Everyone would like their workplace if they are being provided with enough freedom and respect. Since in some places, this is not what you can think of getting every day. There are schools, learning institutions, and even workplaces where discrimination is still playing better and bullying even threats and humiliation. It really affects the employee’s career, finances, and health.
There have been a lot of cases that would end up in the criminal and civil penalties. This could involve the business owner and the perpetrator. Obviously, this behavior is considered being as an illegal action and practice. Those who oversee that kind of behavior in their office are equally doing wrong and promoting this indirectly.
What Exactly Is Intimidation in the Workplace? How Is It Defined?
There is a myth that only schools have this kind of bullying environment and discriminating against the fellows they share the space with. There are a huge number of reports that show the bullying and threatening of people in their offices. Adults even do that often to suppress their juniors or sometimes their seniors. This could be started with a color difference or maybe low confidence people.
Bullying or threatening people to suppress them by any fellow person or colleagues you are working within management can intimidate its employees into accepting bad treatment, violations of their rights.
What Is Bullying Definition?
Bullying does not always mean hitting someone but mentally abuse someone is also bullying. If you are suppressing someone and torturing him or her, or even you get the torture from someone, that is also considered bullying.
Now comes the question of bullying in workplaces: how it starts and ends? What are the impacts of this bullying has on people’s careers and mind?
The answers to these questions can not be a line statement. There could be a lot of different reasons that might ignite someone’s anger into bullying. Bullying can be described as a pattern of aggressive and abusive behavior towards the other person. In the workplace, the bullies choose to bully someone for fun, too; there must not be any hard reason, but just for imposing their dominance can be the sole reason for bullying sometimes.
In this kind of bullying, there are high chances of those people who are less confident and new to the workplace. This kind of bullying can lead the person to mental trauma; even physical health does not include this bullying any longer. There are chances that a person who gets bullied occasionally fights back and gets through this, and there are very fewer chances that they get through this. Sometimes it can be strict, and sometimes it can be just easy to bear.
For other kinds of bullying, there are other reasons as well. For example, if someone is jealous of another person, he or she might hurt her or him. Now hurting can be real torture depends upon the times they do to the victim. It can be oral comments or maybe physically hurting. It’s extreme bullying as long as their target victim backs off or leaves the place for them to take.
Workplace intimidation and bullying can have different types, based on their motives such as:
- insults and
- sexual harassment,
- lashing out against the employee by yelling and cursing,
- and threats of violence.
In all these cases, the victim’s condition could worsen, and the result would be unbearable with long-lasting effects on the victim’s mind. For example, loss of confidence in the strengths of their own. The judgment of right and wrong, the skills and the abilities to perform high in their careers. Their social interaction and their expression of their feelings would get damaged nearly to completely.
What Is The Legality Around Workplace Harassment?
This is a complicated concept, or you can say an issue that could be on the discussing list, but most people need to understand it. In most of the states, there are different sets of rules for bullying and harassment. For example, in many states, they provide their people with protection rights in this regard, and their people can directly report to officers. Federal law prohibits a few types of workplace harassment, such as the intimidation or bullying of people protected under anti-discrimination laws.
This is not the same for every state, though; some states might not provide as many laws for protection from bullying as others. Laws don’t have to protect you from this kind of bullying if you can’t help yourself.
What Are The Protected Categories?
Now come those of the categories that are protected by the law. The federal law (anti-discrimination) disallows or restricts the bullying in workplaces and harassment and intimidation of employees over the age of 40 on gender, nationality, culture, race/ethnicity, or religion. According to the country’s law, everyone has the freedom to worship and choose to wear your culture as you wish. So bullying and harassment consider as low practice.
This all clearly says that the hostile environment could put the owners, managers, and employees into a disciplinary measure by the commission heads of Equal employment opportunity.
Besides, victims of bullying and harassment and other co-workers affected by a hostile work environment are eligible to sue an employer for its failure to address and stop the intimidation.
What Are The Right of Whistleblowers According To Law?
Whistleblowers are those employees or people who expose the information or expose the person who bullies or harassed them. They do have the right, too, according to the law. If the complaints against any employer who is bullied, federal law protects against employer retaliation. Employees who have reported any criminal activity are protected against hostile workplace conditions.
What Are The Criminal Acts Against the Victim, and how to identify them?
For the worst, sometimes, and for most cases, workplace bullying and intimidation take the shape of criminal activity against the victims. This may have different patterns in it, for example, theft or vandalism of the victim’s personal property, threats of violence, sexual abuse, or physical battery.
When things reach this level, there is an urgent need to take a step to stay safe and stop the other person from doing more harm/damage. Filing a case can be the ultimate and better option to get safety first, apply for the unemployment benefits, or get better advice from the officials about what to do next. Victims must know that they are not in a safe situation. They must call 911 and ask for help.
What State and Local Laws Says About It?
According to federal law, there is not a gigantic room of protection laws under this category. It means the officials could provide only limited help or assistance in harassment and intimidation at the workplace. On the other hand, this is not the same in all states because they do have their laws according to their will. Some states even passed laws that totally prohibits intimidation at work and name this activity as an illegal one. The bully will be charged according to the law.
What Is The Unemployment Compensation From the Government?
This unemployment compensation is from the government for those who might have lost their jobs because of the workplace’s intimidation. In some other cases, people might quit their jobs because of the hostile environment and do not apply for unemployment benefits. However, In such cases, an employee may claim benefits because states do acknowledge that some workplace intimidation is even worse that people voluntarily have to leave their jobs.
Those employees who are bullied and want to leave their jobs must be prepared that the employer might challenge him or her for an unemployment claim, and before any other thing come up as the hurdle, they should file their case for an unemployment claim. Who will decide whether the benefit claim is valid?
What Are The Consequences of Workplace Bullying?
The consequences of bullying can be different from person to person, and it depends upon how the victim responds to the harassment and survives in a hostile environment. According to most of the cases, the huge number of victims after serving the intimidation of the workplace shows such kind of symptoms:
- digestive problems,
- insomnia and
- high blood pressure.
- Victims may also report depression,
- a decrease in self-esteem.
- Some bullies may spread negative gossip about the victim,
- possibly injuring the victim’s workplace, industry, and personal reputation.
- Over time, the victim’s job performance may also suffer.
- Another consequence of workplace bullying is a decline in employee morale.
These are the severe effects that the victim has to face after surviving in a hostile environment prone to harassment. These are not only the symptoms but the victim’s loss of confidence. His or her ability and strengths and skills and the trust on her/his own self to excel in the work field would be destroyed that will lead her or him to be ending the job, eventually.
So, What Are The Employer’s Responsibilities?
Employers or supervisors in the workplace have an obligation to lead the company staff towards success. That could be only possible when the company’s internal matters remain in the responsible hands and the best work environment that allows the employee to perform and give their best.
To achieve this aim, the employer has to set the rules and ensure that everyone is abiding by them. This is not the only obligation the manager or the employer has in this case but prohibits any inappropriate behavior that can lead the workplace towards the continuous disturbance.
The employer should highlight the complete chapter about harassment and intimidation of the workplace in the handbook. On the other way, he should arrange monthly presentations in which the employer should teach the employees. Employers can also cultivate a cooperative and positive workplace culture that encourages employees and supervisors to treat each other with respect.
What Strategies Should An Employee Take?
Bullying in the work area or intimidation could worsen if not stopped on time or taken notice of time. There are several reasons behind this; maybe the bully tests his target slowly and then aims to hit that target with full force when caught helpless. Or maybe they realized that the victim does not have as many social links for help.
Employees or workplace workers feel they are being bullied; they should take the step to prevent or confront the bully before it gets too intense. If the bully is just in the testing mode, be careful not to confront the bully with full force. Just move by collecting the evidence and confronting on the single node. Make sure you discuss with your HR or any other person you feel comfortable with. Then tell your employer the whole situation in the person’s presence, you trust, and the bully, but after you have enough pieces of evidence. If this does not result in a resolution, it may be wise to pursue a new job.
Medical Expenses Of The Victim
In some cases, the victims suffer from bullying and intimidation in the workplace and eventually have severe health effects. Their medical expenses are being taken care of by the state under the law of torts. If the person loses their job in this thing of harassment, they can apply for unemployment benefits to get covered by the state until they get a new job and get over the matter.
Harassment is considered any unwelcome comments or actions regarding your ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, or other personal traits. Anyone can commit harassment or cause a hostile work environment. If someone in any workplace feels harassed by a senior colleague, co-worker, employee, or customer, don’t hesitate to report it immediately. The law protects all victims, not just those directly affected, so if someone else’s conflict affects your productivity and work environment, talk to the company’s HR manager to seek help and demand them to take action.
What Is Non-Sexual Harassment?
Harassments are of different types, and they are not only just sexual, so how to define other harassments that are not sexual. Those harassments are based upon the comments that one can say to another person on its color, race, or ethnicity. That’s more likely called racism. It’s also cruel harassment that comes on color. People exist in different skin colors; it should not be like this in front of everyone to point to one specific person about its color. This has the same effects on the victim’s health, and career as sexual harassment has.
What Is Not Harassment?
This is important to know what types of actions you might feel inappropriate are lawfully prohibited and what is not. Non-discrimination statutes do not serve as a civility code; they are established for extremely offensive situations. Laws are for those conditions and situations where the victims have tangible evidence to prove the accusation on the other party so that the lawsuit could end up in punishment.
What Are the Types of Harassment?
There are many and many types of harassment and all are based and identified based on the motives behind the person who is harassing the victim. People at the workplace must know about the policies and their rights in the workplace.
They are not bound to work in such a place where people are mentally abused, but there should be the rule of law prohibiting harassment of all natures whether or not it is specifically sexual in nature; it prohibits the physical conduct of sexual nature and forcing. Unwanted verbal, written, or physical abuse that shows hostility based on a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status is also considered harassment. All kinds of abusive behavior create an environment that is hostile to the victim.
What Are The Employer Liability In This Regard?
Although making and having different harassment policies, other factors need to be taken care of, and they are under the employer’s responsibility. They are liable for any destructive behavior of workers and any inappropriate activity that directly or indirectly affects the workplace environment. People who are supervisors or managers of the workplace are completely responsible for their activities, especially those who make no effort to prevent and stop this intimidation. Those who make a little effort for this are equally liable to this.
What Are The Preventions?
The primary purpose of imposing laws and making strict workplace intimidation policies and harassment is to prevent and somehow stop the abuse and harassment from happening. Employers can play their part in stopping or preventing the intimidation by just communicating the unwelcome results of harassment so the bullies would be much aware of what they would do they would have the worse results possible on their careers. Workers can help prevent harassment by taking advantage of the educational opportunities or presentations provided by the employer/company.