Human Resources News & Insights

13 states consider workplace-bully laws

HR’s new function: Standing up to workplace bullies. What used to be considered a good idea may now become law. 

And here’s the big problem: Someone is going to have to referee and figure out who’s a bully and who’s just a big pain in the butt who should be ignored. In short, you may have to play Civility Cop. That’s the assessment of attorneys who are looking at the proposed anti-bullying legislation, which in effect demands that employees play nice with one another.

Let’s look at the type of scenario that could pop up:

A white manager supervises a black employee. The white manager is a crusty type who criticizes the black employee in public, maybe even loudly uses insults like “stupid” and “lazy.” Under anti-discrimination laws, the black employee had no legal recourse — the law doesn’t demand that managers be civil to their employees.

But under proposed legislation, the employee could charge with manager with bullying — and charge the company with allowing it, unless you step in.

Start now
Your best bet: Start now to head off any bullying charges. For instance –

  • Have policies in place that make it clear bullying behaviors will not be tolerated.
  • If you have an employee handbook, emphasize in it that workers must treat each other with respect.
  • Encourage employees who feel bullied to report the conduct, just as they would report charges of harassment or discrimination, and investigate those complaints seriously.
  • If an investigation warrants it, take appropriate action.

Here are the states that are looking at anti-bullying legislation:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

 And here’s sample legislation from New York.

 

 

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest Human Resources news and insights delivered to your inbox.
  • http://totallyconsumed.blogspot.com/ Totally Consumed

    Anti-bullying laws make me nervous for the exact reasons you mention. Spot on and timely post.

  • Concerned

    We had an employee who was “in your face” with literally everyone in the firm. One colleague who was not her subordinate in any way would get upset it anyone even looked at her differently than she expected. The second employee claimed bullying which seemed strange since the first employee had no authority over the second. I am concerned that the anti-bullying laws would make my job harder in a case like this.

  • Stephanie

    This law would have been very helpful to me two years ago, when I was a victim of this practice! I really hope that it passes!

  • EMP

    I work in a state that is not on the list plus from a small community. We have workplace bullies and have had to deal with them. The key word is ‘respect.’ The excuse, “this is how they’ve always been how are they were in school” just cannot be tolerated.

    No easy solution besides EAP and good documentation. Prevention — parents and schools need to step up. As HR, we get the problem children.

  • Lori

    I work in a hostile environment myself. My co-worker hates me and the manager won’t do anything because they are friends. My co-worker can do no wrong. My manager backs the co-worker up. I have even have back issue due to the stress and my manager told me ” maybe I should look for another career”.

  • Larry

    Most of the states considering these ridiculous laws are liberal-leaning states which have done away with “at will employment” laws, therefore making it more difficult to fire someone for cause. Inch by inch we’re becoming a full-fledged “nanny state.” Get the government out of the workplace, let me do my own hiring and firing and I guarantee no bullies. (Or for that matter, any incompetent losers on my payroll.)
    BTW – they’ve always been this way in school is the reason the situation is bad. Our “governemnt” schools have become breeding grounds for this type of behavior due to PC nanny state policies over the past 20 years.
    There’s just NO personal accountability anymore. Let’s all let the governemnt decide everything for us.

  • Debbie

    “Bullying” or harassment of any form should not be tolerated in the work place. Supervisors, Managers, and HR should be held accountable, and “nip it in the bud” from the very beginning.

  • Steve H.

    Isn’t this covered under the Harassment legislation…….Hostile Work Environment.
    I think we need to quit coming up with new laws when we have enough laws already in place to handle this.
    Who thought this one up?

  • Mitzi

    I’m in Nevada which is not on the list but I think that this is a good idea. During new hire orientation, my employees are informed of ZERO tolerance of any form of harassment to include bullying. While some complaints can be cumbersome, a smart investigation differentiates the chronic complainers from those actually being bullied. We’ve had occurrences of bullying and have successfully disciplined the offenders. Bullying puts a huge financial burden on a company in the forms of lost productivity due to increased absenses from to stress related illness, low moral, not to mention the possibility of legal recourse if the company does nothing.

  • Tammy

    Lori, why would you want to stay in a position that is making you physically ill? You have the choice to stay and fight a losing battle or to move on and find a position where you can excel and be appreciated. While you can’t change another person’s actions, you are still in charge of your own.

  • Mike

    I would like to know how this type of law would work in a situation where the bully is the owner of a small company and the HR professional (his employee) is charged with the responsibility for oversight & enforcement. I’m from NJ, by the way.

  • Kacy

    I get tired of operating as an adult nanny. This is the workplace so grow up and act like an adult. People need to be held accountable for their actions and I don’t need any more legislation or company policy in order to fire someone for being a complete and total jerk, especially a supervisor. At will employment is our friend!

  • Julianne

    I read this with a chuckle because I work for a privately-owned company and unfortunately, the owner is a true “in your face I don’t care who hears me I will yell and berate you whenever I feel like it”. Does anyone have any advice for me on this one?

  • Joy Maxwell

    Thought you just might like to see this. Oklahoma is one of the states.

  • http://www.postcardmania.com Cindy

    We’ve always had a very firm policy on this. We have no office politics at all not to mention no bullying. I go over this with everyone before I hire them and at the hiring. I might give someone a warning about it, but after that, I’d just let them go, no matter who they were. This is what the owner wants and it’s one of a number of reasons that this is a Great place to work. We have 165 team members now and I don’t think you’d find a single one that doesn’t think this company is the bomb. We’re a team taking on more environment, not each other. It makes a difference when people know they’ll be treated fairly and with respect. I rarely have to advertise for new staff and I often have a waiting line of people who’ve heard from others what a great place it is and want to work here. I highly recommend making this a firm company policy.

  • patricia Youngblood

    Thought you just might like to see this workplace-bully laws. Oklahoma is one of the state’s

  • Mitzi

    Mike, it will probably depend on how small the company is. For instance, Title VII, Civil rights act Act of 1964 & the ADA only apply to companies with 15 or more employees. You’ll have to wait to see what the criteria of the law will be.

  • Angel M

    Unfortunately some employees still think they are on the school playgroud when at work.

  • JACKIE

    This is to Julianne: I worked for a smaller company owner who was even more harsh than you are describing. During one of his temper-tantrums I had a 2 X 4 thrown in my direction as well as equipment overturned and items flying everywhere while he was screaming obcenities at the top of his lungs. I, unfortunately, lost my self control, picked up a stapler and hurled back at him.,,,clocking him right between the eyes. No, I didn’t get fired. Or quit. There was, however a role-defining conversation that took place between us on the trip to the hospital.
    After this incident, when his temper would begin to flare I would empower myself.
    1st: If you are sitting, Stand Up (As a general rule, Bullies will attempt to talk down to someone. By standing you will be empowered by making them address you at the same level)
    2nd: walk somewhere out of ear shot of subordinates or to an unoccupied office (if available) and close the door when s/he enters.
    3rd: if possible, Bring in a witness. That person doesn’t have to do anything but be present and quiet. Bullies are more likely to reassess what they are intending to say if someone else is directly listening to them, especially if the bully has someone to answer to (i.e.. in the most extreme a Judge.) Good luck
    These actions give you passive control of the situation and let’s h/him know that you are not going to lie down and take it in public.

  • Brian

    Just what we need, another excuse for employees to go after companies with deep pockets. Let me guess, an attorney came up with this idea!!!! Cha Ching……..

  • Patrick G

    Having been the victim of the epitome of workplace bullying and losing my job because I came forward regarding this behavior…I have to say such legislation, has been a long time coming.
    I was relegated, demoted, marginalized and made out to be a pariah because I spoke to civility in the work place. I was illegally fired.
    I sued my former employer for their mishandling of the truth. We settled 2 weeks before our court date.
    I captured 2 years worth of salary and benefits after legal fees. It was very expensive and tarnished my good name in my chosen profession. I was forced to take unrelated jobs below my educational level and experience level, because no one in my chosen profession would bring me in.
    Within 1 year I finished my degree, ran for a Director position for this Agency Board and was elected. I now work at a different level—from the top down as an elected official.
    I am still on that Board ibut, in addition to being a Director I was able to successfully be hired into another Public Agency in my chosen profession.
    I have just started making the kind of money that I had made back in 2005 when my former employer illegally fired me.
    This phenomenon, “Work Place Bullying” is a learned behavior akin to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; where isolated in an environment that can be controlled to the degree that one’s beliefs, behavior and actions are control by their captor…controls the group’s disposition as it applies to what is right and wrong.
    The situation I was in was that; the majority of the organization (accept for two brave souls who supported my position) wanted to punish me for coming forward regarding Anti-Semitic comments made in my presence by my immediate supervisor.
    What is even more galling was my supervisor admitted to the comment. He was later promoted and me and one my two supporters were demoted promptly thereafter. 1 year later I was illegally fired in response to the suit that I had brought forward against this Public Agency.
    My advice to anyone that chooses to challenge the status-quo…approach with extreme caution—especially when it is a Public Agency. Public Agencies have, in many cases, huge war chests to draw upon in support of Workplace Bullying and unethical behavior, and their so-called steward s have no problem using that capital unethically.
    Standing up to Workplace Bullying can destroy the best intentioned Samaritan, but if I am any example, then it is a worthy battle.

  • Gwen P.

    Very timely. Our state SHRM conference just had a wonderful speaker on implementing Bully Free Workplaces. Her name is Valerie Cade. She has a book and a website. A must have for HR pros trying to implement practices to prevent and address bullying.

  • Wayne

    Speaking if redundency….”bullying” as described in the article clearly falls in any reasonable persons definition of harassment. Bottom line…if someone, regardless of racial or other status, would have solid ground to pursue legal action against an employer for not only perpetrating such behavior, but allowing it to continue in the workplace. Frankly, I’m more than surprized at the apparent lack of understanding of such CURRENT legislation and it’s inherent regulations within the workplace. If we have to create another policy that uses “bullying” as a separate type of prohibited or legislated behavior, then we will be perpetuating an unending reliance on more and more specific laws. End game…this specificity will create an atmosphere where people are no longer required to thnk, much less manage appropriately. How does this differ from, “that’s not in my job description” or “it doesn’t say that in the handbook”. Really… are we that mindless and incompetant that we need evry single example covered specifically and outlined in legislation? It seems like we are backing up instead of moving forward. As an HR professional, I’m embarassed that this is a subject worthy of consideration. We all know this….unless we have been asleep for the last 30 years!

  • Jimmy

    The HR department where I work are the bully’s! And, this company is a Fortune 500 company. So far, these laws do nothing to remove the fox from the hen house! Check out workplacebullying. org to see a more complete understanding of what workplace bullying is REALLY all about. Gary Namie’s book on the matter is very eye-opening. It’s NOT what you may think it is. In his book he describes the various kinds of personality type bullyies and what employees can do about them. His book mainly focuses on leadership bully’s like the kind we have in our company and the HR department is more supportive of bullying tactics than not. Employees who have filed workers compensation claims are targeted and bullyied, and that’s only one of the many kinds of bullying that leadership can and do condone. Unfortunately, many HR professionals learn how to “handle” employees just behind the line of retaliation and discrimination, but their actions are clearly in the realm of bullying. I hope this law passes and comes to my state. I am advocating it in our legislature and other concerned members of communities across America should stand for this kind of change that we need now, too.

  • Diane

    Aren’t we all grown-ups? This isn’t Elementary school. A skill that is getting lost in this crazy world is “coping skills”. Come on people. If you can’t stand up for yourself in you 20′s, 30′s 40′s etc. the problem is more you then anything!

  • Lori

    Thanks, Tammy, I wish I could find a new job. I live in Vermont and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever work with a bunch of people that would treat me like this. I have had two job interview in this small town and nothing else has come up. I can’t afford to just quit (not that I don’t ever think about it) because I am single with a mortgage. I am think about talking to someone about this whole matter because someday my thoughts will come out at this person. This company has done this in the past (2000) and they wrongfully fired an employee just because these employees didn’t like her. By the way, she won the case against this employer.

  • Wayne

    Lori,
    If the employer in question has already lost a lawsuit regarding hostile workplace or some specific harassment, then there is public record of past indiscretions with this employer. If you have been bullied, harassed or treated in an inappropriate way, then consult an attorney. If your case has merit, legislation exists that can protect you from further harassment and may provide financial or other remedy to already incurred damages to you. It sounds like from your description that you have concerns that you may act out in reaction to the bullying behavior you are experiencing. Don’t wait until you reach that point. If you act out, you may create a situation where you give cause to the employer to terminate you for unacceptable personal conduct. Cool heads prevail. Take the initiative and utilize any internal company resources. If you do not trust those resources, then consult outside assistance. As an HR person, I realize that some HR folks can and do abuse their positions and abuse power. I, for one, know that many HR professionals DO NOT abuse their percieved authority. The old school personnel model is simply a dinosaur…some just haven’t died off yet. Stand firm and best wishes!

  • Wayne

    Jimmy,
    I went to the website you referrenced. Interesting stuff. Although it seems a bit opportunistic and self ingratiating on the parts of the Institute Founders. It seems that the site is more of an advertisement for books to promote a renamed and already legislated concept. Ironically, I have been the brunt of workplace bullying, as well. Yes…it cost me a great deal. I learned much from the experience and I am better prepared for future attempts at such rediculous attacks. The fact is…people who bully other people are projecting their own personal feelings of inadequacy…and those that accept that bullying are allowing it to continue. Simply…eveyone has a choice as to whether or not they accept being a victim or take personal accountability and stand up for themselves with the assistance of the numerous “bona fide” resources available to all US Citizens. Have you ever heard of “Anti-Retaliation” legislation? It’s an interesting concept and actually does prohibit retaliation against employees that “blow the whistle” on illegal activities of behaviors perpetrated by employers or agents of those employers organizations. Be wary of salespeople selling “Miracle Medicine” or “Snake Oil” that is really sugar water with a fancy label. Call it what you want…it’s still sugar water. Bullying is harassment…and already legislated.

  • CJ

    Work place bullies do exist, but as adults, people need to be accountable for their own actions. I work for a small company, family owned. The owner consistently bullied people. But if you stood your ground, he actually had more respect for you. We are not grade schoolers. People need to grow up. And you are not chained to your job. I understand that jobs are hard to come by, but if you work in that environment and it is that upsetting to you, you do have options. Get in touch with an agency that can assist you in looking for a new job if that is what you want. It should not be up to the government to make new laws because you cannot take accountability or because you cannot stand up for yourself. I beleive in treating people the way I want to be treated. I was yelled at in my second week on the job and when this work place bully starting attacking me, I fought back. That was over 17 years ago. I now run his office. You have to earn respect but do not back down from your own morals. Be the bigger person.

  • D

    I wish some southern states would consider this legislation. Even though I’m the HR “spokesperson” (we have no real Human Resources dpt or person), we have a General Manager who is a definite bully and the company’s owner completely tolerates and supports his behavior.

  • Richard

    Not sure why we need laws for this stuff other than to give lawyers something to do. Employers ought to be smart enough to get in the face of a bully and change their behavior. If we employers did our job doing this then stupid laws like this would not be needed. Bring me a bully anytime and I bet i can get them to change their behavior (quick) or we do not need them. Thanks for listening.

  • some girl

    bullies are EVIL people.
    it is a know fact that a certain percentage of people in society are sociopathic.
    these crazies work… and sometimes its unfortunate they work with you.
    amen to the anti-bully laws.

  • Hector

    Anyone that has experienced being torchered by a bully can support this bill 100%. It takes a physical and mental toll on the victum and his family. Boss or co-worker, it doesn’t matter. People tend to shy away from a known bully instead of facing up to their behavior. Most people just quit and find happiness in another job. That is the wrong thing to do, it gives the bully more and more power! This law should be respeced just the same way sexual harassment is. It really is worse in some ways. We do not live in the dark ages, this needs to be placed on the legeslative list of priorities. I have been dealing with a bully for 3 years now. The fight has just begun for me but I will not give up, someone has to stop the insanity.

  • Lori

    Hi Hector,

    I was in a bully situation where I was just terminated. In October someone mentioned this book to me (I think was on this website) “The Bully at Work” by Gary and Ruth Namie. I started reading this book and it descriptions the people that I worked with to a tee. This book really helped me to stand up for myself and with the support of a former co-worker who left for the same reasons and my family I have made it through. If you have a union rep or someone to talk to about this, it really helps. Do not keep your feelings to yourself because you need to let them out so you don’t explode at work. And yes this is insane and these actions need to stop. These bullies need to grow up and start acting like adults instead of children.

  • Tiff

    I worked in an environment dominated by women..all of which had been there for a long time. They were buddies with the owner’s wife (top bully) and it was difficult to be a part of the team. They had a drawing for a quilt and told me that I should buy a ticket…if I was a team player, I did and I was in class that day so they threw my ticket back in and drew another name. I was yelled at by my supervisor and accused of losing files…which I pointed out to her were on her desk. I was finally in the position to get one of the bullies fired and I did, but I was “laid -off” a few weeks later. It was like working with old and bitter mean girls. They controlled everything and still are. They are jealous of anyone who is younger, more educated, thinner, etc. I hope Karma bites them all.

  • Anti-bully

    I agree with Lori that bullies have to grow up. But Kacy and CJ, you need to grow up as well. You sound like you’re supporting bullies. If you do that, you’ll never have a job. Are suggesting that victims should suffer in silence? How would you like to be bullied? If I were your boss and I found out that you bully, I’d fire you.

    Bullying should never be allowed in a workplace. Will bullies still pick on others even as senior citizens? My goodness, they need to get a life.

    According to what I read, bullying coudl get bullies beaten up in adulthood. So if you don’t want that to happen to you, you better not support bullying, go to far in bullying, let others suffer in silence. But if you do one, more, or all of them, you might as will suffer the consequences.

  • Kacy

    I’m not suggesting anyone suffer this treatment. What I said was that I don’t need the government to step in and give me yet another law to police people who are being total jerks. I think we are all competent enough to terminate someone for being a bully – I don’t need a federal law concerning it. So, I’m not supporting bullies in the workplace, I do have a job, I have been bullied many times by my male counterparts but every time it made me sharper and stronger – doesn’t mean it was right for them to intimidate me, but it happens. As the HR rep at my job, I’ll get rid of someone who bullies / intimidates / threatens another coworker repeatedly whether the Federal Government backs me up or not.

  • CJ

    Anti-bully,
    Learn to read. I said that every ADULT is responsible for their actions. No one said you have to stay at a job where you are being bullied. I also said that I was bullied by the owner, but I stood up for myself and 18 years later, I run the office. I DO NOT support bullies and I DO NOT bully. I am quite the opposite. Would you say that letting people leave early on their wedding anniversary, letting people leave early the day before they start vacation, buying birthday gifts, buying lunches, celebrating baseball opening days, celebrating super bowl week, telling people to get here safely when they are running late and not to worry about the time lost, letting people leave early in inclement weather to beat traffic, telling people when they get stressed to just go take a quick walk outside, on spring days telling people to just get outside for some fresh air, buying ice cream just because it is a nice summer day, playing trivia games for prizes, etc being a bully, well, then I guess I would be.
    Anti-bully-You need to learn to read more thoroughly and stop jumping to conclusions about people. You need to understand what “at will” employment is all about and Kacy, you are right, we are not adult baby sitters.

  • Eva Says

    CJ, you sound like a bully to me. Bullies don’t like being challenged. They yell “cry-baby” when their victim expresses pain. Bullying gives them a false sense of power and ridiculing the victim and making sport of their pain is an attempt to take the focus off their bad behavior. Blame the victim! They deserve what they get! Just suck it up! They prey on people who have a highly developed sense of integrity. They count on the fact that they won’t stoop to their level. They push the victim and ridicule them as being over-emotional or immature or mentally ill. They act the way they do because they’ve been bullied and have no allies, not even management. The bullies destroy the victim’s reputation and because their hatred is so rabid they will stop at nothing to convince the rest of the world that what they say is true. The victims have the same rights to work and not be bothered, bullied, or slandered as the bullies. Why should they leave their jobs? If anyone should leave, it should be the bully. I say that because in my experience bullies are often weak employees who call in sick for no reason, arrive late and take off early, pawn their work off on others, gossip most of the day at work and spend a considerable amount of time e-mailing their gossip to other co-workers, sometimes even tag-teaming to drive off the victim whom they consider a threat. If the victim leaves, there will always be another one right behind them to be scapegoated and keep the focus off the bullies. When managers grow a conscience there will be less reason for lawsuits, fewer broken lives, more productivity in the workplace, etc. And Diane, you should be wearing a scarlet “B” on your chest . . .

  • CJ

    In both my replies I have stated that I do not support bullies and I do not bully. I don’t understand Eva how you can say I bully people. I bend over backwards to accomodate the people who report to me trying to make their lives and jobs easier. You can ask any of the women I work with and they will tell you that I do not bully. Unfortunately, bullies do exist. All I am saying is that adults, we need to determine whether or not we want to work in that environment. If you want to, then you need to deal with the bully. Everyone has a different opinion of what bullying can be, if its name calling or yelling at a person. I do not support either. As adults, we have the choice on where we work.

  • Eva Says

    CJ, I read what you said. And in the end what I heard was that the victim should put up or shut up. As far as the need to deal with the bully –

    A bully will sometimes go to illegal means to victimize another co-worker. How does the co-worker prove it, expecially when it is serial bullying and many others are involved? You don’t seem to have a real grasp of the harm caused by bullying. But maybe you don’t want to know. It’s easier to exist in denial and tell the victim of bullying to stop making a big deal out of nothing. And if their lives are ruined as a result of bullying or they commit suicide, well, just blame that on weak character. After all, you’ve never been a victim of bullying. Yet.

  • CJ

    Yes, Eva, I have been bullied; by the owner of the company. Many times. I didn’t leave my job because I liked it. I handled it by arguing back. I witnessed him bully just about everyone in the company. And many times, I told him he was wrong. So first of all, read thoroughly, my first reply stated this fact; secondly I do have a grasp on this issue. I witnessed it every day for 17 years, until the owner retired. As adults, don’t you think we need to take care of ourselves? Don’t you think it is up to us to determine where we work? There are different types of bullying too. Personally, I would not let a bully ruin my life. But that is me. It sounds like maybe you have had personal experience in being bullied and that is not right. I do not advocate bullying. I think it is mean. I also am not saying that it is weak character. Everyone has their own tolerance level. And if someone were to commit suicide over being bullied, that is a tragedy. It should never get to that point. So Eva, please don’t assume the type of personality of me and don’t put words into my replies. I have never once in any of my replies agreed with the action of bullying.

  • EMP

    I responded to this discussion back on 11/3/2008. At that time we had four women and two men who were bullies in a workforce of 200. When I was hired I had been bullied by these individuals and have seen others go through the same treatment. Since that time, as the HR Manager I have worked very hard with their supervisors in providing an environment free from harrassment. It helped that other new people were being hired (I had been here a year prior) and I was able to provide proof that this was a common practice for these individuals. For the most part, some of these individuals had no idea how they were coming across to their victims. We provided expectations and reviewed competencies with each one. Two of the ladies are still problem children but as I observe them, they see how others have moved up due to their positive attitudes and they have lost their ‘power’ because the others have seen the opportunities a changed attitude has provided them.

    Bullies take away your self esteem and you lay victim to their accusations bc in many cases you have no place to turn to. Yes, you need to stand up for yourself, let the truth be known, don’t give up and if you are a manager, and you don’t have to be in HR, do not tolerate it. It is a critical coversation but the bully needs to be told to stop.

    Also, those of us that are victims, don’t fall into their game. Don’t give them power, don’t gossip about them, silently document, follow some of the good guidlelines provided by Jacki posted on 11/3, and if you do not have management support, stay righteous, or you could find another job. I believe what goes around comes around. Yes, I’d like to be around to see it but just knowing someday will happen is gratifying as well. By the way — when I left my previous job, I worked for a bully that told me every week “I just don’t know if you will have a job next week” and the corporate HR did not support me when I advised them of the treatment. When I did my exit interview I sent my exit interview to the VP’s of the company. This individual was sent to EAP and my ex-coworkers thank me everytime they see me.

  • Eva Says

    CJ, sorry but I did not read back to the original post. I was going by your comments on August 14th. I thought this was a general discussion on the topic of bullying. I’m still bothered by your comments of the 14th but, from the sound of your last post, I believe I misjudged you. I wanted to see someone stand by the victim and not — as I’ve experienced in the past — take sides with the bully because it’s easier to take sides with the “winning” team. And you’re right . . . time takes care of the bully and sometimes I don’t have time to wait on that. Good point!

    EMP, thanks for sharing your experience and advice, as well as the reference to Jacki’s post of 11/3. As you might have already realized, I’m still trying to get over my experience. Dwelling on it won’t help but hearing those who understand and have advice to offer certainly does. Thank you.

  • EmployerBully

    To Julieanne:

    I, too, work for an employer who is a bully, and he also allows his general managers to bully/belittle employees. Lately (with the country’s unemployment on the rise), he has gotten worse. He will actually tell you to go ahead and find another job because he can select your replacement from no less than 200 applicants. He will call you names like ‘sorry’, ‘lazy’, ‘worthless’, ‘son of a b***ch’, ‘mother f***er’, and whatever rolls out of his mouth. He stops just short of racial or gender slurs. Our state is not on the list, but I honestly don’t think that legislation would stop him because he does not even abide by FLSA, DOT, or any other existing laws.

  • CJ

    Eva,
    Thank you. Being bullied is terrible and frustrating. I wanted to quit many times but I truly love my job. I learned how to deal with it in my own way, which doesn’t work for everyone. But after 18 years, I am still at the company which the bully owns and I can still say I love my job. He has since retired. If anything, I have toughened up and learned how to stand up for myself; which I never did before. So in an odd way, it helped me. I understand not everyone is in that position. I would never advocate bullying but I do advocate standing up for yourself. There is plenty of good advice here and we all learn from each other. It sounds as though you had a terrible experience and that is sad. Verbal abuse is hard to get over, but you can eventually. Speaking as someone who has been in that position, don’t lose faith; just think Karma! It all circles around sooner or later.

  • CJ

    Employer/Bully-that is horrible. And the fact that other managers get away with it is even worse. Someone really needs to report him on the exisiting laws that he does violate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the employees. But, people need to keep notes with dates and times and incidents should it ever get elevated to a legal status. If anyone were to get fired and has this kind of information documented, it could mean trouble for Mr. Bullyman. My bully boss called people names here and quite frequently dropped “F” bombs. It is totally unprofessional. Unfortunately, your boss is right as far as finding replacements since there are so many unemployeed people. The key is, would the next person stand for it and is he willing to take the chance of someone sueing him? Maybe someone needs to spit that tidbit out to him. Good luck and I hope you find a better boss.

  • Cassandra

    The problem is with the workplace bullying is that if you are being harassed then more than likely you are not the only one. In my case I was supervising and they had brought back a former supervisor. Now there are personal issues between me and her because of personal feelings I was having towards someone, however it didn’t stop with me. She has continued with alot of the employees on the shift. She accused one person of changing things in the computer, she has made it where another girl is not allowed to talk to anyone or people can not talk to her or they both get in trouble. Basically anyone who is not buddy buddy with her she gives a hard time sooner or later. People are afraid to go complain about her because when I went and complained I was demoted and sent to a different shift, someone else who had tried to complain was fired. How do you stop this?

'