Allstate Protects Their Bullies

I am now posting the articles I receive, to this board instead of the front page. I think it will simplify things and I can get the articles posted quicker. Our sincere thanks to Deborah True who sends most of them to us.

Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby Bullied Employee » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:23 pm ... a_id=10918

By Nancy Schuman 02/01/2007 1:48 pm

I sat having coffee last weekend with a good friend who was wrestling with a dilemma. Her 7-year-old daughter was facing daily intimidation by the school bully. My friend wanted to teach her child how to stand up for herself without solving the problem for her. Later that night I was with another friend who wanted to talk shop with me because he was thinking of changing jobs. He said, "I’m just so tired of being bullied by my boss."
Both conversations got me thinking how some people make a short leap from schoolyard bully to workforce bully in one lifetime. No matter how old you are or where you are in life or career, abuse by a bully can pose a serious threat to your emotional and physical well-being. When bullying happens in the workplace, it creates a dysfunctional environment that can yield high staff turnover, lost productivity and increased litigation—and it may jeopardize employee health and insurance costs.
Bullies in the workplace are not uncommon. According to a survey by the Washington-based Workplace Bully Institute (, bullying is two to three times more prevalent than illegal discrimination, and one in six workers experience bullying. Think about where you work. Is there a bully among your colleagues? Characteristics of bullying behavior include constant faultfinding and criticism of trivial things. A bully may refuse to acknowledge your value to the organization and consistently attempt to undermine your position, status and potential. Bullies may behave in a subtle, manipulative way or they may demean you outright and expose you to verbal abuse or belittle you in front of others.
A bully makes aggressive behavior the norm. At work, a bully typically tries to advance himself or herself at the expense of a vulnerable coworker who is generally much more capable, but passive and/or somewhat timid. A bully’s target is often reluctant to come forward for fear of retribution; and if the bully is the boss, there is the additional fear of job loss. According to the Workplace Bully Institute, 7 out of 10 targets of bullies leave their job, 33 percent voluntarily, while 37 percent are fired as a result of performance issues such as high sick-day absences or on-the-job errors. At least 80 percent of a bully’s targets are female and 58 percent of the bullies themselves are women.
Many years ago, while I was still in college, I encountered a workplace bully. He was a high-profile personality who lived and breathed bullying. It was his style of management and his superiors knew it and let him continue, because his division generated high revenues despite his toxic behavior. His staff feared him and we achieved high productivity because we lived in daily fear of losing our jobs. I remember the day I quit. I felt so empowered I could have leapt tall buildings in a single bound. I learned back then that no job is worth the emotional and psychological angst that slowly had become part of my daily routine. I wasn’t going to be a victim of my job. And that’s why I told my friend who was tired of his bullying boss to either change his own reaction to the boss’ behavior, or to change his job.
What can you do if you are a bully’s target?
• Keep a detailed written record of each incident. Note date, time, place, who else was present, and the type of behavior you experienced.
• While under attack from a bully, stay calm. Respond in a clear, coherent manner.
• Confront the bully and tell them to stop. Make the bully aware of his or her own behavior and state firmly that you will no longer tolerate their attacks and if they continue, you will report it to management.
• If the bullying continues, break your silence by speaking to someone in a leadership role such as a human resources representative or senior supervisor.
• File a formal complaint or learn what the grievance procedure is in your organization.
• If your employer makes no attempt to correct the bully’s behavior, find a new job. Do not work in an environment that permits or supports such unacceptable behavior.
And as for my friend’s daughter, they got a children’s book titled Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain, by Trevor Romain, and read it together. Bullies are a pain. Learning how to cope with them is a valuable life lesson for all of us—and you can do it, whether you’re 7 or 37.
Bullied Employee

What can you do if you are a bully’s target?

Unread postby Guest » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:56 am

What can you do if you are a bully’s target?

• Keep a detailed written record of each incident. Note date, time, place, who else was present, and the type of behavior you experienced.
• While under attack from a bully, stay calm. Respond in a clear, coherent manner.
• Confront the bully and tell them to stop. Make the bully aware of his or her own behavior and state firmly that you will no longer tolerate their attacks and if they continue, you will report it to management.
• If the bullying continues, break your silence by speaking to someone in a leadership role such as a human resources representative or senior supervisor.
• File a formal complaint or learn what the grievance procedure is in your organization.
• If your employer makes no attempt to correct the bully’s behavior, find a new job. Do not work in an environment that permits or supports such unacceptable behavior.

Allstate protectes its incompetent management. Forget about using the "ALLSTATE WE CARE PROGRAM". It should be titled the "WE CARE ABOUT ALLSTATE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM". The current Allstate program is equivalent to a Jew making a complaint to the SS regarding Nazis actions. In so doing, the Jew has red flagged themself for certain retaliation.
The "ALLSTATE WE CARE PROGRAM" should be revamped to where an independent mediation firm is utilized with both parties in agreement to that company. Otherwise, the Allstate employee is playing against a stacked deck.

House Bill 213-Healthy Workplace Act

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:43 am ... -bully.txt

Letter: Bullying happens to adults as well

I am writing in support of House Bill 213, the Healthy Workplace Act. I am the state chair of Bully Busters, a position I accepted after being bullied and harassed in the workplace. I hear from victims every day - people who are afraid of losing their jobs but who say to me, "I just can't take it anymore." They can't quit because they need the work. They can't work because of the bullying. They simply try to hang on and survive from day to day.

Now, let's move from emotion to facts:

Workplace bullying crosses gender lines.

An estimated one in six workers experience bullying at some time during their careers.

Bullies interfere with workplace performance.

Bullies do affect the bottom line. Many workers find another position, leaving the employer to bear the cost of training and retraining employees.

Bullying does affect mental and physical health. Depending upon its severity, employees may begin to suffer from anxiety, stress and (depending upon their own mental and physical history) post-traumatic stress disorder.

The result of physical and mental difficulties is higher workers' compensation and health care costs.

Bullies who are not stopped expose their employer to legal liability.

Bullying does occur. Employers and employees both have a right to a healthy workplace. This bill provides the framework to accomplish that goal.

Lorna Stremcha

I agree wrote on January 28, 2007 2:46 AM
My sister has been going through this for some time now. She works for a woman boss who's position has gone to her head and is getting out of control. My sister has worked there for along time and still has a several years to go until retirement. I told her to carry a tape recorder and tell her boss to talk into the recorder everytime she talks to her. This may help stop the abuse for fear of a law suit.

Wife of a bullied child/husband wrote on January 28, 2007 7:39 AM
My child is experiencing this in school, where he has really had some stress, but his father has had it in work, most especially Walmart, where he was repeatedly called "fatass" "grunt" and told when he complained to the Head Honcho that he just needed to "grow a thicker skin". Well, I disagree, and he has now left there to greener pastures, but I guarantee that this is a problem and it does need legislature as well as any other topic that interferes with their ability to work. I will tell you that he was so angry, he did consider violence and I think that had he not been a law abiding man there would have been a very bad situation at Walmart on the evening news. Question is, will the next person stay sane enough to care about the law?

F wrote on January 28, 2007 8:20 AM
Let us not forget that a good majority of bullies are the employers themselves.

bullied teacher wrote on January 28, 2007 9:17 AM
I experienced five years of bullying by a superintendent at my school. I was targeted, denigrated, and picked on. This superintendent was oppressive and domineering, and set that tone for others in positions of power and authority in the school as well, so there was really a "trickle-down effect" that affected the students too. I endured untold duress and mental anguish during this time period- I had trouble sleeping and concentrating. After five years, he left, and I considered myself a survivor. Then, two years later, the school board brought him back again, and the bullying became almost unbearable, to the point where an event occurred that was catastrophic and immense. He did all he could to crush my spirit. I was harassed and persecuted. Eventually, he resigned, but the effects of the trauma are still with me each day. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that i would be a victim of such intense oppression. I truly am a survivor.

Eric R. wrote on January 28, 2007 9:37 AM
Ms. Stremcha, are you a big supporter of the U.N. by chance?

sometime this/sometimes that wrote on January 28, 2007 11:57 AM
Sometimes I suspect 'bullying' in the workplace is really in the mind of the over sensitive, but when it is real everything Ms. Stremcha says is true enough. There are lots of jobs out there at the moment, if you are unhappy go find a different one.

Had enough wrote on January 28, 2007 7:38 PM
Hope Jeff G. read that. To all the good Jeff G's out there my comment is not directed at you. He knows who he is......

Arnie Hove wrote on January 28, 2007 7:55 PM
BG thanks for this story! I feel sorry for those who have suffered! Bullies need to be caught and hung whether in the school yard or at work! For those of you who disagree that is your right but still bullies need to be caught and hung!

Hey wrote on January 28, 2007 11:47 PM
If you join the National Guard DO NOT JOIN ALPHA COMPANY 163 INFANTRY HERE IN BILLINGS. The majority of the NCOs in charge have nothing in thier lives worth while so they bully the enlisted men underneeth them. They are horrible and need to be brough out in the open. If you know of anybody considering the N. Gaurd, let them know.

Phil wrote on January 29, 2007 7:39 AM
For anyone out there that experiences bullying a new job is not really the answer.Destruction of that persons reputation which WILL follow that person around all their lives.These sick individuals should be held accountable for their acts of destruction.

ljs wrote on January 30, 2007 9:55 PM
Bullys stink.

Bible thumper considering becoming an atheist wrote on January 31, 2007 2:54 AM
I remember a story where children bullied a prophet of God. I think they teased the prophet about being bald. God sent a bear to kill them all. Where is God today when you need him?

Bully's beware! wrote on January 31, 2007 2:17 PM
I was bullied in grade school by a certain group of girls and I know the lasting effects it has on a person. Even now when I see these same people who tormented me as children, I become nervous and unsure of myself. I have to remind myself that I am an adult now and so are they. After some common chit chat and we go on our way, I always have to wonder if they realized the damage they caused. But I'd like to tell this story, just for the sake of getting it off my chest....heehee....this girl began bullying me in 1st grade, year after year, I endured torment from her, physical, pyschological, mental, social. I never really knew why this particular girl hated me, I wasn't an outcast among my classmates, I dressed nice, I had friends...I guess she was the one with the problems. My mother told me to just walk away or go tell, after telling a few times I realized the teachers weren't going to do anything about it, so I just tried my best to stay away from her. That was basically the focus of my day, was to stay out of "her" path.....anyways fast fwd to 6th grade. One day she walked by me and elbowed me in the back. That was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, I jumped up and grabbed her and proceeded to beat the daylights out of her. That was the last day she EVER did anything to me. So it's understandable how someone can resort to violence after being tormented so long. I'm glad that this bullying behaviour isn't tolerated anymore and children won't have to endure it.

Lorna Stremcha wrote on February 02, 2007 9:59 PM
For those that don't think I don't know what I'm talking about pay a visit to my home and you can witness for yourself what "bullies" in power can do. I have the Federal and State documents to prove it. Guess what these people are taking care of your children. Guess what they are sitting on the Board of Education and some are running MEA/MFT.

Sandra wrote on February 03, 2007 8:31 PM
I have been bullied in the workplace. Verbal and emotional abuse. Called nasty names, had doors slammed in my face, pens thrown at me and not paid for work that was done. I still face the person who bullied me as he has filed fraudulant tax forms saying I worked for him in 2006. I

L.A.Dille wrote on February 09, 2007 6:43 AM
I have also experienced bullying in the work place. Actually I believe it's even more common than Lorna has mentioned in this article. This is a bill must needs be passed.

Evelyn wrote on February 09, 2007 12:39 PM
If the author ever experienced the type of buillying that I have she would have a different opinion of the events. It is like an emotional RAPE.

Katie wrote on February 09, 2007 12:47 PM
Bulling in the workplace is simply abuse and no one should be subjected to any type of abuse. You may as well accept domestic violence. I am an bullied individual with my ordeal lasting for more than three years. When I attempted to fight back I found I had no legal grounds against my employer the federal government. I am one of several other females that experienced this type of abuse from the same manager in the same federal organization. We truely salute our government for supporting abuse in the workplace

Helen wrote on February 12, 2007 1:24 PM
Bullying in the workplace interferes with the legitimate business practice of any company. It is not cost effective for a company. And it creates and breeds hostility which leads to other forms of violence. Not to mention the medical and emotional issues of the individual involved.

Lacy wrote on February 12, 2007 1:30 PM
Bullying in the workplace is not pretty. I worked for a company where this behavior was tolerated. The impact on the victim was tremendous and the impact on those of us who had to watch was equally as devastating. No one felt as if they could trust anyone because some other employees were involved in carrying out the abuse; you didn’t know who would be next. The majority of the experienced employees started to leave.

Kimberly wrote on February 12, 2007 1:37 PM
I work in an organization where bullying is tolerated and promoted. The environment is hostile all the time. I am the primary target of this abuse along with a few people who chose to remain my friend. We are not allowed to voice any opinions in meetings etc… We are watched and reported on all the time. We are always accused of some type of wrong doing. Our manager would prefer it if we didn’t exist all together. I spend the better part of my day trying to anticipate and fend off the next attack. Some mornings when I get up I wish I was headed to Iraq at least there I would know who the enemy is.

L.J. wrote on February 12, 2007 1:55 PM
I am finally glad to see this issue bullying in the workplace is being discussed. The company I work for is notorious for bad behavior. I have watched way too long as one female in particular suffer the consequences of my manager and a select few co-workers. Paralyzed with fear I have been unable to speak up or to speak out because I don’t want the same thing to happen to me. I have watched as good workers are run off just to escape the abuse of this manager. He openly admits that no one can stop him.

Mary wrote on February 15, 2007 10:17 AM
Being a victin of bullying has almost drove me to suicide. I just couldn't take the abuse all the time and if I leave my job I will have to be on welfare. So I just try to ignore the whole situation

Lorna Stremcha wrote on February 26, 2007 9:03 AM
Evelyn, from Feb. 9, 2007, for your information I went through hell. I was nearly raped at school. I have been a rape victim and do agree that worplace violence 'bullying" is like being raped. A matter of fact, I state that several times in my documents. I also equate it to being domestic abuse. I grew in a very abusive home, so I know from where I speak. The school district that I worked for went as far as spreading disgusting rumors about me by way of mouth and the press. I was stopped in grocery stories, restaurnts, etc and harassed by strangers. The silence is what allowed this to on. School administrators lied to Montana Human Rights and during depostitions, they forced me to put my daughter in a different school. My own children were put through hell, because of these monsters. They destroyed students grades and falisfied three quarters worth of grades on report cards. They watched my house, deprived me of my right go to my own children's activities on school grounds (right to travel). They never allowed me my due process and much more. I went into a sevre depression and PTSD. I did nothing wrong. My story is long and very complex. I fought the legal battle for over four years. I continue to fight it. I don't want anyone to ever go through what I went throug and continue to go through. That is why am trying to get HB213 passed. It one move towards making things better. This is also why I am trying to get my story out there. If you have a story, tell it. Bullies are powerful in silence. We need to all work together. I'm working on getting some conferences together. You may contact me: Lorna Stremcha, State Coordinator for Bully Busters (406) 265-7167. We all need to make noise. Look up Bully Busters on the Web. Write the legislature today. Hang in there.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:59 am

For Washington State residents only


House Bill HB 2142
"An act relating to providing legal redress
for targets of workplace bullying, abuse, and harassment."

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When the Bully is the Boss

Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:35 pm ... 01&ntpid=0

When the bully is the boss

Workplace persecution hurts productivity, health, creativity, experts say

By Mary Bergin
The Capital Times

Physically safe working conditions and fair employee treatment help make a workplace healthy, but some say another aspect needs to be confronted.

The on-the-job bully, who is usually but not always a boss, drains productivity, creativity and employee health, says Gary Namie of Washington, director of the nonprofit Workplace Bullying Institute, established in 1997 and financed by consultant work.

Some of the behavior is the result of escalating work demands, says Corliss Olson, a labor educator at the UW Extension's School for Workers, whose programs address employee concerns. Downsizing and competition raise work expectations and stress.

Corliss Olson, a labor educator at the UW Extension's School for Workers, believes the amount of workplace bullying is growing.
"We're beyond lean and mean," Olson says. "We're anorexic and vicious."

Research indicates bullying stops, in 75 percent of cases, only when a person leaves a job. That is roughly the same percentage of Americans who describe their jobs as stressful.

"People arrive at bullyhood by at least three different paths: through personality development, by reading cues in a competitive, political workplace, and by accident," Namie writes in "The Bully at Work," a book written with his wife, Ruth.

Teachers can reprimand children who taunt classmates, but it is harder to stop bullying behavior among adults, particularly when job rank, mind games, subtle signals, group dynamics and/or private confrontations complicate the issue.

"Many bullies can be very charming and (seem like) effective leaders," Olson says. Namie refers to NCAA basketball coach Bobby Knight as a high-profile example of a bully who is tolerated because of his career success.

"Good employers purge workplace bullies," Olson says. "Bad employers promote them." Targets (she prefers this term to "victims") tend to be "empathetic, just and fair people."

The bully "will watch and seek the opportunity to pick on someone who they see as vulnerable and threatening," says Barb Becker of Elroy, who says she lost a higher education job because of bullying. "It's hard to recognize when it's happening," she says, because incidents may appear petty to others. Today she works with sexually violent people and "I find that less stressful."

The affected employee's first reaction, Olson says, is that "if you're getting targeted, you must have done something wrong." Advice to "grow a thicker skin" or "don't take things so seriously" are typical, but Namie says bullying is "way beyond a personality conflict - it's not involving personality at all," but a power imbalance that is repeated and consistent.

He thinks "bullies know they're bullies, but have rationalized their actions."

Consider the boss who ignores or rolls his eyes at a worker's question, the co-worker who intimidates and isolates through body language, voice level or gossip. An employee may be treated differently than peers: excluded from department socializing, or his work accomplishments may be minimized.

Public humiliation also can be a signal: Think about the customer who makes life difficult for a bank teller, or gives waitstaff grief while dining.

"There's no case law for this, and in the vast majority of cases, there is no legal recourse," Namie says. Eleven states have introduced 25 bills to address bullying, and Joanna Thoms of Menasha, in litigation with Berbee Information Networks Corp. because of alleged bullying, is trying to get legislation introduced in Wisconsin.

Australia, Quebec and several European nations recognize "mobbing in the workplace" and for years have had laws in place to control it. "Until evil is named, it cannot be addressed," Marquette University ethicist Daniel Maguire has said, in support of a book about this topic.

Olson says being a tough boss, or an employee who challenges authority, is different than bullying. Bullying, she says, is deliberate, hurtful and repeated. It is mistreatment "driven by the bully's desire to control the target."

"The stress, as a consequence, is like post-traumatic stress syndrome," says Olson. She and Namie also draw parallels to domestic violence, in which the target sometimes blames herself for the situation.

"It falls on the abused to stop" the behavior," Namie says. There is denigration, a tendency to "blame them for their plight and force them to resolve it."

Stress can be compounded by the reactions of co-workers. "Other people around the target tend to keep their head down; we can't cope with the illogic of it, so there is this problem with people jumping on board" by ignoring, isolating or ganging up on the person being bullied, Olson says.

Sweden in 1994 enacted the first legislation to confront bullying. Quebec legislation, enacted 10 years later, has since resulted in the filing of 4,000 complaints - but "people are fairly discouraged," Namie says, because only one has made it through the legal labyrinth.

Olson believes there is a growing amount of bullying at work, in part because "hierarchy was more established in the past - you knew your place, you got and followed your orders."

Having a more egalitarian society changes those dynamics, says Olson, who conducts workshops on bullying for college students, employment lawyers, labor unions and others.

"Bullying may be difficult to detect, but it is far more common than harassment or workplace violence and can be equally as devastating," stated the UW's "Break Away!" catalog, to describe a "Bullying in the Workplace" mini-course offered by Olson in 2006.

What are the solutions? "You need to support the target," Olson says, and "use mission statements to hold feet to the fire."

Building a respectful workplace, she says, means modeling the behavior that you'd like to see in others. It can be less abrasive to inquire about "what's working around here?" and "how do we want to be treated?" instead of pointing fingers of blame to improve the work environment.

Namie's work as a consultant has involved companies whose employee "turnover erodes production beyond belief." His job is to find and purge the bullies, then write the healthy workplace language that, if enforced, changes the work environment.

A challenge often is "to break the denial about the source of their problem," Namie says. There is a tendency to fear a problem executive, or people in power "have liked them so long" that dismissal seems preposterous.

"Friendships and relationships trump productivity and fairness," he says.

"There is a huge joint interest in solving this problem," Olson says, who notes that "most employees start a job enthusiastic, but we suck the life out of people instead of nourishing" them.

Published: March 13, 2007
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:42 pm

The EEOC Receives More Male Complaints of Sexual Harassment: Bad News?
Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007

Last month, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") released job discrimination statistics revealing that complaints are on the rise for the first time in four years. About a third of the complaints concern gender-based harassment, and a record 15.4 percent of the harassment cases were filed by men, a majority of whom apparently allege that they were subject to male-on-male harassment.

On the surface, this might sound like a lot of bad news, especially if we assume that there has been no substantial increase in the absolute number of employed individuals. But there is another way to look at the data. More complaints could simply reflect a greater willingness on the part of victims to report discrimination, rather than an increase in actual instances of discrimination.

Why would a larger fraction of discrimination victims be willing to come forward and complain? The EEOC's data do not say directly, but at least for the men, a greater willingness to report discrimination could reflect a change in workplace and social norms. If so, that would be good news.

Title VII: The Federal Law Prohibiting Workplace Sex Discrimination

The federal law that governs workplace discrimination on the basis of sex (as well as race, color, religion, and national origin) is Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act ("Title VII"). Under Title VII, an employer may not discriminate on the basis of sex with respect to hiring, promotion, termination, or conditions of employment.

A straightforward example of prohibited job discrimination is an employer's decision to pay a male employee more money than a female employee, even though the man and the woman perform the very same tasks (and their jobs require the same level of education, prior experience, and skill).

Wages and salary are not, of course, the only conditions of employment. As everyone who has held a variety of jobs knows, there are many intangibles that can make the difference between a great (or at least tolerable) position - whatever the salary might be - and a job that occasions daily dread and anxiety. One factor is the environment in which an employee carries out her responsibilities. Are people collegial, supportive, and cooperative? Are they nasty, cold, and undermining? Do they look for sexual favors in exchange for career advancement?

A boss may - without violating any law - be generally abusive, and colleagues may regularly sabotage each other's efforts. Much employment in the U.S. is "at will," which means that employers can hire or fire whomever they please, pay him or her as inequitably as they wish, and tolerate relentlessly obnoxious behavior, provided the employers do not discriminate along a prohibited dimension in so doing. Much of what makes many employees curse the day they were born is accordingly perfectly legal.

Creating or tolerating a discriminatorily hostile work environment, however, violates Title VII. If an employee suffers at work and suspects that the suffering occurs on account of her sex (or race, or other characteristic listed in the statute), then she can bring a complaint to the EEOC and may ultimately go to court to compel her employer to remedy the situation.

Unlawful Discrimination Works Both Ways

When Congress first passed Title VII, people understood that it was designed to provide protection for members of disadvantaged groups from mistreatment on account of that membership.

Most centrally, at the time, employers would risk a lawsuit if they excluded or unfairly terminated African-American employees. In contrast, people did not immediately envision Title VII as a source of rights for white people.

Similarly, in the case of sex - a category added at the last minute, in a failed bid to motivate Congress to vote against the whole bill - no one initially viewed Title VII as a source of rights for men. Times change, however. The terms of the statute prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, and that means that men too receive protection from discrimination.

At the most basic level, this means that if an employer hates men, hires almost none, and mistreats those whom she does hire, then that employer acts in violation of Title VII. It also means something more subversive: At least in theory, it can be unlawful for an employer to foster an environment that punishes men and/or women for failing to conform to their assigned gender roles.

The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged this theory in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. There, a female senior manager was passed over for partner and subsequently advised, when told of the decision, that she should "walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry." The Supreme Court recognized that she had a valid complaint of sex discrimination. Though she was not passed over for partner simply for being female, she evidently did not make partner because she was deemed too "masculine," a quality that would not have posed similar difficulties for a male candidate.

By the same token, a male employee who suffers a hostile work environment because of an employer's (or fellow employees') perception that he lacks masculinity would have a valid cause for complaint as well.

More Men Complaining of Sexual Harassment: Two Possibilities

As noted above, we know from the EEOC statistics that an increasing number and percentage of men are bringing formal complaints against their employers for sexual harassment in violation of Title VII. But what do the rising numbers mean?

One form of sexual harassment - called "quid pro quo" - occurs when an employer attempts to exact sexual favors in exchange for job advancement (or when an employer allows other employees to do so with impunity). It is possible, then, that there are more predatory women and men who have begun to pursue subordinate male employees for sexual congress.

Though conceivable, this seems unlikely. First, it appears that a majority of the harassment cases are of men against other men, a fact which necessarily diminishes the role of predatory women in the story. Second, workplaces, unfortunately, remain sufficiently homophobic to preclude widespread attempts by male superiors to exchange job benefits for sex with their male subordinates.

The More Likely Offense: Men Punishing "Unmasculine" Men

So who is carrying out violations of Title VII against males - if not predatory men or women looking for sex? The answer is that men are likely singling out for mistreatment those of their fellow male employees who fail to conform to masculinity norms.

If in fact there is an increase in this sort of behavior, then that is surely bad news. Neither men nor women should have to undergo gender-based bullying at work. As with race, part of what sex discrimination is about is policing the boundaries between men's and women's supposed "places." Making men behave "like men" and women "like women" is a way of ensuring that equality can never fully flower.

More Discriminatory Behavior or a Greater Willingness to Challenge It?

There is another possibility. Maybe there has not actually been an increase in male-victim harassment at work. Perhaps instead, the amount of reporting of male-victim sexual harassment has increased steadily over the last few years. I suspect this may be true, because men and boys have been bullying what Arnold Schwarzenegger famously called "girly men" for the entire time that Title VII has been the law.

If men are not bullying other men any more than they always have, then why might there be an increase in complaints? Because Title VII introduced a relatively new norm to the workplace: Treat people equally well, even if some of them are men, others women, some black, others white, etc. New norms always encounter some resistance.

One kind of resistance takes the form of a failure to comply with the mandate: In this instance, despite Title VII, some employers have continued to tolerate and promote a hostile work environment for women, or for men who "act like" women.

A second, underappreciated, form of resistance comes from the victims of harassment themselves. Having internalized the norm approving their mistreatment, they are reluctant to complain, for fear of alienating people and becoming even more outcast than they already are. (Of course, some may also be reluctant to complain due to fear of retaliation for their complaint stemming from the first kind of resistance - though that too is illegal under Title VII - or career consequences as word of their complaint spreads, as Scott Moss elaborated in his earlier column.)

Particularly in the case of a man who suffers bullying because he "acts like a girl," what could be more "girly" than going to the EEOC to "tell on" the boss? Moreover, the very act of complaining about the bullying could feel - to many - almost as humiliating as the bullying itself.

The fact that more male complaints of sexual harassment are making their way to the EEOC may suggest, then, that the rightfully subversive counternorms of Title VII have begun to set in. Rather than "believe" superiors who tell them that they should act like "men" or accept the consequences, an increasing number of men may be standing up for their right to be who they are, without apology. And significantly, an increasing number of men may be telling the EEOC about their bullies' behavior and asking that such behavior be recognized for what it is - sex discrimination, in violation of Title VII.

Overcoming the victim shame associated with male-on-male harassment may be the first step to being liberated (and to liberating others - male and female alike) from such reprehensible treatment.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:55 pm ... ines-local

Anti-Bullying Movement Turns To Workplace
March 10, 2007
By DON STACOM, Courant Staff Writer
Menacing managers, snide supervisors and caustic colleagues, beware.

A nationwide campaign to end "workplace bullying" has reached Connecticut this year, with lawmakers considering legislation to prohibit bosses from being abusive to their workers.

"We don't allow bullying in schools, and there should be no bullying in the workplace, either," said Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, a key advocate of the proposed law.

"We should have some kind of standard of respect for each other regardless of whether you're the boss or the employee," Prague said. "Why should anybody be subjected to bullying or embarrassing treatment of any kind?"

The Connecticut bill would outlaw "threatening, intimidating or humiliating" conduct by a boss or co-worker and would ban repeated insults and epithets. There is no description of precisely what those terms cover, but the target is "hostile and offensive" behavior that happens more than once.

The proposal also doesn't specify a penalty; instead, it would give workers the grounds to sue their employers or co-workers. It is based on the Healthy Workplace Bill, an initiative promoted over the past decade by Gary and Ruth Namie. The Washington state couple have written a book and created a consulting business based on their contention that workplace bullying - inflicted most commonly by managers against less-powerful employees - is psychologically damaging to individuals and destructive to companies that don't intervene.

At least a half-dozen other states are considering similar legislation this year, but so far there are no laws anywhere in the country against workplace hostility, according to the Namies' website,

"This would be a pioneering thing, I think we'd be the first. That's something to be proud of," said Prague, whose labor committee backed the bill this week on an 8-3 party-line vote. That decision sent it to the Senate floor for a vote later in the legislative session.

There's a good reason that no other states have adopted the law, according to Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, one of the three Republicans who cast "no" votes.

"There's no doubt bullying goes on, and the concept of stopping it is probably good," Guglielmo said Thursday. "But this bill has no enforcement, and it has no intermediate step - people just go right to court. No arbitration. I think that would create a lot of litigation that would just cost everybody a lot of money."

Connecticut has laws to protect workers against sexual and racial harassment or age discrimination, but nothing specifying workplace intimidation or hostility.

A spokeswoman for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said the organization opposes the bill.

Contact Don Stacom at
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Bully battles

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:25 pm ... 003/NEWS03

Bully battles
Verbal abuse in the workplace can undermine confidence and performance. Some employers and legislators are trying to stamp it out.
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 07/16/07

The operating room at Community Medical Center in Toms River reached a boiling point in June 2006, when plastic surgeon Michael David Rosen asked surgical technologist Georgeanna Cernek to activate a piece of equipment.

Cernek, who hands instruments to surgeons during operations, mentioned that hospital policy allowed only physicians and nurses to perform that function.

Cernek said Rosen responded with a stream of profanities. When the operation continued, he grabbed and jerked her hand when she gave him tools, according to a lawsuit Cernek filed last October in Superior Court in Ocean County.

When Cernek complained to management, the lawsuit contends, nothing happened. "It appeared that the goal of the hospital was consistent with the past, to placate the "abuser' rather than investigate his wrongdoing and demand behavioral changes within the operating room," the lawsuit said.

The courts will have to determine if the doctor was bullying Cernek. But the lawsuit highlights an ongoing point of dispute in many workplaces.

Some employers and legislators are taking a closer look at how employees treat each other with the hope of stamping out bullying.

It is an issue that employers can't ignore. Left unaddressed, bullying can destroy workers' morale and confidence, suppress creativity, lower productivity and spread throughout the workplace, so that workers treat each other with similar harshness.

The blowup detailed in the lawsuit against Community Medical Center isn't uncommon. A recent survey by the Employment Law Alliance, a San Francisco-based trade group of employment lawyers, found nearly 45 percent of American workers said they have experienced workplace abuse.

Workers with intense deadlines or who are responsible for making life-and-death decisions can be forgiven for losing their cool on occasion. But bullies take it a step further, by repeatedly using insults, humiliation and intimidation to control other workers and whatever situation they find themselves in.

Sometimes, that behavior not only has been tolerated but held up as a shining example of leadership. Consider the domineering football coach who belittles his players, only to be rewarded with a multiyear contract, or the ultraconfident doctor who demeans his residents, only to come across as a hero on a hit television show.

"I think it's ingrained in sports and the dominant culture in general, and I think in some workplaces, it is treated as OK," said Joan Coll-Reilly, a management professor at Seton Hall University.

The problem, Coll-Reilly said, is that those who are bullied don't perform up to their capabilities. They don't take risks. They don't challenge conventional wisdom. And they leave, creating constant turnover. Ultimately, the organization suffers.

The impact has caused some employers to take a more aggressive stance against bullies.

Washington Mutual Inc., a Seattle-based bank with 85 branches in New Jersey, developed a set of values to guide employee behavior. They include acting with fairness, care and humanity, spokeswoman Lisa Friedman said.

"It's important to maintain a congenial environment in which to work, both as it relates to colleagues and how we treat customers," Friedman said. There has "to be a consistent approach to treating people in general."

At least one New Jersey legislator wonders if that's enough. Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex, has introduced a bill called the "Healthy Workplace Act." It would make abusive conduct in a workplace — repeated use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets that are intimidating and humiliating — illegal. Employers violating that standard could be fined up to $25,000. The bill has not advanced.

"I think people need to be protected from this sort of behavior," Greenstein said. "You sometimes hear real horror stories. You say, "Well, they can always quit.' But for some people, that's not an option."

In the case of Cernek, Community Medical Center and Rosen, the tension seems to have been simmering for a long time.

The lawsuit said that as far back as 1995, Rosen took out his frustration on Cernek and nurses by throwing forceps across the operating room in anger. Nurses complained to management, but were ignored, the lawsuit stated.

After Cernek complained last summer about Rosen's behavior, the hospital again took no action. Cernek said she was blackballed from working with other surgeons. She eventually was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to the lawsuit.

Cernek couldn't be reached for comment. Rosen didn't return messages seeking comment. Community Medical Center's parent company, Saint Barnabas Health Care System, said it would not comment on individual employees or pending litigation.

Michael L. Diamond (732) 643-4038 or


Hurray for this brave tech. Ever local OR staff member knows this surgeon's reputation.

He does beautiful work, but is a beast to work with. She is right, administration has ignored this for too long. The public has no idea what goes on. Do you want your OR nurse dodging instruments while looking to be sure the microscopic suture needles used during plastic surgery have not been lost?

I only wish I had the nerve to do this 10 years ago!

Posted by: DNRme on Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:34 pm


Operating Room shows the true colors of Surgeons !!!

They are the money-maker of the hospitals here and anywhere in the world. That`s the reason why majority of hidden ABUSES- verbal and physical do happens a lot. Most of the time not reported, and if they do, nothing is being done.

I Salute G. Cernek for the standing up against this SILENT MALADY that Operating Room Nurses and Techs suffer throughout the country and around the world !!!

Good job !!!

Posted by: broadband via power lines on Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:56 am


Many employees, companies, public institutions and communities suffer from workplace bullying. Even traditionally "calm, gentle" places like libraries have been infected (my personal experience was at a public library in CO).

A couple of things I wish the article mentioned was that the proposed law is for repeated, health-harming mistreatment and abuse that must be documented by a health-care professional. Further, the bully is the first one to be sued. The company only becomes liable when they don't put GENUINE policies that are dutifully enforced.

My situation was with an out of control Director who had support from most of the Board members. This Director has had so many targets, it's outrageous. Lawsuits (for First Amendment violations), intents to sue for various reasons, open DA investigation, a mass exodus of qualified employees, staff on leave. . .it's just disastrous. Then some former employees have had to go on welfare for the first time. He hides behind the taxpayers. The tentacles of workplace bullying reach beyond the workplace to infect families, health and communities. The standard for severe emotional distress that affects health is so egregiously high in current laws, it's nearly impossible leaving the target with very, very few options. The problem is - status-blind harassment is currently legal.

I also commend Linda Greenstein for mentioning how some people can't quit. I'd like to take that further and say - why should the target be victimized again by leaving his/her means to provide for themselves and their children? Why should the organization continue to suffer? The employees? The community?

It's the bully who needs to leave.

Posted by: oneofthetargets on Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:48 pm


I'd like to offer insight into the "Employment Bullying" situation. I am referring to the 7-16-07 Asbury Park Press article.

I can appreciate that Georgeanna Cernek's abuse dates back twelve years. I've been unjustly terminated many times and have taken every case to New Jersey State for review. I was happy to receive a favorable judgment in 1998. The Hours and Wages court proved that a former employer knowingly with held due wages from me.

It's very sad to have been raised to be a good worker and conscientious person. It's also very sad to see that these traits often work to my disadvantage. More is generally expected of me. The assumption that, "he's a nice guy, he'll do it" is usually taken. I was a temp worker who worked more hours than the full time employees. I was overly used, and "let go" when I finally spoke up for myself having enough of the abuse. It was frustrating to see the company employees, playing on the internet, talking with out working for long hours, and doing as little work as possible.

I want to restate that I've taken every unjust termination to the State of NJ. I have excellent employment references. I'm a 42-year-old male, and have very little time to needlessly "cry" over life's woes. Yet, when I'm repeatedly terminated (for no justifiable cause), I have no choice but to speak up, hoping that someone some where will help correct this obvious abuse of power.

I would like to offer suggestions that will help hard working employees not be abused, used, and/or discriminated against:

1) Any company policy should forbid harsh treatment against anyone. This is why they have offices with doors. A situation can be addressed in privacy. I was a temp at a local New Jersey company. This "psychotic" supervisor loudly yelled at me on the office floor. I suffered this embarrassment in front of at least 10 people. This supervisor was eventually "counseled" when she attempted to yell at a full time company employee. We all have feelings. I had done nothing wrong. That supervisor was a "nut case". I could write a book on that horror story. I would like to add that this was not the only office job, where I experienced individuals who were out of control. They were all grown adults who acted as if we were all still in day school. Their harassment always ended with my termination. This is so serious, that it’s hilarious. I wouldn’t believe it, if it hadn’t happened to me. This non-professionalism needs to be addressed and corrected.

2) In the case a problem can't be resolved, then the erring employee should be let go. Why make a person's life a living hell? Sad to say, we humans some time have a hard time emotionally growing up. Yelling, bullying, and harassing should not be tolerating in any business.

3) A person should be able to voice his or her concerns. There should be a person or office designed for these matters. No one is perfect. Thus it might be necessary for employees to take "people" classes. If an employee is incompetent, they should be terminated. At least they can leave with dignity. Bullying or harassing a person strips them of all self-respect. 2006 was a year of hell for me during my temporary assignment. I made it to the end, and was "let go" as soon as they couldn't use me any more. I literally did the work of 4 or 5 people, and that's the thanks I got.

4) Any one responsible for hiring, firing, supervisory, managing, or instructing others should be reviewed. There's a saying "word deleted falls downward". So many persons "take the fall" for leadership. A company should be aware that when a good worker is "let go" or "quits", that company suffers. Yes, the company will rebound, but the company would have faired better with a capable employee.

5) I also think that any New Jersey state office responsible for fair, civil and equal conduct in places of employment should also be reviewed.

The horror story of Georgeanna Cernek stresses the need for New Jersey to intervene in Employment handling of employees. That poor woman has endured twelve or more years of arrogant and mean abuse.

I feel that employers worry too much about their "power" when they should also be concerned with human decency.

Gary Colin
Monmouth County, NJ
Gary Colin is Author of, "Bible Symbolism What It Means To Your Salvation" (ISBN 1-4241-0152-2)

Posted by: garycolinneptune on Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:57 pm

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Fighting the bully in the workplace

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:36 pm

Fighting the bully in the workplace
Date: July 17th, 2007
Blogger: Toni Bowers
Category: Workplace
Tags: Workplace, Toni Bowers

In my years interacting with members of TechRepublic, I heard quite a few stories about dysfunctional workplaces. I’ve been surprised by some of the stories about how abusive some bosses and co-workers can be. I see a lot of anecdotal evidence of this but there’s not much statistical evidence out there. That’s because workplace bullying often goes unreported when those on the receiving end do not belong to a protected minority group. So what’s a person to do if he’s the whipping post for an equal-opportunity workplace bully?

Maybe the Healthy Workplace Bill is a beginning. This is a state bill that “substitutes health-impairment for discrimination, and extends protection to all employees, working for either public or private employers, regardless of protected group status, who seek redress for being subjected to an abusive work environment.”

Now if you’re a cynical person, the first thing you think of when you hear about something like this is what a coup it will be for those in the legal profession. You can imagine how broadly “abuse” can be defined and the myriad ways some people could define “psychological damage.” But the bill’s advocates claim that the bullying employee is directly liable for the unlawful employment practice and that the employer (the one with the deep pockets) may be vicariously liable.

On the site, I found the following summary which seeks to clarify what factors have to be in place for a bullying lawsuit to move forward:

Addresses only the most abusive, health-endangering circumstances
Does not mandate “feeling good” principles, health must be damaged!
No new government bureaucracy; costs the state nothing
Good employers with policies that honestly enforce them have nothing to fear
The small penalties will discourage attorneys from taking weak cases — low chance of frivolous cases
Since 2003, 13 states have introduced the bill but none have passed it.

For more on the bill and workplace bullying in general, go to this site:


Abusive bosses
In my early days as a lowly technician I worked for a lead tech/supervisor that was not happy with anything I did. No matter how hard I tried it wasn't good enough for him. When things slowed down I was delegated to spending half of my day doing shipping and receiving. pick ups and delivery. One afternoon I was directed by the production person to pick up and deliver some MG sets that we'd overhauled. I left around noon and did as directed. Upon my return at 230PM I was greeted by the lead tech in the parking lot, he rushed to the side of the truck, yanked open the door before I could do it myself. Yelling and waving his arms, he wanted to know where I'd been. His face was bright red and looked very threatening. I asked him to calm down and stop yekking before I started yelling too and we both said things that we'd regret later. I asked him if he'd checked with the production person and he just sputtered and continued his tirade. I then told him that I would talk with him later when he'd calmed down a bit. It took three days for his fuming to stop. Much later he'd transfered to another facility and proceeded to go off the deep end over a parking spot for his motorcycle. I then found out that he was an alcoholic and had been released for medical reasons. Abusive to the maximum, but not to the point of being a hazard to anyone but himself.
Posted: 07/17/2007 @ 07:37 PM (PDT)

read up on the law. document document document. get counseling
document every incident. date, time, what happened. even if you think it is borderline. for example, do you know one legal definition of harassment is to constantly interrupt. don't lord the documentation over anybody, just have it. when the time comes to bring up you have it, you'll know.
do not discuss with co workers as much as you can avoid it, unless they witness then maybe. get counseling if the company pays for it, let the counselor know you are upset by the treatment and that you are attempting to keep sanity/perspective by keeping a diary about it and seeking counseling until you figure out what to do. spread the circle of involvement that way.
in the states, it is illegal to create a hostile work environment. i think you may be surprised at the broad definition. you may find you have been putting up with harassment as defined by the law, not just borderline. what to do about it. the boss of the harasser is liable even if they are unaware of the harassment. the boss of the harasser is liable even if they are unaware of the harassment. once you make them aware they are legally bound to do something about it or risk a company lawsuit. if you have a real HR department (a increasing rarity imh experience, i'd tell them, let them do their professional thing.
but in honesty, i think it is mostly a no-win situation. however, you outlasted that one and usually that is my strategy also. but if it is stressing you out a lot and affecting your work, don't take it.
when this happens to me, i privately let the harasser know about my documentation. i privately let that i am feeling harassed and that it is illegal and affecting me negatively and i do not intent to let it continue. you may have an opportunity to make friend of harasser if you play it very carefully, the only way to really 'win' this one, imho. good luck.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 08:57 AM (PDT)

Abusive Bosses
Years ago I read I beautiful story in Forbes Magazine(called The Executive Stilleto) of an employee who was consistently bullied by his incompetent boss. The employee was a traveling salesman who, instead of acting normally, i.e., badmouthing this boss to the company executives he visited, he bragged about how wonderful, clever, and intelligent his boss was. Soon, one of these firms needed an executive and asked the salesman for his boss's telephone number, set up a follow-on interview and hired the guy into a top management job. Well, the salesman got his bosses job, and his old boss, true to form was fired after 6 months for incompetence. [I love the title of the article]
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 10:02 PM (PDT)

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace
I think a bill sounds great but organizations are not going to bother to educate staff on vebal abuse and bullying and prevent/stop it unless there's financial incentive to do so or significant financial punishment if they don't. It's a shame someone would have to have a terrible health event before this would be stopped! People need to be educated and this needs to be prevented *before* productivity is lost and lives are impacted for the worse.
Posted: 07/18/2007 @ 01:10 AM (PDT)

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace
Thanks for writing about this, a very important, but not very visible issue. It is important to note that most of the rest of the western industrialized world has some sort of recourse against workplace bullying. People in the US have a false sense of security in thinking that EO laws will protect them. Race, gender, disability, religion, etc. are all very narrowly defined, and if you do not fit into one of those protected categories you have no recourse.

For example: If a boss or co-worker decides he/she doesn't like people with brown eyes, he/she can make that brown-eyed person's life a living hell at work with impunity. This would not be considered discrimination under current law, because brown eyes/brown-eyed people are not a protected category.

Additionally, people should not expect HR to be a help. Studies indicate that in more than 50 percent of complaints by bullied targets, HR did nothing. And in more than 30 percent of cases HR either sided with or helped the bully. (per

Bullying is not a personality conflict. A simple 'bad boss' makes everyone miserable. A bully can be a loud intimidating type, but as often wants to go undetected so uses hidden insidious techniques to torpedo his/her target.

Here are some additional links for reference in addition to the one pointed out in your article:

"Are workplace bullies sabotaging your ability to compete?"

"Workplace bullying and mobbying reference page"

"Why bully targets don't stand up for themselves"

# # #
Posted: 07/18/2007 @ 10:50 AM (PDT)

Ah yes, rather familiar with it myself.
Bullying takes many forms.

Way back just after the dot-com bust, I too lost my job and was out of work for nearly a year.

Finally got one, but in a side-line working as an application administrator and statistical analyst for a hospital in their Quality department. 24 women and I was the sole man. Talk about a major disconnect. Here I was, newly retired ex-USAF, avid outdoorsman and hunter, working with no-longer-clinical nurses with their own clicks and shall we say, diametrically opposed worldviews.

Someone in the department apparently tried their damnest to get me canned. Now I'm not into their social scene (baby showers, etc just wouldn't be prodent), so there's a certain amount of social isolation at work. Two idiotic complaints to HR, that were totally anonymous of course. I finally had to sit down with HR and got them to agree that the complaints were baseless as the statements would have been perfectly acceptable had they been made by a woman. I was still told that I wasn't being very sensitive to the situations, to which I replied that if they were making a distinction based on my gender, it still amounted to discrimination and that if it didn't stop then I'd take it to court.

That must have gotten back to the instigator as I haven't had a problem since then.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 06:33 AM (PDT)

at present this is my exact situation confirms my thoughts
Great sound advice, I am at the stage of your descibed situation where I am seriously shopping and researching what legal tactics I need to apply. I go to work and go through the motions of tolerating the discriminaton daily, I am making notes on my way home of incidents for proof to build a strong case. Searching and finding a new place to work is in the process, however I will file my case after I leave.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 08:21 AM (PDT)

wow. perhaps you would consider a blog here about your suit
You brave person. I admire you. Perhaps you will blog about it and help us.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 11:03 AM (PDT)

HR protects the company, not the employee
"Additionally, people should not expect HR to be a help. Studies indicate that in more than 50 percent of complaints by bullied targets, HR did nothing. And in more than 30 percent of cases HR either sided with or helped the bully. (per"

It's the rare HR dept that takes the employee's side. On my first job out of college my lead was abusive. One Monday he came in and threatened me, describing how was going to "hunt me down, cut off my head and $&*% down my throat" for telling our boss the project results might be on his desk. (Apparently they were late)

I took it to HR, but they bailed and left it with our manager (the one upset about the project). Somehow, he sided with the bully and said I was making a big deal out of nothing. How could I possibly believe the guy would literally do that to me. Then he handed us nerf balls to throw at each other. I just gave it back and said the guy would never talk that way to me again.

Why they protect these guys I'll never know. I got off that project tho and refused to work with him again.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 10:52 AM (PDT)

Linked to Limbaugh, AAAAaaarrrrrggggghhh...
One of those links was for a story/transcript by Rush Limbaugh - a perfect example of a bully-broadcaster. It also fits because Limbaugh hails from Missouri, one of the worst places on the face of the world to try to find decent work, ... and then to do a good job!

I'm not a "whiny - ... - liberal, but Limbaugh wants to label everything with which he disagrees as "liberal". I have seen some of the worst conditions in Missour that can be imagined, but they live above - under - around - and circumnavigating - the law or decency. Their motto, "Show me!" is only a half-truth; the hidden agenda should read: "Show me and I'll still disregard it."

I have seen companies which had a woman keep them in the top catagory completely collapse when a man took over and decided to do things all his way - even breaking the law and defying contracts, to the extent that the same staff plummeted to a level below the number of teams working in that department.

The problem(s) of bullying in Missouri - especially the rural areas approaches the kind of propoganda broadcast in the "Free-World" about the baddo communists. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a communist, nor do I think that life east of the Berlin Wall was particularly pleasant; I know people who escaped that area before the "Evil Empire" collapsed, and I understand their grief, so I'm not minimizing it, or making light of it in any way, but the same kind of pin-headed treatment of workers - especially those who have knowledge, experience, and quality initiave exists on this side of the "Iron Curtain", but - since it's in the good ole' USofA, it's glossed over because that's what people are expected to do with sacred shrines - even if they are empty, save for the bones and charred wreckage of once productive citizens.

Limbaugh is wrong; his native state is riddled with Boss-Hogs, but he prefers to side with them and live in denial of reality, other than that which he sees in "The Way Things Ought To Be".

There are far more bullies and lazy bosses than productive individuals left in this once "Free" nation. Bullying is now the accepted way of doing business in the US; Monopolies like M$, collapsing auto industries, Wal-Mart "Officials" side-stepping criminal responsibilities because of "Contracts" with "limited liability" clauses; hell, if it works for them - no wonder the EULA's are so tough to break. We have become a nation of "Contract established Master/Servants" instead of a Republic - which was a nation of laws which applied to all, not just those who couldn't afford to buy their own set of exemptions.

AS for me, it's too late to educate an illiterate people; so we just must watch as what little left of the fabric of this society goes through the last jitters of changing from a vibrant society to a carcass of once important history.

The meek may inherit the earth later, but today they're just gentle victims being tossed from one set of ignorant bullies to another; show me where there is any standard worth sharing and I'll seriously consider relocation.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 08:28 PM (PDT)

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace

This is the biggest problem in America today. I now make my living from an online business and the stock market rather than "work" for companies that routinely allow, if not encourage bullying of various kinds...not to mention office politics etc. I was also victimized by women using sex, gossip or innuendo, and office politics to maneuver themselves into my job, despite my documented excellent reviews, performance and long hours. At Worldcom, my entire work team was harrassed by a neighboring group who disrepected us with extremely loud and unneccessary noise to which we complained about with nothing being done... Many employers don't really care about work, quality, ethics, etc, but only want to get as much power over your life as possible for the sick satisfaction it gives them....It is truly amazing that given the abusive working conditions endured by so many that there are not more workplace shootings....
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 01:51 AM (PDT)

The Initial Source of Bullying

School is where this bullying began. I was daily run home from school until one day I turned around and whipped the lead runner. The bullying stopped. Look at Cho. School is also where sexual harassment begins. Where there are no laws, the children act with impunity and their parents defend the little brats. I say import caning.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 06:11 AM (PDT) (edited 07/19/2007 @ 06:12 AM (PDT))

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace

When I was very young I had an older subordinate that wouldn’t recognize my authority and actually tried to pick a fight every time I offered some advice about the job he was trying to do.
My natural reaction to severe conflict is to smile. A bad thing, but that’s me.
After a few months of fluffing it off it got to the point where he said he was going to pound me if I smiled at him again.
I went to the boss with the threat and he laughed.
I changed jobs.

This bill doesn’t need to be passed because no self respecting person is going to wait to have a heart attack or an ulcer before they move on.

My solution to bullying works. Get face to face with the person in a public setting and whisper the most antagonistic remarks you can think of with a smile until they get violent. Then have them arrested and sue the crap out of them. If they don’t get violent, they tend to leave you alone after that. If it’s your boss, change jobs and give HR and the CEO a written complaint on the way out. Not that HR would ever really do anything about it, but at least its on record so future employees can sue and no one can claim any more ignorance than the obvious ignorance they had by letting it happen.

I’ve had bosses that others considered a bully. One called me stupid after I made a suggestion, so I looked him square in the eye and told him that my suggestion was no more stupid than anyone else’s including his. He said that my comment was insubordinate and I said how so? Being lazy and inarticulate, he dropped it and told me to get the H out of his office.

Bullies are like snakes, they are usually just as afraid of you as you are of them. They just hiss much louder than others.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 06:05 AM (PDT)

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace

I was the victim of a decade of verbal and political abuse. Everytime I went to my manager the problem only seemed to get worse. Finally I decided that the collective management was not going to solve this problem. Indeed, my problem was not the most glaring problem either. My problem was, my problem.

I goaded my antagonists into an email flame war in which they admitted all the rumors they had created about me. Then I pointed out that I had been trying to just come to work and do my job, but now those days were over. I told my manager, my director, HR and EAP that I would wage total war. When I was told that my approach was unnacceptable, I pointed out that my adversaries had been conducting their own version of total war without consequense. And I told everyone that since no one was able to reign them in I didn' believe that they wuold reign me in either. And that since my main antagonist ws a woman with a long documented history of this kind of behaviour, that there might be some legal issues if they treated me, a man, differently.

Then I, my antagonists, my manager, one of his peers, HR, my union representitive, and HR got together in a room. I made my offer. If my antagonists came to me first, I would do my very best to listen. I would try to listen through what ever volume or content they felt they needed to communicate with me they felt they needed.

It worked. This single act raised the level of respect I receive from everyone, except the EAP lady, that I work with. And my former antagonists are now my dedicated partners.

The lesson learned is that your problem is ultimately yours alone. My antagonists felt victimized by something I had done. Although I'm still not really sure what that was. What the original issue was doesn't matter now. Our team is stronger and everyone on the team realized a benefit. And our leadership is only flesh and blood. While they may wear better quality pants, they put them on one leg at a time just like me.

Asking someone else to fix your problem is almost always asking for more trouble than it worth. And the people that you are asking for this service will not respect you.

Every company has a bully. Do you want someone to resolve your problems for you, or do you want to advance?
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 08:41 AM (PDT) (edited 07/19/2007 @ 08:42 AM (PDT))

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace

After 15 years in IT, I've run into several similar situations. I've come to the conclusion that a small number people with a bullying/sociopathic/control-obsessed personality will exist in any population. The main difference that can be affected in a corporate setting is whether this behavior is tolerated (or even encouraged.)

Where this behavior is tolerated or encouraged, not only do the ~5% (give or take) of people with a bulling personality act with impunity, but the bigger issue is that the majority of people will just try to "get out of the way" - in other words, enable the bully by not doing anything about it. They have no interest in doing what's right - as long as the bully isn't after them, everything is great.

It is possible for companies to do something about this by creating an environment that intolerant to this behavior - I've seen it work, but is definitely the minority. You really have to target the 80% of the "get out of the way" people - make sure those people won't tolerate the bad behavior. If the tide turns against the abusers, they will be forced to keep their behavior in check.

I don't think laws are the answer. HR is not there to help you, they are there to keep the company from being sued. Even in small companies where the culture is negative, HR will do nothing. They will pin issues a bully creates as "personality conflicts" and insist that the victim is the only one who reported it.

HR and all management from the top down should be educated in creating the right culture, and they have to see it as good for the bottom line. If you work for a company where someone at the top is a sociopath, GET OUT. It flows downhill.
Posted: 07/19/2007 @ 08:57 AM (PDT)

Too true re: HR
I tend not to post but this one is a must. I worked for 6 years at a state IT position. Watched the bright and beautiful come and go for jobs in the private sector wishing them well on their journey. One day I woke up to realize I was the 'steady-reliable-she'll-stay late--meet some tech at 4:00am-workhorse lackey'. I tried to assert myself but didn't seem to get through to anyone (Union included) that my position had evolved into a unmangeable, undoable workload. I ended up a wreck, 3 months in Rehab for CD and alcohal and of course quitting my job. After 7 months of sitting in a Laz-eboy with a laptop I was approached by a consolidated K12 school district to manage their technology department. What a lifesaver! I base myself in the elementary campus, sounds giggling kids and a straight forward job. Never ever again will I play with the "big boys/girls"...I almost lost myself to it. My old job was breathed a massive sigh of relief when I left. But they have hired three people to cover the work I used to do. Yep...GET OUT...sound advice.
Posted: 07/23/2007 @ 04:45 AM (PDT)

RE: Fighting the bully in the workplace

I'm not really sure that legislation is the answer to work place bullying. In my research for my book, GUST - The "Tale" Wind of Office Politics, writings on my website,, and contributions on, it seems that bullies are very determined creatures. They are also very "street smart" (just like they were in school) and know how to do their damage when the "eye of authority" is not on them. It will be up to individuals and organizations to fight bullies and create a culture where the behavior is not tolerated. It will be up to targets to begin documenting specific occurances and reporting them to HR. It will be up to HR and management to handle each effectively on a case-by-case basis. I think the enforcement of workplace bullying legislation (no matter how well intentioned and perceivably necessary) will be a nightmare to enforce.
Posted: 08/06/2007 @ 06:19 PM (PDT)

What About Bullying Tailgaters
Then there's the aggressive tailgating driver with a mission to destroy anything in their path with a vehicle twice the normal size and ego to match.
Posted: 08/07/2007 @ 06:03 AM (PDT)
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:43 pm ... cd=9&gl=us

How to identify bullying in the

Bullying is an intentional repeated pattern of
offensive, insulting, threatening behavior. It is
an abuse which makes the recipient feel upset,
threatened, humiliated or vulnerable.
Bullying is not an attempt to get things done by
management or an occasional disagreement. If
these behaviors are consistent and offend or
harm you then they could be bullying.

Bully’s behavior:
› Distorts truth and reality
› Charming in public - two faced
› Blames others for errors
› Bullies tend to be insecure people
› A bully doesn’t want to hear the other side
of the story
› Does not try to understand or get another
point of view
› A bully needs to control people
› Makes inappropriate comments about
appearance, lifestyle
› Takes credit for others work

A bully uses threats and harassment to
intimidate. A bully ridicules to destroy
confidence and self esteem. A bully tries to
make others disrespect you. Often these
behaviors are done in front of others, at
meetings, or by email.
Studies have shown the bully is most likely to be
the boss (male or female).

Examples of bullies who have authority:
› Threatens to terminate your employment
› Bad evaluations
› Makes your life difficult
› Punishes for petty things
› Suggests you have emotional problems
› Demeans your role
› Yells and screams at you
› Suggests you are incompetent
› Suggests you are too sensitive
› A bully will misinterpret what you say to
make you look bad
› May exclude you from meetings etc.
› Overwork with unreasonable timelines.
› Fails to return your calls

The target of a bully is most often a person that
is popular and competent. This person is often
seen as a threat to the bully. Studies have also
shown the most often it is a female that is being
At first you might not recognize the behavior as
bullying. You may think the situation will pass
and was nothing to worry about.
Over time you might start to doubt yourself and
think you did something wrong.

Signs that you might be bullied:
› You feel strained
› You find yourself walking on eggshells
› You are quieter than usual
› You go out of your way to avoid the bully
› You are afraid to open your mouth in front
of this person
› You pretend to get along with this person
› You choose your words carefully when
around this person
› Your making more errors on the job
› A bully usually picks on a person that is

Each incident alone may seem unimportant but
over a period of time they can build and cause

Signs of stress from bullying:
› You dread going to work
› Worry about your future
› You feel drained
› Trouble sleeping
› Anger/irritability
› You engage in self destructive behavior
› Headaches
› Depression
› Loss of confidence
› Panic attacks

Why people put up with bullying
› Too emotionally stressed to deal with it
› Afraid of losing their job
› They are embarrassed or intimidated
› May feel nothing will change
› Afraid of retaliation
› Afraid the situation may get more severe

Effects of bullies at the workplace
› Staff turnover
› Low employee morale
› Absenteeism
› Poor work output/loss of productivity
› Legal action
› Workmen’s compensation claims
› Poor customer service

What to do if you’re being bullied
› Tell someone
› Keep a journal
› Confront the bully with a witness – this
may be hard to do but the bully won’t go
away if you ignore the situation or write a
letter stating you want the bully to stop.
› Contact the AA Office for help.

Examples of things to say or do to stop the

Your calling me names instead of addressing
the problem is unacceptable.
If you are so angry that you cannot
communicate in a calm manner than let’s wait
and discuss this at another time.
Let the bully know if the behavior does not stop
you’ll be forced to take further action
Last edited by RatPak11 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:07 pm ... d=18&gl=us

Workplace bullying's high cost: $180M in lost time, productivity
Orlando Business Journal - March 15, 2002

by Liz Urbanski Farrell

Business Journal Staff Writer

You're in the high school lunch room and a familiar, fear-inspiring shadow crosses your back. In science class, a spitball makes a wet "splat" on your new sweater or worse, the back of your head.
The culprit? The schoolyard bully. For most of us, dealing with the bully -- whether watching him or her in action or being the target of bullying ourselves -- was an unpleasant but inseparable aspect of attending school.

It shouldn't be a part of work.

Unfortunately, workplace bullying has existed since the dawn of employment, according to most psychologists and human resource experts. But tolerance for its various forms is declining swiftly as academicians release new statistics detailing its human and bottom-line dollar costs.

At work, no spitballs please

So-called workplace bullies usually prefer memos, informal disciplinary meetings and grinding criticism to spitballs.
According to Gary Namie, Ph.D., founder of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying, adults employ various types of what he prefers to call "psychological violence," which demoralizes and distracts both the target of bullying and co-workers aware of the bully's efforts.
Bullying also is unlike sexual or racial harassment, although it may be seen as a related problem. Instead of looking at whether a target is male, female, black, white or Asian, he or she chooses a victim based on his or her own needs and insecurities.
And, yes, women bully their co-workers as much as men. Namie says his research shows a nearly 50-50 split. However, a 1998 study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that workplace bullies are more than twice as likely to be male.
Namie, who founded the Campaign in 1998, is a social psychologist and a professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. His organization defines bullying as "the repeated, health-endangering, illegitimate mistreatment of a person by a cruel perpetrator driven by his or her need to control the target of mistreatment."
Such action "defeats, rather than serves, a legitimate business purpose ... affecting the health and career of targeted individuals and paralyzing the workplace with fear."

The bottom line: Bullies are expensive

For managers and CEOs who question the wisdom of delving into what had been perceived as an inseparable part of workplace politics, the bottom line is the answer, says James R. Meindl, Donald S. Carmichael professor of organization and human resources at the University of Buffalo School of Management.
"Human resource managers are beginning to realize there is a real productivity cost to these kinds of things."
Psychologist Michael H. Harrison, Ph.D., of Harrison Psychological Associates, quotes a recent survey of 9,000 federal employees indicating that 42 percent of female and 15 percent of male employees reported being harassed within a two-year period, resulting in a cost of more than $180 million in lost time and productivity.
"This kind of harassment has a huge impact on a company's bottom line," he says.
Among the sources of these high costs are high absenteeism resulting from time off taken by harassed employees, reduced productivity among workers who are nursing emotional wounds and stress-related illnesses, or trying to appease or avoid their harasser.
High turnover is another economic drain. According to Namie's studies, 82 percent of people targeted by a bully leave their workplace: 38 percent for their health; 44 percent, because they were victims of a performance appraisal system manipulated to show them as incompetent. Human resource experts peg the cost of replacing an employee at two to three times that person's salary.
Health care costs also may rise for a company, as a bully's targets become affected by stress-related illnesses. According to Namie, 41 percent of bully targets become depressed, with 31 percent of targeted women and 21 percent of targeted men being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"The person may keep experiencing or remembering being belittled and berated and becomes fearful and phobic," says Harrison. Medical symptoms develop based on the person's weakest body systems -- headaches and backaches are common.

"Our bodies tell us when things are not going well."

Customer service also will suffer, as harassed employees lose their feeling of loyalty to a company that is not protecting them from the bully. Both targets and co-workers may take out their frustrations on clients.
Statistics reported by the American Psychological Association estimate that of 1,500 workers surveyed, about 750 said they lost time from work due to rude workplace behavior directed toward them, says Tim Osberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Niagara University, who has a part-time practice in clinical psychology.
Statistics reported by the American Psychological Association estimate that of 1,500 workers surveyed, about 750 said they lost time from work due to rude workplace behavior directed toward them, says Tim Osberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Niagara University, who has a part-time practice in clinical psychology.

Taking action

The best defense against a bully is taking action -- any kind of action -- to warn the perpetrator that his or her behavior is unacceptable, experts say.
The target of a bully should warn him or her verbally or, ideally, in writing -- with a copy of the note sent to the bully's supervisor or, in case the supervisor is the bully, the company's CEO or human resources department, Harrison says.
"That's enough to stop some bullies. They're on notice that you're not going to take it from them and will involve people who can make life uncomfortable for them," he says.
As soon as the target realizes he or she is being targeted by a workplace bully, another important step is to be sure that there are no one-on-one meetings with that person.
If these actions fail and the company seems unwilling to take action or discipline the harasser, Harrison and other experts say the Labor Department or a lawyer is the final step. If workplace harassment isn't stopped, the employee should quit before his or her health suffers.

Corporate approach

In hopes of preventing economic losses, some companies have developed training programs and blanket anti-harassment policies that encompass bullying.
The programs may include everything from a video program shown to new hires and periodically to other employees to address various types of workplace harassment, to panel discussions or short sequences dramatizing examples of harassment.
Experts add that a culturally diverse workplace makes it important to focus on the company's policy against racial or ethnic discrimination and harassment.
And it's important to continue the training, says Harrison. "I think people become less productive when they're joked about and put down. It's also no fun to be around. I think that if I saw it happening in the workplace, I'd want to do something about it."
Section 5a of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulations require employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and is known as the "general duty" clause. Employers could be held liable in situations where it was proven that threats and other actions by an individual "bully" constitute a workplace hazard, Harrison says.
Section 5a of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulations require employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and is known as the "general duty" clause. Employers could be held liable in situations where it was proven that threats and other actions by an individual "bully" constitute a workplace hazard, Harrison says.
Harrison says he has had clients tell him about verbal or sexual harassment at work, having false, detrimental rumors spread about them or having tools stolen or moved around by workplace bullies.
If the bully is a supervisor, they may have personalities where they consistently get their work messages across in a hostile or demanding way and often criticize employees in front of other people.
"They bully and badger the person rather than dealing with the performance issue," he says.
National statistics also show a sharp increase in workplace harassment and violence since the 1980s, Harrison says.
Economic stress and downsizing, and increased awareness and support for harassment victims, are the most likely reasons for the increasing reports, he says.
Namie says he believes there also may be more workplace harassment in smaller cities where the overall economy is foundering because employees believe they have fewer options to leave or find another job.
This makes them more willing to accept, and less likely to report, workplace violence.
"What determines the level of bullying in the workplace is an individual who feels they have a license to mistreat someone and never be held accountable," he says.
Liz Urbanski Farrell is a staff writer for Business First, a sister publication of Orlando Business Journal
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:03 pm ... 1163e8.txt

Workshop takes on bullies
By John Quinlan, Journal staff writer

The Devil may wear Prada in the workplace, but her bully minions elsewhere could be sporting Armani, Ralph Lauren, hard hats or hospital scrubs. Such is the state of workplace bullying, an insidious problem in America that Dr. Gary Namie calls a "silent epidemic."

Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash., and his wife Ruth Namie, co-author with him of "The Bully at Work," will present an introductory workshop on "Workplace Bullying" on Oct. 9 at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

He sees it as a chance to raise public awareness of this issue and provide tools for human-resources people to deal with the problem, explaining the approach they should take in writing a workplace bullying policy. "The real trick is how to create a set of enforcement procedures. So it's very pragmatic," he said.

Namie has been working on this issue for about 10 years. It came to his attention through his wife's own personal experiences with a bully and escalated from there to the institute they created.

Most of their early workplace bully work involved the health care field but it quickly spread to education and government. "And now it's everywhere. It's just rampant," he said. "We get stories from domestic abuse shelters, for crying out loud. How can you be focused daily on abuse when you're getting abused as a worker?"

The irony didn't escape him.

Half of working Americans (49 percent) have suffered or witnessed workplace bullying, including verbal abuse, job sabotage, abuse of authority or destruction of workplace relationships, according to a new WBI/Zogby Interactive survey released this month that was partly funded by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention.

The WBI survey also found that 37 percent of the U.S. work force, an estimated 54 million employees, are being bullied or have been bullied at one time in the workplace. Yet despite this epidemic-level prevalence, 45 percent of respondents said they have never seen or experienced bullying at work.

Namie finds this last result somewhat shocking, though admitting it helps explain the "silence" around the issue. "Now either that's out of some defensive, willing desire to avoid the pain of seeing the misery of other people, so they're just saying they don't see it, or they literally have just blocked it out of their mind," he said. "It's clearly of a frequency and prevalence that's epidemic rate."

In many cases, the bullying takes place behind closed doors, he admitted -- just not that many cases.

Women 'especially cruel'

The Zogby poll, which will be repeated in the future to gauge trends, also confirms an unscientific 2003 study that women are "especially cruel" to other women, he noted. The poll shows that when women bully -- and women are 40 percent of the bullies -- they target other women about 70 percent of the time, he said.

"So that 'Devil Wears Prada' phenomenon is very real, and they're just crueler than men, in a sense, to women," he said, referencing the 2006 movie featuring Meryl Streep as boss-from-hell Miranda Priestly.

Women, he noted, use a lot of social tools to divide and conquer a work group, aligning the rest of the workers against the targeted person. "They use a lot of icing-out techniques," he said. "They either spread rumors, or if they're a manager, they fail to stop a rumor and innuendo that's so destructive -- the destructive gossip, malicious stuff that's character assassination, essentially."

Fiona Valentine, public relations coordinator at WIT, said the fact that women are such proficient bullies is no shock to her. Valentine, who has been working for many months with Cindy Waitt, director of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, to bring this workshop to town, said she once considered writing a book titled "The Velvet Viper: Women Against Women in the Workplace."

Women's bullying techniques are simply different from men's. Women are usually less confrontational but there's "a lot of tittle-tattling behind and going around people, and spending hours on sending nasty emails and things like this," she said.

Valentine also has a theory that in post-women's lib, a lot of women have risen to managerial positions without being trained in how to manage other people.

"But Cindy and I do believe that workplace bullying is perhaps part of a wider syndrome of the culture of mean in which we live," she said of a world in which a super-meanie like Simon Cowell can become a star on "American Idol." "We don't sanction meanness enough."

Waitt said she has had experience with workplace bullies in the past, and that has piqued her interest. The Waitt Institute has dealt with domestic violence and school violence. Workplace bullying is the inevitable next step, she said. "It's just a different playground," she said.

She also stressed that bosses aren't the only bullies. More often you see the "sideways bullying" between co-workers. Occasionally, you will even see the "upwards bullying" in which a staff bullies a new manager, she said.

It is important to be specific about what bullying is because you don't want it to include incivility or rudeness or boorishness, Namie said. Such behavior simply isn't severe enough to drive people from the jobs they love.

"So you've got verbal abuse. You've got conduct that's threatening, intimidating or humiliating. And then you have the work sabotage," he said. "And it's got to be repeated to be bullying."

Any of us, he noted, are capable of the single-shot emotional explosion at the workplace. Such an occurrence may not be excusable, but it isn't necessarily bullying.

You also shouldn't confuse rude, basically unpleasant people with bullies, Waitt noted.

And the target of the bully isn't the only victim. The company also suffers,

"Oh yeah, absolutely. It affects the bottom line," Namie said, pointing to turnover and litigation that come from hostile work environments. Turnover, in fact, is the number-one indicator that a bully is operating in your workplace.

"The other startling statistic is the 4-to-1 ratio -- bullying to illegal harassment," he said. "Everybody thinking a hostile work environment's illegal for everyone, and it's not. So the very narrow, legally defined discriminatory misconduct stuff, which comprises sexual harassment, racial descrimination, is really only a fifth of all the cases."

So employers expend a lot of resources to prevent discrimination and to deal with the aftermath. "They've got to, by state and federal law, but they don't have to attend to bullying," he said.

What they also neglect to do is any bottom line evaluation of workplace bullying.

Like domestic violence

Namie likens workplace bullying to domestic violence -- except that the workplace abuser is on the payroll, functioning pretty much the same way, but not facing any criminal penalties.

And employers don't see the cost, he said. They think the bully is a high-performing, rainmaking, super performer.

"Truth is, they're crushing everyone below them to get the numbers to where they are," Namie said. "And eventually they're going to wear those people out. Those people leave. Hence, the turnover. And the turnover is written off as a routine cost of doing business. But they're actually losing the very people that produced the results that you need."

Bullies spend most of their time ingratiating themselves with senior management and doing little actual work. In 55 percent of the cases, they even have an executive sponsor who protects them, Namie said, with the sponsors rationalizing their support of the bully in much the same way domestic violence is defended.

So what should be done about bullies?

Bullies can't be changed, but they can be constrained, Namie said. And they can be fired if the constraints don't work.

"All you've got to do is box them in so their behavior changes. You're not going to change their personality," he said. "And I'd say most of the bullying is not because of their personality anyway. They just see the opportunities, seize on them and then they get rewarded. So just like rats in a Skinner box, we are all prone to be shaped by reinforcement. And when it pays off and you don't get punished, it continues. So in a way we're creating our own situation, our bullying environment.

"So the employer should constrain them with a policy and faithfully enforce it at all levels. They are just reluctant to do it because policies usually evolve in response to loss."

As for the bullies themselves, they vary in their level of awareness and insight, Namie said. Most of them know they're bullies because their actions are so deliberate. "However, when you hear them describe their actions, they will just say they are responding to circumstances, that they themselves are bullied," Namie said. "They're the biggest whiners in the world."

When addressing a company audience where attendance is mandatory, he finds that it is the bullies who come up to him and complain and thank him for bringing this phenomenon to light. "They always claim that the victim made them do it, and they were just responding to it," he said. "They're responding to orders, and they're just a good little soldier."

The workshop
"Workplace Bullying: An Introductory Workshop" will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 9, at Western Iowa Tech Community College by Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, national experts. It will be in the Large Lecture Hall (D103) of the Applied Technology Building.
The Namies are authors of "The Bully at Work" and founders of the Workplace Bullying Institute.
The morning session is devoted to exploring the phenomenon. The afternoon session is a clinical one designed mainly for clinicians and other professionals, offering continuing education credits. There is a $10 fee for continuing education hours. The event is free to the general public.
To register, call 712-274-6404 or 1-800-352-4649.
The workshop is supported by grants from the Kind World Foundation Fund of the Siouxland Community Foundation, the Waitt Family Foundation and the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention.

martha wrote on Sep 27, 2007 11:07 AM:

" Thank you for publishing this article. This problem often occurs in civil service, where people have tenure. It devastates not only the Target's finances and career, but often their family too. Of course their health suffers, usually at a time when they lose health insurance due to having to quit the job. "
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:08 pm ... 116638.txt

Bullying's simply evil, Hopkins says
By John Quinlan, Journal staff writer

As retired chief administrator for the Western Hills Area Education Agency and onetime personnel director for a large agency, Bruce Hopkins has seen his share of bullies. He used to say he never believed in the concept of evil. Then he began to work with bullies.

"A bully enjoys destroying or discrediting you. They know what they're doing," he said. "They know who they targeted. They know why they targeted them, and they're practiced at it.

"They don't just suddenly rise up one morning and become a bully. If they bullied once, there's a great likelihood they bullied more than once."

The longtime human rights advocate shares some of his insights on bullies prior to the "Workplace Bullying" workshop Oct. 9 at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

Hopkins said he believes every agency has to deal with these issues at virtually every level.

For example, he noted, CEO candidates are often asked one question that is on the mind of of every board of directors: Are you tough enough to do this job?

"Well, if you're tough enough to do this job, you're tough enough also for the board not to be able to manage you, for things to not happen that are in the best interests of the institution," he said. "And in that sense, it takes a group of really insightful folk involved in the employment process to assure that they don't knowingly, wittingly hire a bully."

He recalled a TV interview with a school board candidate where the man promised to turn around low test scores in six months. "Well you and I know that's not going to happen," Hopkins said. "There's only a couple of ways that's going to happen. One is to lie and cheat. The other is to force your management people to distort the data and information that they do have.

"So no, we don't see miraculous changes in large institutions in a hurry."

Hopkins told a 2000 international conference on workplace bullying in Boston, where Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie also spoke, that it takes a vigilant community to not suffer the consequences of bullying. And Sioux City has had its share of bullies over the years.

"I think part of what forces you to act is that workplace bullying is so destructive on the people who are targeted," he said.

During the Boston conference, a panel he was on was asked what they would do in X situation regarding a longtime workplace bully, "and I said, 'I'd fire their ass," he said.

A co-presenter responded that she would have a treatment plan.

"And I said I'd have a treatment plan, too," he said. "I'd fire their ass and I'd go to the coffee shop with them and say, 'You know, I don't really dislike you. I've got nothing against you. But you have made the lives of three people an absolute horror show for five years, and just now the institution's caught up with you -- and I'm madder than hell.'"

He said he simply couldn't protect a bully and return him to the co-workers he has mistreated by telling them he has turned his life around after five years of abuse. "You've messed in your nest. You've ruined the workplace," he said. "I really want him to turn himself around but turn himself around somewhere else."

Also, by dealing with the bully in such a public way, it sends a message to any other bullies in the workplace that such activity is not tolerated, Hopkins said.

The topic is "immensely treatable," he said, if the institution puts the right policies in place; but there is a tremendous need to get a community educated.

Statewide bullying laws are needed, laws that would look at workplace safety and give victims the recourse they now lack, he said. It is a misconception that there is nothing in labor law now that makes bullying illegal in America. OSHA, he noted, demands that you have a safe workplace. Yet while he would favor a broad-based law, Hopkins would rather see the problem settled in the workplace.

Bullies tend to be delusional, with self-promoted perspectives that don't jibe with reality.

Hopkins said he found himself in a meeting with a bully who said his friends considered him very bright.

"I said, 'If you're so damn bright, what are you doing in here?' Seriously, bright people don't end up in an office with that kind of conversation. He was very bright, but I wanted to make a point: 'You're not looking very bright to me.'

"Then his second comment was, 'Everybody likes me.' And I said, 'My point of view is, I don't know anyone who likes you.' And I really meant that. People were afraid of him. I didn't know anyone who really liked him. That didn't come up in my investigation."


Susan wrote on Sep 27, 2007 10:30 PM:

" I am from the east coast of Canada and workplace bullying is alive and well here. I work at a not for profit women's shelter and in addition to the stress of hearing the stories of those women we work with, we are experiencing abuse from a co worker. There are no laws here. So those of us (who are still at the workplace) are hurting,have to document everything. This is very difficult to do. Thanks for your article and your caring about this life altering experience. Canada needs laws also. Thanks, Susan "

JS wrote on Sep 26, 2007 9:23 PM:

" Great article on bullying. Wish there were more Mr Hopkins out there who would "fire their you know what." "

B wrote on Sep 26, 2007 12:07 PM:

" There's plenty of bullying to go around in schools, and a lot of it is administrators pushing kids out the door because they don't want to have to deal with a kids particular brand of disability any more. Parents have little recourse and it's harder than hell to prove. Bottom line is, if you have an administrator that is bullying coworkers & employees, they are probably bullying students as well... People who enjoy wielding their power & control over others don't do so in isolated pockets. They thrive on that head trip & the more they do it, the more they need. It's like a drug.. "

Mike wrote on Sep 26, 2007 11:58 AM:

" Hopkins is nuts. I'd fire his behind. "

Mike wrote on Sep 26, 2007 11:58 AM:

" Ya know my first thought on what they are calling bullying is some schmuck at work that does not know his head from a hole in the ground thinking he has great ideas when in truth he is an idiot. he considers his being brushed off bullying. To me that is where this ends up. "

Sara wrote on Sep 26, 2007 11:44 AM:

" The Sioux City Community School District needs to do something about its student bullying policies as well. They may have policies in place, but they're not enforcing them. I can't tell you how many times my child has come home with stories about bullying - not only on the playground, but in the classroom, in the presence of the teacher. Something needs to be done . . . "

rural_Living wrote on Sep 26, 2007 10:56 AM:

" Now if they could work on the bullying that still goes on in schools....from the top...I mean how there are some administrative personnel that will still bully the kids or teachers in order to force compliance...what are the kids learning from those bullies? "

GLS334 wrote on Sep 26, 2007 9:17 AM:

" Thrilled to see this story on workplace bullying. Discrimination laws in this country are limited to specific categories and then only if the mistreatment is related to that person's category - age, disability, religion, race, etc. Additionally, one should not consider HR as a refuge. Studies show in more than 50 percent of cases HR does nothing and in more than 30 percent of cases HR helps or supports bullies. Mostother western industrialized nations have workplace bullying laws in place. Industry and business will argue that this will cause an influx of frivilous litigation. But they can't know this if the laws are not in place. Wouldn't everyone want to err on the site of human well being? Certainly employers aren't saying that it wants to maintain the right to have bullies in their workplace, are they? (And are those questions ever asked in legislative debate?) It is a common mantra today to say that one of government's most important jobs is to protect the people. If that is the case, then it is incumbent upon legislators to pass laws against workplace bullying. "
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:15 pm ... 9817.shtml

Last modified 9/17/2007 - 11:02 pm
Originally created 091807

Bully bosses abundant, readers say


Bully bosses range from the no good to the bad to the downright ugly.
More than two dozen readers responded to my column about proposed legislation in 13 states to allow lawsuits against workplace bullying. No laws were proposed in Florida or Georgia.

None of the legislation was enacted, but several readers say it's needed. They asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

One woman says her husband works for a "tyrant" in a large Jacksonville industry.

The boss appears cool and calm around upper managers, "but as soon as they are gone, he starts cussing and degrading anyone lower than him." After her husband asked to discuss the situation, "this man has singled my husband out."

"When someone attempts to stand up to him, he makes that person's job a living hell until they eventually quit," she says.

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, disability or national origin. Being a bully isn't illegal, unless it can be attached to actions that are.

Should a case get to court, bullies and their employers should realize that people on juries generally have jobs or depend on someone who does. Bullying might not play well.

"That kind of conduct is very powerful with juries," says labor lawyer Tom Harper.

One woman was "tag-team" bullied by the boss and a "pet" employee. She was criticized in meetings, belittled and even chided for her weight. She ended up in counseling and was prescribed anti-depressants.

"I do think there should be a legal remedy," she says.

Some readers compared workplace bullying to domestic battery. "During my 11-month employment there, I came to feel as if I were a battered woman," wrote a woman who said she worked for a lawyer.

"He would tell us we were incompetent, a disgrace and threatened our jobs but turn around the next day and take us out to lunch or for drinks."

One reader says his bully boss was a relative of the owner. Another wonders why management defends his "my way or the highway" department head.

"He has poor communication skills, poor organizational skills, doesn't prioritize, gets only a little information on which to base major decisions, can't run a meeting effectively, has trouble controlling his temper and has almost no interpersonal skills," the employee writes. "This toxic situation is going to ruin our reputation."

One woman became an assistant to a new boss. He called her at home one night to look up the hours for a candy store so he could buy some for his wife.

"The clincher was when he asked me to perform an illegal act and notarize a forged document. I refused. Shortly after that he fired me," she says.

Some bullies are colleagues. "I always kept my cool and walked off to the break room," says an 18-year-old of a mean co-worker. Another woman targeted by a verbally abusive co-worker was transferred, but to a branch an hour's drive away.

A mother says her 17-year-old daughter quit her first job because a manager-in-training singled her out for abuse.

One man was 56 when he met his bully. After a year, he resigned. The bully later moved on, providing some vindication.

"But no one ever apologized for not believing in me," he says. "I feel that I deserved better, but got no support."

Maybe not, but he sure seems to have lots of company.,
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:26 pm ... VFeXkyMg==

Don't let bullies do a job on you
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Imagine being assigned a project at a new job only to find out it's bogus, or being falsely warned that the boss is looking for a new fall guy and you're it.

It would be lovely if all the schoolyard bullies stayed put as the rest of us move on in life. But the truth is, many have graduated to the workplace, bringing their own brand of adolescent horseplay to offices. The trouble is, what may seem harmless to some, measures show, can hurt business by sapping creativity, prompting turnover or even landing a company in court on harassment charges.

Outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas surveyed 100 human resource professionals and found that one in three has seen one or more workers quit as a result of bullying on the job. Challenger called the problem "far more prevalent than sexual harassment, workplace violence or racial discrimination,'' and said the long-term financial losses to an organization are "significant.''

One North Jersey woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing her job at a small Parsippany-based company, described being bullied into preparing presentations that never got used. Within six months of her arrival, she also was told by the bully that if she lost an account she would be "immediately terminated.'' The woman is looking for other work but, in the interim, says she is "watched constantly'' by this rogue colleague, a man her age. "The guy's office is directly across from my cubicle,'' she says. "He eavesdrops on my conversations and comes to correct me as soon as I hang up the phone.''

Data show this woman isn't alone. According to a Zogby International poll conducted for the Workplace Bullying Institute, some 37 percent of U.S. workers have reported being bullied on the job, and 49 percent say they have witnessed a bully in action. The WBI, a Washington State-based non-profit group serving the U.S. and Canada, estimates that as many as 71.5 million Americans are affected by bullying in the workplace. The WBI defines bullying as "repeated, health-harming verbal abuse; threatening, humiliating or offensive behavior; and work interference, including sabotage, that prevents work from getting done.''

Rick Gibbs says the problem is significant. He knows from past, firsthand work experience and in his current role as a senior human resources specialist for Administaff Inc. The publicly traded professional employer organization offers various services to smaller companies that outsource personnel and other functions.

"It's really just being nasty for nasty sake,'' says Gibbs. "Technically, it may not be illegal because it may not be directed at a person in a protected class, based on race, religion, age, gender, pregnancy or, at the state and local level, sexual orientation.''

Even though some groups such as the WBI are working toward having legislation passed to make workplace bullying illegal, employers should address the issue immediately in their written employee policies, Gibbs says.

"It should be stated that there is zero tolerance for any abusive behavior, including not just violence, but bullying, too,'' says Gibbs, whose company had $1.4 billion in revenue in 2006.

Employers also should establish whistle-blower protections for workers who come forward by creating steps for reporting incidents, he says. "They have to make it clear that employees will be free from retaliation if they make a complaint,'' Gibbs says.

He works to help employers establish and communicate policies on bullying, based in part on his own run-ins with a human resources manager at a "small mom-and-pop'' company years ago.

"This manager was very effective at concealing her stealthy sort of way,'' he says. "She would threaten people that if it didn't get done her way, they'd never work in this business again.''

After one employee showed the "courage'' to complain, Gibbs says, others came forward and the bully ultimately got the boot. But, he says, complaints can be time-consuming and costly to investigate, especially if lawyers are called in to defend a company in court. Avoiding the problem by creating a workplace culture that doesn't allow bullying is best, he says.

"It's much better to communicate your policy to everyone and to train supervisors to deal effectively with complaints than it is to have people questioned or deposed because bullying has occurred,'' he says. "That just takes away from what the organization is trying to do; productivity gets hurt, and often your most productive people just leave because they simply don't want to deal with it.''

Kicking sand on co-workers--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

• 37% of U.S. workers have reported being bullied on the job.

• 49% say they have witnessed a bully in action.

• 71.5 million Americans are affected by bullying in the workplace.

Source: Zogby International poll conducted for the Workplace Bullying Institute
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:38 pm ... 75507.html

Fear creates resistance to workplace bully laws
November 18, 2007

For those who have suffered at the hands of a workplace bully, I'm sure you are wondering why is it taking so long to pass a simple law against bullying.

Action specifically against bullying did not really surface until the 1990s. European countries led the fight, with activists like Andrea Adams from Great Britain coining the phrase "workplace bully" to describe the employer (or employees) who harassed employees in the workplace. The first national laws against workplace bullying include:

• Sweden: Victimization at Work, effective March 31, 1994
• Great Britain: Protection from Harassment Act 1997
• France: Law for "Social Modernization" January, 2002.

In the United States, states are passing anti-bullying laws.
The first was California in 2003, second was Oklahoma in 2004 and 2007; third was Hawaii in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 and our state was fourth in 2005 and now in 2007-08.

Thirteen states have tried to pass legislation on workplace bullying and three states are actively seeking passage of bills this year, Washington, New York, and New Jersey.

Why is it so difficult to pass a bill against workplace bullying?

One reason is the fear of what it will cost employers.
However, the cost of allowing workplace bullying to continue is far more expensive.
The illness and absenteeism of bullied employees adds serious costs for an employer.
Add to this the effect that workplace bullying has on morale of both the victim and their co-workers and the resulting loss of productivity in their work unit.
And most expensive to the employer is the loss of talent as good employees leave the abusive environment — 77 percent will leave.

Problem employees

Another reason that thwarts the passage of a workplace bullying bill is the fear that problem employees will try to use the bill for their benefit.
However, the Workplace Bullying Institute has stated that the employees that are bullied are "ethical, intelligent and independent employees." Problem employees, on the other hand, will usually have a history of performance problems with more than one supervisor.

A third reason why it is difficult to pass this legislation is that bullying still is a prevalent style of managing employees — management by fear. Some managers believe that this is the only way that they can get productivity.

In some divisions of agencies or companies, it has become part of their culture.

The fourth reason why legislation against bullying is so difficult is that lawmakers aren't sure how to handle it. South Australia might have found a key to passage — tie it to the unhealthy work environment that bullying creates. In 2005, lawmakers there passed the South Australia:
Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Amendment Act.

The quote below from Andrea Adams, British pioneer of workplace bullying, probably sums up best why workplace bullying needs to be stopped.
"It is amazing to me that any organization is prepared to condone an atmosphere of infectious fear simply through its inaction. Demeaning and devaluing men and women when they go to work is hardly an effective way of managing human beings, especially if they no longer enjoy doing their jobs. We all know that if we enjoy doing our jobs we tend to work well."

My next column will focus on help for the victims of bullying.
Tina VanderWal is a human resources specialist with the state and a columnist for The Olympian. She can be reached at
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:58 pm ... 323.column

Workplace bullies getting more scrutiny
Barbara Rose | YOUR SPACE
November 12, 2007

Elizabeth White used to work for a boss who singled out a different person to ridicule at every meeting.

"Every idea the person presented was wrong," she recalls. "For the whole meeting, the person's contributions would be shot down. Inevitably he would break out the phrase, 'What kind of idiot would come up with an idea like that?'

"We would slouch down in our chairs and hope it wasn't our turn," adds White, a Chicago-area manager who quit for another job. "He was an equal opportunity picker-on."

People who harass minorities or women do so at their peril because they risk running afoul of federal civil rights laws. Equal-opportunity abusers like White's former boss are subject to the laws of a free market -- people's willingness to work for them or an employer's willingness to hire them.

The bad news is, there's a lot more bullying behavior at work than ever surfaces in lawsuits, formal grievances or internal complaints. The good news is, the subject is getting a lot of attention.

There's a whole new genre of books from Laura Crawshaw's "Taming the Abrasive Manager" to Robert Sutton's "The No A...... Rule." Workers vent at Web sites such as and tattle at

So, is the world of work getting meaner? Employees seem to think so.

Consultant Freada Klein has been asking about public humiliation and bullying in employee surveys for clients since the 1990s.

"The incidence of both is increasing," she says. "There always remains a question of whether the actual number of incidents is rising" or whether people's awareness and expectations are changing.

"The important issue is, if people perceive they're being publicly humiliated or bullied, that drives talent out the door," says Klein, author of "Giving Notice: Why the Best and the Brightest Leave the Workplace and How You Can Help Them Stay."

"The world has changed," says Marshall Goldsmith, a leading executive coach. "Most people graduating from colleges or technical schools do not have an expectation of being treated as a lesser person. Many of them know more than their boss does technically."

What constitutes a bully? It's no longer the screaming, stapler-throwing ogre of yesterday.

People who study abusive work behavior say it includes lying, breaking promises, withholding resources and delivering withering glances or the "silent treatment," along with such common hallmarks as name-calling and ridicule.

The non-profit Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash., defines bullying as "repeated health-harming mistreatment" that involves one or more of the following: verbal abuse, threats, humiliation and sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

Nearly 13 percent of U.S. workers report experiencing such mistreatment within the last year, according to the institute's online poll of 7,700 workers in August. Another 24 percent said they had been bullied sometime during their working lives.

The poll concluded that bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal, discriminatory harassment.

Most, but not all, bullies are bosses -- women as well as men.

Their targets rarely confront them. Fewer than one in five files a formal complaint with their employer or a state or federal agency; 40 percent never tell their employers.

As part of a public awareness campaign since the late 1990s, the institute advocates legislation. Lawmakers in 13 states from California to Connecticut introduced anti-bullying bills but none has passed. Measures are still pending in New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Washington.

Employment lawyer Richard Rosenblatt says there's a reason these measures haven't gained much traction.

"It's kind of like beauty is in the eye of the beholder," says Rosenblatt, a partner in the Princeton, N.J., office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. "There are times when people need to be demanding. That's not harassment, that's management."

Yet similar arguments that harassment is too subjective to be legislated surfaced before federal civil rights laws were adopted more than 40 years ago. Since then, the definition of sexual harassment, for instance, has broadened.

A male boss who yelled and screamed at female employees was found guilty of sex harassment even though he didn't use sexual language and sometimes yelled at male employees, too. A federal appeals court ruled that a "reasonable woman" would have found his behavior more intimidating than a man.

Most European countries prohibit workplace bullying. In France, for instance, labor codes provide civil and criminal sanctions against "moral harassment," including prison and fines. "Companies often designate someone whom the employees can visit to discuss possible moral harassment issues," says Francois Vergne, a Morgan Lewis partner in Paris.

There's little chance of a sweeping change in the regulatory or legal landscape here. But a shrinking labor pool and an impatient generation of educated workers will exert pressure on employers to clean up their acts.


Reader Comments:

Janesville, WI
Tuesday Nov 13
This is an important issue and the fine article gives it more visibility. People in the workplace have a false sense of security, not realizing that harassment and discrimination laws are very narrowly defined in the US. If one doesn't fit into one of the protected categories, the type and severity of negative treatment (short of physical assault) can continue with impunity.

The primary arguments against anti-workplace bullying legislation has been speculation that it the law would spawn a flood of frivilous litigation. There is no way of knowing this without having a law in place. But it also seems reasonable to assume that a business confident about the behaviour and treatment of employees wouldn't care if a such a law were put in place.


Rose Franzmeier
Seattle, WA
Wednesday Nov 14
The issue of bullying has been around for a long time. It is good that it is becoming part of the issue in recruiting and retaining talent. Who wants to work for a boss or with a co-worker who constantly bully's others.

Ball Ground, GA
Monday Dec 3
Rather than trying to eliminate the behavior of bullying in our youth, we should be teaching these victim how to effectively handle these uncomfortable situations. Unfortunately, when youth are taught that the teacher or school administrators will "handle" the situations for them, they never pick up the necessary tools to deal with this kind of problem themselves. I am not talking about weapons-related or gang attacks, just the normal teasing and school-age pranks that most kids used to have endured throughout time.

Mahomet, IL
Wednesday Dec 5
I just this morning quit a good paying job due to a verbally abusive boss who delighted in humiliating me. I loved the job, but the boss was enough to try a saint's patience. Unfortunately, it was a one-man-show, so there really wasn't much recourse. This is an issue that doesn't get enough press, and anyone who says, "oh look at the whiners" just isn't dealing with reality.
Last edited by RatPak11 on Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:06 pm

*(The U.S. Is Not The Only Country With The Bully Boss Problem)

DAWN Continues its campaign against Bullying at Work

15th November 2007

Dignity at Work Now this year will continue our campaign creating awareness about bullying in our places of work, this time by having a flag day on Friday 16th November.

In 2006, we together with the Andrea Adam Trust (UK) focused on self-reflection, asking the question ‘Have you Crossed the Line?’ The theme this year is ‘Speak Out’.

Respectfully, we therefore ask for your assistance and collaboration in making it possible for us to ‘speak out’ and be heard or read via your medium.

Local study shows that almost 1 in 3 people have been bullied in the last six months in their places of work. This figure may be as high as 1 in 2.

“So, chances are that even if you have been lucky enough to escape persecution yourself, someone very close to you may have their lives wrecked by it at some point. And if they do, one issue they may have to deal with is bystander apathy. With colleagues and friends often keeping their heads down to save themselves, targets of bullying become isolated very quickly.”

We are therefore encouraging both individuals and organisations to have the strength and courage to stand up and Speak Out. We want people to be aware of the complex issues that surround bullying, and to understand how they may be resolved; if not for themselves, then for the sake of others close to them.

Please consider the following information (attached) for publication on 16th November 2007.Information:

Bullying and harassment is a major problem within many workplaces, however, often it remains a hidden problem and can be accepted or even encouraged by the culture of an organisation.

Bullying at work can never be acceptable. The TUC believes that all workers have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at work and any form of bullying is totally unacceptable behaviour. In addition it can lead to work related stress and ill health for many workers.

What is workplace bullying?

Usually if a person genuinely feels they are being singled out for unfair treatment by a manager or colleague they are probably being bullied. Although there is no comprehensive list of bullying behaviours, and there is no one type of person who is likely to be a bully, the list below should give an idea of some of the behaviours which constitute workplace bullying.

Please note that individual incidents of the abuses listed here may be relatively trivial but, there may be a large number of such incidents sustained over time which can cause serious psychological damage to the target, for example, depression, loss of self esteem or "complex post-traumatic stress disorder".

It can be a kind of "death by a thousand cuts", where each cut may be relatively minor but the cumulative effect can be severe.

Bullying behaviour may include:

• Competent staff being constantly criticised, having responsibilities removed or being given trivial tasks to do

• Staff being shouted at

• Staff being persistently picked on in front of others, or in private

• Having promotion blocked

• Regularly making the same person the butt of jokes

• Constantly attacking a member of staff in terms of their professional or personal standing

• Setting a person up to fail by overloading them with work or setting impossible deadlines

• Regularly and deliberately ignoring or excluding individuals from work activities

• Staff having their views and opinions ignored

• Using popular songs lyrics to get to someone

• Deliberately being left out of social functions

• Deliberately not asking as to your health after returning from sick leave but very concerned as to the work that was left unfinished

• Closing office doors unnecessarily to make you feel isolated

• Blocking training opportunities

• Overreacting to small or trivial mistakes, but not for others

• Reports made and entered in your personal file without you knowing

• Discrediting: spreading rumours ‘whisper campaign’

• Forcing tasks under vague excuses

• Fabricating stories by managers to discredit your reputation among colleagues and keeping you in the ‘dark’ about it

• Not being afforded the opportunity to defend your position

• Having stories about you accepted as ‘gospel’ without verification or evidence

• Isolating the person: no longer talking to him at all, denying his presence, distancing him from others, ostracising

• Running for the chair at a social function table so as not to have you beside them

• Being told off for coming in late but telling off others

• Snipe remarks, ‘can’t you take a joke?’ this is abuse dressed up as banter

• Making unnecessary noise, grunts or animal-like sounds that disturbs others

• Issuing orders/instruction without giving reasons

• Interrogation of whereabouts

• Lack of credit for efforts or falsely taking credit for your efforts

• Lies, including omissions of needed information

• Humiliation at lack of knowledge

• Lack on proper and structured training programme

The extent of bullying

The extent of bullying varies from employer to employer, and sector to sector.

A large survey on bullying at work by the University of Manchester showed that:

• 1 in 10 workers had been bullied in the last 6 months

• 1 in 4 workers had been bullied in the last 5 years

• 47% of workers had witnessed bullying at work

Another survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 20% had experienced some form of bullying or harassment over the past two years. The survey also reported that the groups most likely to become victims of bullying and harassment are black and Asian employees, women and people with a disability. Nearly one third (29 per cent) of Asian employees or those from other ethnic groups report having experienced some form of bullying or harassment compared with 18 per cent of white employees. Employees with disabilities are at least twice as likely to report having experienced one or more forms of bullying and harassment compared with non-disabled employees.

Research has also shown that while managers and supervisors are more likely to be the bully, they can also be bullied. For example, almost equal numbers of workers with and without supervisory responsibility report being bullied in the previous nine months, and 9% of senior managers’ report being targeted by bullies. However the most common type of bullying is by a manager against a subordinate.

Workplace bullying is also a major concern for safety representatives. The TUC survey of safety representatives published in 2006 showed that one in three safety representatives say bullying as a problem in their workplace with 15% viewing it as a major hazard of concern to workers. However within the public sector the figure rose to 18%.

The cost of bullying

The main cost of bullying is to the individual being bullied. Stress and ill health can become part of the daily life of those being bullied. Symptoms can include:

anxiety, headaches, nausea, ulcers, sleeplessness, skin rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, tearfulness, loss of self confidence, and depression. In addition employers pay a high price for failing to tackle bullying because of lost time by staff being affected by stress and ill health, lost incentives when morale is low and reduced work output and quality of service in organisations where bullying is endemic. Also workplaces with a culture of bullying are likely to have a much higher staff turnover.

However, it must be recognised that bullying is not just a question of an individual picking on someone weaker or more vulnerable than them. Often it is a symptom of the culture within the organisation. If an employer/manager makes it quite clear they will not accept bullying, and are prepared to take action against anyone found to have bullied a colleague then bullying can be stopped in its tracks.

The Law

Employers who fail to tackle bullying are breaking the law. All employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. That includes protection from bullying and harassment at work. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations also require employers to assess the nature and the scale of workplace risks to health and safety, ensure there are proper control measures in place, and take action to remove or avoid these risks wherever possible as far is as reasonably practical.

The Health and Safety Executive also states that 'there should be systems in place to deal with interpersonal conflicts such as bullying and harassment'.

This issue would necessitate specific legislation as in other forward thinking European countries, in order to give victims of bullying protection. It is ironic that old buildings have laws to protect them; animals have laws to protect them from cruelty, but so far, there is no law in Gibraltar to protect human beings from the cruelty of bullying.

What to do if you are being bullied

If you feel you are being singled out or bullied at work, you should not have to put up with it. There are steps you can take.

1. First, speak to the bully. A direct approach is usually the best. Tell the person that you find their behaviour unacceptable and ask them to stop. This is sometimes all that is needed. Bullies do not like being confronted particularly by someone who is calm and civilised.

2. The majority of bullying goes on behind closed doors. So tell a friend or work colleague. You may well find out you are not the only one who has suffered. It is important that you do not try to cope on your own.

3. Talk to your union; tell them what has been happening. This will be in confidence and does not mean that a formal complaint will automatically be made.

A safety rep will only do what you want them to and will give you the advice and support you need. They will want to have the bullying stopped quietly and quickly and can go with you to speak to the bully, or see them on your behalf. They safety rep will also help you with a formal complaint, if it goes that far, giving advice and support throughout the procedure.

4. If you are in a union but it is not recognised where you work, call your local union office. The number will be on your membership card or in the local telephone directory. You will still get the legal advice and support you need.

Where unions are not recognised, employers are obliged by law to consult the workforce on health and safety issues either directly or through members of staff independently elected as Representatives of Employee Safety (ROES). Where they exist, you should consult the ROES who is likely to be a union member as well.

5. If you are not already in a union – join one with an anti-bullying policy. You have every right to do so. You do not have to tell your employers, but if they find out, it is illegal for them to sack you or to cause you detriment. The union will listen to you and ensure you have the best advice. The union can give you free legal advice, support you, put you in touch with support groups and approach the employer on your behalf.

6. Keep a diary. This will give a vital record of the nature of the bullying and when it occurred. It will be important when the bully is confronted. Many of the incidents may appear trivial in isolation so it is important to establish a pattern over a period of time.

7. Tell your manager or supervisor. If it is one of them who is bullying you, go and tell their manager. Take your diary with you to back up what you have to say. They may not believe you but you have at least told them there is a bullying problem. The more people that know, the more difficult it is for the bully to flourish.

8. In the end you may have to make a formal complaint and go through the grievance procedure, if you have one! If you do take this route, never go to a meeting connected with the complaint without your union rep or a friend as a witness or a lawyer.

Negotiating a Standard of Behaviour at Work Policy

Responsibility to deal with bullying lies with management. To deal with bullying effectively, it must be seen as an organisational issue and action to prevent it must focus on stopping unwanted behaviour in general. If an employer simply concentrates on individual acts of bullying by blaming individuals, the underlying cause, which is often a management culture of bullying, will not be tackled.

Safety representatives should aim to negotiate a policy on bullying with their employer. Ideally it should cover the following points:


This policy should include a definition of bullying and harassment (it is important that staff are clear of what will not be tolerated) and a statement of commitment from the employer to tackle bullying and harassment. The policy must make clear that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated and that any complaints will be taken seriously.

Duties of managers

Any policy should make clear that every line manager or supervisor has a responsibility for preventing or eliminating bullying and harassment.

Prevention measures

The policy should outline what action will be taken to help prevent bullying and harassment at work including training of managers, support networks and information to staff.


Because many workers will not raise their concerns with their line manager, sometimes because the line manager or higher manager is the person who may be the bully, it is important that there is a method of accessing help independent from a line manager. This can be a Human Resources officer, a bullying contact officer, or a phone line to an outside body that can provide support and assistance like Dignity At Work Now. Tel: 57799000

A procedure for complaints

There must be, within the policy, a procedure to deal with complaints. This may be part of the normal grievance procedure, or separate from it. However in many cases the normal grievance procedure may not be sufficient, particularly if the line manager is the person who is alleged to be the bully. Therefore the procedure must allow complaints to be heard at a level above the line manager. The procedure should also ensure that where an allegation is made, the person who is alleging they are being bullied, is not moved unless at their own request. Instead the alleged bully should be moved if such action is deemed necessary.

The procedure should ensure that, where an allegation is made, the alleged bully is given the opportunity of changing their behaviour. Often a bully is completely unaware that their behaviour may be seen to be unacceptable and the procedure should be flexible enough to allow matters to be raised informally at an early stage to see whether there can be a behaviour change without more formal measures being used.

Information and training

Any policy must be notified to all staff including contract staff. It should also be raised at induction training.

In addition it is important that all managers are trained on what may constitute bullying, identifying it, and the employers procedures. They should also be made aware of their responsibilities in preventing or eliminating bullying.

The role of trade unions

The policy should encourage anyone who feels they may be being bullied or harassed to contact their trade union immediately.

The following is a Guide by the TUC in the UK dated October 2007
Last edited by RatPak11 on Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:10 pm

State lawmakers consider law against workplace bullies
Nov 1, 2007

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- According to a survey, 37 percent of people claim they've been bullied at work.

The statistic is the result of research by Zogby International, which surveyed more than 7700 adults.

The tactics bullies used were more subtle than school yard bullies, but their effects proved to be devastating.

Dr. Ruth Namie said a former boss used to berate her every day.

"I was terrified, and would run from her and hide from her," she said.

Dr. Gary Namie started studying bullies at work after his wife's health suffered and became the director of the Workplace Bullying Institute.

"Why would someone suffer war wounds in the work place unless the work place is a war zone?" he said.

New research by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed that almost three quarters of reported bullies are the target's boss. The study also found that women are bulled more often that men, especially by other women.

"Women prefer to target women and men are evenly split on who they pummel, but women are especially cruel to women," Dr. Gary said.

The targets often suffered anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress.

"I threw up almost every night before I went to work," Ruth said.

With research indicating some 54 million Americans are bullied at work, state lawmakers are considering a healthy workplace bill.

Work bullies cost employers millions in stress-related illnesses, absences and lost productivity. And Ruth says bullying isn't the same as tough management, but rather dumping misery on someone else.

"Verbal abuse, or conduct that is threatening, intimidating or humiliating -- it is the undermining of somebody's work, it is sabotage.," Dr. Gary said.

Without a law protecting victims, they often wind up in court or quit.

"If the employer does nothing, (you) have to leave because it's never going to be healthy there," said Dr. Gary.

And if you don't quit, Dr. Gary said, there's a strong chance the bully will force you out.

The Bullying Institute found that the targets of workplace bullies have a few things in common. They're often independent, highly-skilled, well-liked and ethical employees.
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Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:13 pm ... PCbusiness

November 1, 2007

Alternative Resolutions: Workplace bullies have become multibillion-dollar problem

Q: I have been working as an engineer in my company for nearly 30 years and until recently I really liked my work.

A new guy is making life a living hell for me. He acts like he's my boss and tries to order me around. I've tried to nicely remind him that he's not my boss, but he gets really ugly — he yells and swears at me, calls me names, says I'm not doing my job, and makes fun of my appearance — most of the time in front of the other guys. It's humiliating and the stress has become almost unbearable — I have a hard time staying focused on my work and hate coming in everyday. I can't sleep, my blood pressure has become a problem, and I'm starting to take it out on my family.

While he's pretty nasty to almost everyone, he has singled me out as his primary target. I am eligible to retire in two years, but I don't think I can take it that long. Tell me what to do.

A: Bullying is about power and control. The U.S. Department of Labor and Industries defines bullying as "an on-going pattern of behavior that often involves an abuse or misuse of power. Bullying includes behavior that intimidates, degrades, offends, or humiliates a worker, often in front of others."

Workplace bullying is widespread and has become a multibillion dollar problem. While we tend to think of bullying as a school playground issue, 61 percent of people surveyed by the Workplace Bullying Institute reported that bullying is going on in their workplace. You are exhibiting many of the signs of a bullying target. To deal with the bullying:

Professionally and respectfully confront the bully: Ask your co-worker to meet with you to discuss your concerns. Respectfully and firmly request ground rules for the discussion, like no yelling or name calling. Be clear that if the ground rules are broken, the conversation is finished. Let him know that you want a professional relationship and clearly identify the behaviors that are unacceptable in your workplace.

Because bullying has long been an accepted cultural norm in many workplaces, bringing to his attention that certain behaviors are not acceptable in his new workplace may be enough for him to change his behavior.

Avoid engaging in similar behaviors: Stay calm when interacting with him. Yelling back, swearing at him, or making threats are the type of confrontational behavior bullies try to elicit. When they know they can easily get a rise out of you, you become fair game. When you don't respond as they would like, you become too much work and they will typically move on.

Report the behaviors: If attempts to address concerns with your co-worker are not successful, report the behaviors. Most organizations want to avoid the potential for workplace violence that can occur when bullying is left unchecked and escalates. Report the behaviors when they occur; don't wait and hope things will improve. As objectively as possible, tell your boss or someone in the human resources department about your experiences and the impact these behaviors are having on you, including any concerns about physical safety.

About 37 percent of employees who are bullied quit their jobs. Workplace bullying is expensive for the company — lost experience, lost productivity, turnover costs, legal fees and organizational reputation. Not dealing with bullying effectively is a risk organizations can no longer afford to take.

Karen Dorn and Cheryl Stinski of Alternative Resolutions Inc. provide tools and training for managing communication, conflict, and change. Call them at 920-993-1490 or visit their Web site at to submit a question or to sign up for a free subscription to their monthly newsletter, The Toolbox.
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