Thursday, November 17, 2011

WorkPlace 101: Is Your Boss A Bully?!?

Chalk this one up in the "I Can't Relate" column. Cause I can't.
Bullying isn’t limited to colleges or even classroom. It happens everywhere. In fact, more adults are reporting being bullied at work.

Now, New York State is taking steps to help employees fight back, reports CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.

Experts say an adult bully could be a boss, a manager and even a colleague, but their behavior isn’t much different from a bully in the school yard.

We hear about kids bullying each other all the time, but a new survey shows 1 in 6 adults are being bullied in the workplace.

“Verbal abuse, work sabotage, social and physical isolation,” said Mike Schlicht, co-coordinator for New York Healthy Workplace Advocates.

Schlicht said the bullying he endured at his job was so bad he dreaded going to work each day.

“The person does eventually get to the end of their capabilities to cope with the situation,” Schlicht said.

Maria Morrissey’s brother, Kevin, committed suicide last year after years of bullying at his job as an editor.

“He said ‘please tell everyone I’m sorry, but I simply can’t bear it anymore,’” Maria said. “Kevin put a bullet through his head because I think that he thought that he had no choice.”

Two other New Yorkers — Jodie Zebell and Marlene Braun — have taken their lives as a direct result of office bullying.

Experts say in this economy employees often fear retaliation, so they don’t speak up.

“We found that there was no resolution for workplace bullying,” Schlicht said.

Schlicht’s bullying advocacy group has even proposed legislation that would require employers to intervene in these situations.

If you feel you’re being targeted by a bully at work, experts say keep a log of your interactions and file a complaint with your human resources department.
In my 16 years as a professional, I can't say I've ever experienced anything I'd classify as "bullying". Maybe the occasional d-bag boss, or a co-worker who didn't know enough about personal boundaries, but honestly, that's about it. What about you?

Question: Have you ever experienced workplace bullying?!?

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