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Workplace Bullying Resources

Updated on December 20, 2014

Declare your place of employment a "Bully Free Zone."

By Eddie~S (Bully Free ZoneUploaded by Doktory) [CC BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Eddie~S (Bully Free ZoneUploaded by Doktory) [CC BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Workplace Bullying Resources for Targets of Adult Bullies at Work

Welcome to Workplace Bullying Resources. Let's first look at exactly what qualifies as workplace bullying. Simply put, "It is either: Verbal abuse, threats, humiliation, intimidation, work interference or sabotage. All of which prevent work from getting done and harm employee health." (from brochure)

According to a new CareerBuilder Survey, 35% of workers report being victims of workplace bullying. Of those, 16% reported suffering health-related issues and 17% say they quit their job as a result of the hostile work environment. The online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder, included results from 3,892 U.S. workers. According to the survey, the workers who felt they had been bullied blamed a boss 48% of the time and coworkers 45% of the time. Some survey takers also indicated they had been bullied by customers as well as supervisors who were higher up than their immediate boss.

When I started a new job recently, I witnessed some of this workplace bullying first-hand. One co-worker in particular verbally assaulted several other employees on a regular basis. To add insult to injury, a member of the management team was equally abusive which made it difficult, if not impossible for those being bullied to seek relief. As adults, one would think that we would have a greater ability to defend ourselves against these bullies than we did as children. But over and over again, I watched my co-workers be harassed, humiliated and attacked. I did let the bullying coworker know just what I thought of him. However, I never addressed the situation with my boss - and I felt guilty for not standing up more for those who couldn't stand up for themselves.

I no longer work for that company, however the experience left me angry and determined to find out what I could have done differently. This compilation of workplace bullying resources is a result of my quest for answers. If you have suffered as a result of adult bullies at work, there are many resources available to you to from this page. You are not alone and you do not have to continue to endure it any longer

Photo Credit: Eddie~S

Recognizing a Workplace Bully - 10 Signs of a Bully at Work

Oftentimes, a workplace bully can go unrecognized as such. Their behavior is somehow accepted, excused or overlooked. Identifying the signs of a bully at work can put you on the right track to resolving the situation. Workplace bullies may:

  • Take credit for the work and accomplishment of others
  • Dole out constant criticism towards other employees despite their demonstrated abilities
  • Frequently yell at, humiliate or insult others
  • Falsely accuse others of errors
  • Use threats and intimidation to get what he/she wants
  • Have a Jekyll & Hyde personality depending on who he/she is around
  • Spread lies and gossip
  • Purposely sabotage the work of others
  • Act as though they are the victim and others are the bullies
  • Socially isolate others from group functions such as meetings or going to lunch

The Healthy Workplace Bill - The First Anti-bullying Bill for Adults in the US Workplace

Workplace Bullying and the Law
Workplace Bullying and the Law | Source

Currently, there are no laws in the United States that make bullying illegal. In order for a target (person being bullied) to seek legal refuge, they must demonstrate that they were bullied for belonging to a protected class: race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. Therefore, if a target is bullied for other reasons (such as being shy or short), they will find it difficult to find protection under the law.

The Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) is a proposed piece of legislation that could provide legal accountability for "health harming cruelty at work." 21 states have introduced the HWB, however no laws have been enacted yet. Ironically, the HWB does not use the term "workplace bullying."

9 Tips to Stop Workplace Bullying

A Guide to Help End the Abuse

Dealing with a bully in a place of employment can be devastating and difficult. Each situation is different and therefore not every suggestion here will be viable or effective for everyone. However, in the event that you need to seek legal action, it may be in your best interest to exhaust every other option first.

  • Keep a journal of each incident. Keeping track of these incidents will show a pattern of bullying that you can take to your immediate supervisor, human resources, or as far up the chain as you need to go.

  • Save copies of any documents received by the bully including notes, emails or any other correspondence to provide as further evidence.

  • Do NOT confront the workplace bully on your own. The bully is an abuser. Confronting them alone could be dangerous or at the very least, it could just cause them to increase the level of bullying towards you. Always have a second party with you, preferably a supervisor.

  • Consider putting in a request to be moved to a different department or location within the company. While this might not seem fair to you, your physical, mental and emotional health are at stake and that's more important than just being right.

  • If the bully is targeting others, ask them to also document incidents of abusive behavior. When presented with a united front, workplace bullies will often back down.

  • Consult your company's employee handbook to determine how to file a formal complaint. Be prepared to provide evidence of bullying incidents such as witnesses or a journal.

  • If there is union present, ask them to intervene.

  • Encourage your employer to implement anti-bullying policies Creating and enforcing these policies within the company may eliminate the need to confront the bully directly since they will be aware of the consequences of continuing the behavior.

  • If you are being bullied as a result of being a member of a protected class (race/color, national origin, sex, age if over 40, mental & physical handicaps, and religion), you may have legal recourse. Hiring an attorney can be very expensive and time consuming. However, if you've exhausted all other resources, this may be the only avenue still open.

Books on Dealing with Workplace Bullies

There are a number of books and written resources to help you combat a bully at your place of employment. Below, I have scouted out some of the most popular and helpful books available on the subject. It's worth noting that two of these books are authored by Gary Namie, PhD. and Ruth Namie, PhD. They are the president and CEO, respectively, of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying and are considered experts in this area.

If you're dealing with a bully at work, you don't have to take it lying down! Knowledge is power...let these books help you to devise a plan of action.

The Bully at Work: What You Can Do To Stop The Hurt And Reclaim Your Dignity On The Job

Some topics covered in this book include: why bullies act the way they do, setting personal boundaries, making yourself safe, making your employer take responsibility, lasting impacts bullying has on employees.

The Complete Guide to Understanding, Controlling, and Stopping Bullies & Bullying at Work

This book by Margaret R. Kohut contains case studies as well as information on laws, statistics, and dealing with a bullying boss or coworker.

The Bully-Free Workplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes from Killing Your Organization

Primarily geared towards business owners, managers, and CEO's, this book gives much insight into the consequences of allowing workplace tyrants to remain unchallenged in the work place.

Other Resources to Help You Handle the Work Jerk

List of helpful links on the subject of work place bullying.

Anti-Bullying Song Videos - Rachel Crow's "Mean Girls" & Shinedown's "Bully"

Sometime music just has a way of moving you. When we are hurting we often look for comforting words in the songs we hear. These are a few of the songs you may find comfort in if you have been a bully's target.

Shinedown - BULLY (Official Video)

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    • FlynntheCat1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Ugh, yes, I've been a target - temporary person, apparently very nice to everyone (including me!), but as soon as they got tte chance to be in charge, they went after me because I was the lowest on the ladder and followed me around harrassing me (over, quite literally, nothing). Fortunately it was temporary (I found out later they did the same thing at their previous workplace).

      This site is a very good resource for workplace advice, as well (especially the specific tags)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think that workplace bullying is much more common than many people imagine. It's a shame - people work better in a pleasant environment. Employers need to take this much more seriously.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      From the playground to the workplace (and far too many places in between) victims of bullying (as well as the bullies themselves) need help. These workplace bullying resources are of great importance in filling that need. Bless you for being a voice for victims of bully abuse.

    • fibrogirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Lasmanis 

      6 years ago from Ocala, Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you aj2008. It's sad that these resources even have to exist but hopefully people will benefit from them. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for featuring my Bullying Help page on here. Yes, Workplace Bullying - I have experienced it and it is so hard to know what to do when people who are in a position to damage your career are doing it. Thanks for speaking out against workplace bullying :)


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