Taking action against workplace bullying

What to do if you’re being bullied at work

Sadly not all cases of workplace bullying have a happy ending. As more cases of workplace bullying come to light the topic is now being taken more seriously. It is no longer a case of saying ‘oh it was a personality clash’ or ‘you’re too sensitive’. Workplace bullying has become an issue of concern. It can emotionally, mentally and in some cases physically damage the targeted individual and the company.

So what can you do?

Company’s policy on bullying and harassment

Not all companies have something in place, but it is worth checking.

Confront the bully

If you feel comfortable doing so and your own safety is not at risk, speak with the bully informing them their treatment of you is not acceptable and how it is affecting you and your work.

Speak to someone in a position of authority – Supervisor, HR, Union Representative

If possible speak with your supervisor about the situation. It could be they have had words with this person in the past about their treatment and behaviour towards others.
If it is your supervisor that is causing the problem and speaking with them directly has not worked or you are unable to speak with them, speak with a more senior member of staff or HR.
If the situation is not resolved and you are a member of a Union speak with your Union Representative to discuss what further action can be taken.

Diary

Keep a detailed record of events that have involved you being targeted or in some way demeaned by the bully; dates, times, witnesses (if any were present at the time), what was the outcome of the situation.
If other methods of handling the situation do not work and it reaches HR or, worst case scenario, legal action being taken you may be required to recall events where you were victimised.

Physical Evidence

Keep copies of emails, memos etc you have received from this person.

Health

If the bullying has reached the point where is it affecting your health – ie causing stress, anxiety attacks – then see a doctor.

If none of these suggestions work, there are organisations that can help you further.

You can also view this article on www.jobserve.com.

References:

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/bullying.html
http://www.bullyonline.org/action/action.htm
http://newworkplace.wordpress.com/

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