When we think of a bully, we may think of a school playground or perhaps locker room. But bullying takes place every day in boardrooms, breakrooms and offices across the nation and can lead to a hostile workplace.
Bullying or Abusive Conduct in the workplace means conduct of an employer or employee, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Bullying may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct or the sabotage of a person’s work performance. Bullying, like harassment, is typically cumulative in nature: but a single incident is enough to create a triable offense if the abusive conduct has unreasonably interfered with the employee’s work performance or created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Some examples of bullying include: Body shaming Ridicule Mimic, Insult or Sarcasm Ignoring Intruding into personal space Spreading rumors Although no federal law directly addresses bullying, in some cases, bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment when it is based on a protected characteristic like: race national origin color sex age disability religion
Some states, like California, include, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, marital status, medical condition, genetic characteristics, cancer (or a record or history of cancer), or denial of family medical care leave or pregnancy leave. When bullying and harassment overlap, companies have an obligation to resolve the harassment. Even if bullying behavior is not based on these protected characteristics, companies have a responsibility to provide a hostile-free workplace. Effective intervention benefits everyone and can be an effective way for leaders in the workplace to STOP Bullying. For companies to effectively STOP BULLYING in the workplace, our Workplace Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention course introduces and recommends the 8-STEP INTERVENTION PROCESS.