobs very much. They simply wanted to be left alone to do the work for which they were getting paid. But bullying displaced them and put them on the...

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How Ally went up against workplace bullying

Ally worked at a hotel from 2014-2018. Read her workplace bullying story in her words:

I was the Director of Sales, overseeing revenue for the property and creating relationships with clients and new accounts. Everything was fine when I began the job and even when we had gotten a new general manager later in 2014. About a year later in 2015, I noticed some changes, not only by our general manager’s (my boss') attitude towards tasks, but how other employees started to see her actions. Bullying began by calling me names and picking on my weight (looking too skinny). After the name calling and picking on appearance, she began to focus on my personal life, making comments regarding my relationship with my sister and even  about my home. As a general manager, you would have access to employees' addresses, but I would have never actually shown a photo of my home or where I live. As accounts were growing and we were booking more business, there was more of a workload,...

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Why “just leave” is absurd advice for a workplace bullying target

Uncategorized Jul 03, 2018

On Facebook, we’ve seen some people who’ve never been bullied at work (or more likely who are bullies themselves or aren’t vulnerable and emotionally tough enough to admit they’ve been bullied) tell workplace bullying targets to “just leave” their jobs if they don’t like them.

I ask those people: if you were to “just leave” your job today, what would be the consequences? In a 2013 poll, the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) found the biggest barrier to a workplace bullying target “just quitting” was loss of income and the affordable, employer-provided, crucial-while-being-bullied health insurance that went along with it (40 percent of respondents).

The second most popular response, however, is the one I find most striking. In a close second, 36 percent of respondents said personal pride, the injustice of it all, and loving their actual jobs were the reasons they weren’t just going to up and leave. In other...

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What generally happens when workplace bullying targets report their cases to HR

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2018

We know some of you work in Human Resources (HR) and help workplace bullying targets. And for that, we thank you. However, the sad truth is that you are in a tiny minority of HR representatives who advocate for the target instead of management. 2012 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) poll revealed that HR stopped bullying fairly and completely for the target in only two percent of cases.

So in 98 percent of cases, either:

  • HR wasn’t helpful, and retaliation followed (37 percent)
  • HR did nothing (31 percent)
  • HR wasn’t helpful, and the target lost his or her job (18 percent)
  • HR was not told (12 percent)

The problem with putting the burden on HR to resolve workplace bullying issues in the first place is that not only do they represent management (so their hands are tied if they do want or try to help), but also workplace bullying is a leadership problem. The responsibility to craft a workplace bullying policy and enforce it is management’s, not...

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The percentage of workplace bullying cases involving bully protection. (It’s gross.)

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2018

Workplace bullies rarely face consequences for their bullying behaviors. More often than not, targets get dismissed, discounted, or flat-out ignored, which of course sides with the bully. Top-level executives most often support higher level managers over non-supervisory workers, leaving workplace bullying targets completely unprotected.

“Protective support prevents punishment for bullies and blocks accountability. Of course over time, protecting bullies sustains a workplace culture that is bullying-prone and unsafe for prospective targets. Protection ensures that bullying continues with impunity,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) in their 2013 poll.

The percentage of workplace bullying cases involving bully protection
In nearly 94 percent of workplace bullying cases, polled targets and witnesses said the bully had protection against punishment: either a higher-ranking manager, an executive or owner, HR, or a supervisor.

WBI calls the higher...

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What stops your workplace bullying experience

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2018

What stops bullying? The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) conducted a 2012 poll to figure out what tactics and strategies have worked to stop workplace bullying. Those who’ve experienced it or witnessed it found useful, in order of effectiveness:

  • Target filed a lawsuit, 16.4% effective
  • Target filed a complaint with an external state agency human rights commission, or federal EEOC, 11.9% effective
  • Target tried to find an attorney to file a lawsuit, 11.2% effective
  • If union present, asked union to intervene & stop it, 8.84% effective
  • Target filed a formal complaint with HR alleging a policy violation, 4.66% effective
  • Target told senior management/owner expecting support, 3.69% effective
  • Target directly confronted the perpetrator, 3.57% effective
  • Target asked perpetrator’s boss to intervene & stop it 3.26% effective
  • Target seemed to not do anything, 3.25% effective

The takeaways
The data shows that:

  • Confronting,...
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The most offensive aspects of being bullied at work

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2018

“Bullying is demeaning, ostracizing, disempowering, cruel, threatening, humiliating, untruthful, and unrelated to work itself,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). In a 2014 poll, WBI asked respondents what the most offensive aspects of the bullying experience are. They are, in order of popularity:

Being accused of incompetence when I possessed more technical skills than my accuser
“[Targets] posed a threat for the thin-skinned perpetrators who appear less capable by comparison,” says WBI. “The most offensive act was the bully’s lie that the target was incompetent. The claim is dissonant with everything the target has known about her- or himself for an entire work career. It would be laughable were it not for the power the perpetrator yields to act in accordance with the lie. Soon after leveling the false charges (and they are false by objective criteria), perpetrators rely on human resources support to start a performance...

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Why a quarter of workplace bullying targets don’t trust their unions to help

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2018

“If you’re prone to magical thinking, you might believe all it takes to combat bullying (mistreatment by the employer or its agent, managers) is the collective effort by concerned coworkers who witness the events. Yes, in your dreams you see the heroic target in the boss’s threshold backed by throngs of agitated and supportive peers,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). “In reality, chances are better that only a breeze will be behind our hero at the door when left to fight alone.” Coworkers don’t intervene, according to the 2008 WBI Coworker Study. They fear they’ll be the next target, be the only supporter, ruin the fight, or be pushed away by the target.

Without the masses of disgusted coworkers behind a target, who’s left to help balance the power with employers? Unions. In a 2011 poll, the WBI asked workplace bullying targets what role, if any, they saw for unions in addressing workplace bullying.


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Mediation and arbitration are just more tactics employers use to protect bullies

Uncategorized Jun 07, 2018

Don’t use mediation or other alternative dispute resolution practices for bullying resolution, says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). Here’s why:

“Workplace bullying is a form of violence, non-physical and sub-lethal, but interpersonal violence nevertheless. Violent relationships cannot be mediated. Mediation requires that both parties are rational and capable of gaining an empathic understanding of the needs and intellectual interests of the other party. In bullying, only one party is rational. The other’s interest is tainted by her or his need to dominate the other party. There is no equal footing at the start. One does not mediate domestic violence. There is no halfway in the gulf between parties when one is under assault by the other.”

Workplace bullying targets shared the outcomes of employer-required mediation and/or arbitration to address their workplace bullying situations back in 2011:

  • In 52 percent of the cases, the bullies had...
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Do workplace bullies intend to inflict pain? Most targets think so.

Uncategorized Jun 05, 2018

“As our legal education progressed, and we began to lobby lawmakers to introduce our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, we learned that the law did not require the discovery of motive if the action happens. That is, the wrongdoing — bullying acts — was evidence of intent. No one has to divine the hidden goals of perpetrators. If they committed the act, they meant to,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI).

Regardless, some bloggers and reporters like to suggest that most bullying is unintentional. So WBI polled workplace bullying targets in 2014 to find out the intentions of their bullies.

In 91% of cases, respondents said “the bullying was the result of the perpetrators’ deliberate personal decision to act. That is, individuals most directly affected by bullying, targets and witnesses, seem to believe the actions were deliberate and malicious. Malice involves the intent to inflict pain on others,” explains...

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