If your company has some employees who have decided to put off retirement for a few more years, you’ll want to keep an eye out for this troubling workplace trend.
Whether it’s managers that are trying to push older staffers out, or younger co-workers who feel more mature employees are keeping them from moving up, the incidents of bullying aimed at older employees seems to be on the rise.
The proof: Twenty-nine percent of employees age 55 and older said they’ve been bullied at work, according to a recent CareerBuilder study.
Even more troubling: The number of age-based harassment claims received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2011 was 6,406, up from the 5,181 the EEOC got in 2007.
Where to look
So it may be a good idea to tell managers and supervisors to be on the lookout for incidents of bullying aimed at older staffers. Also, let all employees know: Bullying in any form will not be tolerated in the workplace.
4 most common signs
It’s important to recognize the signs of workplace bullying.
Here are four of the most common forms of workplace bullying:
1. Verbal insults. Example: Bob calls Sean “stupid” because of a mistake, etc.
2. Slandering a co-worker’s name. Telling people that Marnie’s sleeping around with younger co-workers, or Lloyd has a drinking problem.
3. Excluding certain workers. Being excluded from the majority of departmental activities.
4. Unreasonable management. A supervisor saddling an employee with an inordinate amount of work –or an unwarranted disciplinary action.