According to research by Zogby International, 37% of the American workforce experiences bullying on the job. Further, according to the NY Times, the common workplace bully is much more subtle than “the playground” bully, which makes it difficult for the person being bullied to report him/her.
It may start with a belittling comment at a staff meeting. Later it becomes gossip to co-workers and forgetting to invite someone to an important work event. If the bully is a supervisor, victims may be stripped of critical duties, then accused of not doing their job, says Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Wash.
Another study out of the University of Manitoba reported that the effects of such emotional bullying are often “more severe than that of sexual harassment”.
So what can one do about the workplace bullying? Well, New York State is considering an “anti-bullying bill”, since many of the workplace regulations aren’t able to adequately address this problem. A number of other states have followed suit, but without much success so far.