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Bullying in the workplace

Bullying isn’t only an issue for children in Texas. Many adults get bullied at their jobs by their coworkers, managers and supervisors. In fact, some studies show that almost 30% of employed adults in the U.S. have experienced bullying on the job.

What is bullying?

Bullying is the intentional and repeated mistreatment of another person through direct verbal abuse or passive aggressive manipulation. There are many different forms of bullying and many ways to bully someone at their workplace.

Bullying at work can be costly for both the victim and the employer, since bullying often leads to lower productivity and higher employee turnover. A bullied worker may leave their job prematurely because they feel intimidated, ganged up on and isolated.

Forms of bullying

Bullying can come in the form of workplace harassment such as harsh criticism, cruel jokes and public humiliation. Bullying may also include lies or withholding information in order to sabotage a person’s work reputation. Some other forms of workplace bullying include:

  • Spreading rumors about a worker to all of their coworkers.
  • Placing excessive pressure on a worker to go above and beyond their job duties.
  • Targeting one employee for extra monitoring of basic work tasks.
  • Sabotaging a worker’s ability to do their job normally.
  • Intimidating and retaliating against a worker so that they don’t complain about unfair treatment.

Is bullying illegal?

While there is no specific law that addresses workplace bullying, workers may sue their employers for creating a hostile work environment. If an employee is being bullied because of a protected characteristic such as race, age, gender or sexual orientation, the employee may be able to file a discrimination lawsuit. It is also illegal to bully and discriminate against an employee because they filed a complaint, blew the whistle about illegal activity or took parental leave.