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A surprisingly high amount of employees feel bullied at work

Bullying does not stop in grade school. It can continue into adulthood, found in office environments and businesses. Bullying looks a little different as an adult, but it still makes the victim feel disrespected. A surprisingly high amount of American workers feel bullied on the job. According to a USA Today article, 29 percent of employees say they have been bullied by coworkers or bosses.

Spotting bullying among employees

How can employers spot the issue? Behavior that constitutes as bullying can include:

  • Gossiping
  • Belittling comments in group work settings
  • Rude criticizing of a colleague
  • Ignoring, excluding or dismissing coworkers
  • Holding different standards for different people
  • Yelling at a coworker in front of others

Not only do a large amount of workers feel bullied, but certain workers feel more bullied than others. 40 percent of LGBTQ employees have experienced bullying, while 32 percent of women say the same. Targeted employees may eventually submit a discrimination or harassment claim to the HR department. If the offenses become bad enough, employees may seek legal recourse through a lawsuit.

How can employers prevent bullying?

Employee litigation can hurt your business professionally and financially. It is important to seek preventative measures as your business grows. A proactive first step is to hire an employment law attorney. A lawyer specializing in employment law will help you establish documents to protect your employees and your business. As discussed in a previous blog about mitigating employee litigation, a lawyer can help you with the following:

  • Company policies: Create anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies clearly stating that your business does not tolerate bullying of any kind.
  • An employee handbook: Write an employee handbook with easily accessible sections that highlight your policies on bullying and harassment.
  • Training: Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training sessions can ensure that employees understand your policies.
  • Disciplinary records: Keep detailed employee disciplinary records. If an employee exhibits bullying behavior, then you can show that you took steps to discipline the worker and mitigate further harassment of the targeted employee.

Taking steps to moderate workplace bullying with the help of an attorney will protect your valued employees and the longevity of your business.

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