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Bullying in the workplace

Bullying has garnered a growing amount of attention in the United States in the past several years. Today, the awareness of bullying has moved far beyond the playground and into many other realms of life including the workplace. Minnesota residents face the potential of becoming the targets of workplace bullying and should become educated about what really constitutes bullying at work and what can be done to stop it.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment in the workplace can include anything that can be deemed abusive, intimidating or hostile. These actions can be illegal and violate one of three civil rights laws designed to protect workers against such issues. Harassment is generally thought to be perpetrated by managers and supervisors but co-workers, vendors and more can also harass innocent workers. An employee who is the victim of harassment and a hostile work environment is indeed being bullied.

A study conducted in 2014 by the Workplace Bullying Institute reported that as many as 27 percent of people either currently experience bullying at work or have in the past. Additionally, the WBI report indicates that a large amount—72 percent—of employers are found to either defend, deny, ignore or rationalize allegations of bullying behavior at their companies. People in positions of authorities were found to be the most common instigators of the bullying.

Minnesota employees deserve the right to safe working environments and conditions. Protection from bullying and other forms of harassment is required by law. Knowing how to get help if these laws are not followed can be important.

 

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