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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



October 15th, 2014

PEI RNs commit to stopping bullying in their workplaces

The Association of Registered Nurses made the cessation of bullying among their members (lateral violence) and against their members (bullying & abusive conduct) a priority. The project was launched at a 1-day conference in Charlottetown on Oct. 10. Speakers included Gary Namie, Director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and Vicki Foley, Nursing Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island. Both speakers appeared on CBC-PEI radio show Island Morning promoting the event.

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Posted in WBI in the News | Post Comment



October 14th, 2014

Indonesia: Siapa Biasanya Korban Bullying di Tempat Kerja?

The international reach of WBI …

By Timi Trieska Dara – 14 Oktober 2014, MetroTVNews, Jakarta, Indonesia

Intimidasi (bullying) di tempat kerja bukan hal baru. Sebagian besar korban bullying adalah perempuan. Survei yang dilakukan Workplace Bullying Institute Amerika Serikat mencatat sekitar 37 persen pekerja menjadi korban bullying.

Penulis sebuah penelitian, Karan Smith, mengatakan sekitar 40 persen dari pelaku bully di tempat kerja di AS adalah perempuan. Korban bullying sebagian besar adalah perempuan. Selain itu, pria pelaku bully juga sering memilih perempuan sebagai korbannya.

Berikut beberapa hasil pengamatan terkait bullying di tempat kerja:

1. Bullying memiliki banyak bentuk
“Taktik bully dari yang bersifat keras–berteriak, membanting pintu, dan ngomel–hingga yang halus, misalnya karyawan yang dibully tidak diikutsertakan dalam pertemuan penting atau ditugaskan tanpa sumber daya yang memadai untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan rekannya. Rekan kerjanya bisa direkrut dalam ekspedisi untuk mengisolasinya. Di belakang korban, pengganggu melancarkan aksinya, meskipun bos sendiri sering menjadi penyebabnya,” kata Karan.

2. Pelaku bully memilih karyawan yang baik sebagai korban
“Karyawan yang diserang sering kompeten, berkomitmen pada satu prinsip, dipilih untuk kekuatannya, bukan kelemahannya,” ujarnya.

3. Ikan membusuk dari kepala
“Bullying biasanya terjadi dalam kepemimpinan yang buruk,” kata Karan.

4. Bullying menciptakan penyakit
Korban bully akan sering mengalami tekanan darah tinggi, depresi, diabetes, dan bahkan masalah di tempat kerja seperti gangguan pasca-trauma stres.

Cara terbaik untuk mencegah bullying, baik pria maupun wanita, adalah mempertimbangkan alasan sosial yang mendasar mengapa hal itu terjadi di tempat pertama.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, WBI in the News | Post Comment



October 9th, 2014

Shop & support the Workplace Bullying Institute

People who benefit from the advice found at this WBI website or in our books or on the WBI YouTube channel, or from the WBI videos designed to help bullied individuals can now help WBI.

GR Northwest is our online shopping site. A small portion of the sales goes to WBI.

We start with seasonal offerings — Halloween and Christmas.

Tell us what you normally purchase online and we will attempt to make those items available so you can support WBI simply by making your routine online purchases.

Dash off an email to

ideas at grnorthwest.com so we can try to acquire those items for you.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | Post Comment



October 9th, 2014

WBI Survey: The Many Ways Workplace Bullying Offends Its Targets

THE MANY WAYS WORKPLACE BULLYING OFFENDS ITS TARGETS
WBI Research/Instant Poll: 2014 – C

At WBI we teach extensively about the health risks of bullying for its victims, the bullied targets. Health risks are documented in the extant research literature and in the collection of prior WBI studies. We have also explored perceived injustices associated with bullying.

Harassment is considered “offensive” mistreatment. Offensiveness is subjective. What offends one person might not adversely affect others. However, when people are hurt, upset or angry over the behaviors by another person specifically directed at them, they have the right to claim to be offended.

At the very least, bullying is offensive. It is also demeaning, ostracizing, disempowering, cruel, threatening, humiliating, untruthful, and unrelated to work itself.

WBI Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

For this survey, we asked 1,031 respondents (bullied targets and witnesses) to describe the five most offensive aspects of the bullying experience.

Question: As a bullied target, what aspect of the bullying offended you the most? Check the top 5.

There were a total of 4,588 choices made by the 1,031 respondents. The top 6 from the list of 17 choices appears in the graph. We plotted the actual number of respondents who chose each item. The proportions based on the 1,031 respondents are shown in parentheses. Though respondents were allowed up to five choices, numbers 5 and 6 were virtually tied in rank, so both are shown.

Being accused of incompetence when I possessed more technical skills than my accuser 580 (.568)
Being humiliated in front of coworkers 493 (.483)
Feeling ashamed though I did nothing wrong 432 (.423)
Management ignoring my complaint 426 (.417)
Having coworkers ostracize, exclude & reject me 370 (.362)
Retaliation that followed my complaint 368 (.360)

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 3 Comments



October 8th, 2014

Let’s Talk with Kalola: Life After Bullying – Recovery

Dear Kalola,

I worked in the same grocery store for ten years total, taking a couple years off while I was in college. My first manager wasn’t exactly easy to get along with, mainly because of his short temper that mellowed out over the years, but I wouldn’t consider him a bully. But in October 2011 a new night manager was forced on our store who was friends with one of the corporate managers. The new night manager was given the manager’s position in March 2012, forcing the previous manager to step down to work the produce department before retiring.

The new manager based his entire style on threats and intimidation. In some cases our longest-standing workers were fired for thefts that never actually happened while one worker that I had turned in for stealing was promoted to assistant manager. In the two years that I suffered under this man’s reign of terror we went through three night managers. Some of the women told me that they were sexually harassed, but they were too scared to report anything to the corporate office. Every idea that I came up with for improvement in the store was stupid, unless someone else came up with the same idea later. The manager even went so far as to harass the customers with false accusations of stealing. I used to joke with employees to keep their receipts tattooed to their arms. During the first year under this manager our sales dropped 27%.

Continue reading this article… »
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October 7th, 2014

CBS Chicago: When Female Competition Is a Destructive Force

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October 7th, 2014

California lawyers respond to new abusive conduct training law

Law Takes Aim at Workplace Bullying, Raises Questions

By Laura Hautaia, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Sept. 17, 2014

What counts as bullying in the workplace?

While the concept may be relatively new, managers will have to undergo training on preventing abusive conduct at work once a new law goes into effect in January. The training will come along with other required lessons on preventing sexual harassment and discrimination, but it’s different in one important way: bullying isn’t illegal in California. For now.

Attorneys say AB 2053, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed in August, might open the door to making abusive conduct illegal, opening a new category of liability for employers.

“There’s a feeling that there should be a way to prevent that kind of destructive behavior, because it does hurt people when it’s extreme enough, and it causes economic damage,” said Margaret H. Edwards, a shareholder at Littler Mendelson PC who has researched the advent of anti-bullying laws worldwide.

At the moment, the required training might still come into play in a court case if workers sue for harassment or intentional infliction of emotional damage in the workplace, attorneys said.

Whether or not employers provided adequate training on abusive conduct, said Chaya M. Mandelbaum, a partner at Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe who represents workers, “could be a very relevant piece in looking at the culture of the workplace.” Edwards said the new requirement heralds wider recognition of bullying as a problem that can be addressed with laws. Indeed, other states are considering bills that address bullying in schools, and Tennessee passed a law encouraging public employers to create anti-bullying policies.

What’s more, she noted, laws have passed in Canada, the UK and Europe that address bullying in the workplace. “I think part of this is because of work that has been done that comes out of the harassment arena and a desire to try to address destructive behaviors in the workplace that don’t quite fall into the traditional harassment and discrimination categories,” Edwards said.

Some of that work has been done by Gary Namie, a Washington State social psychologist who advocates for anti-bullying legislation. He worked to get a more comprehensive law banning workplace bullying in California in 2003, but the law didn’t pass. Namie said his organization, the Workplace Bullying Institute, talked with California Assemblywoman Lorena Gomez as she authored AB 2053, but that the resulting bill was watered down from what he hopes to see eventually become the law.

“The law is a baby step toward recognizing the impact of workplace bullying defined as abusive conduct,” Namie said. Namie compares abusive conduct at work to domestic abuse. Rather than isolated incidents of cruelty, he said, bullying is a pattern that systematically beats down an employee.

Employment attorneys agreed with this description. “It’s vicious a lot of times,” said Kathryn B. Dickson. What’s more, she said, everyone at the workplace can suffer when bullying takes place. “It has impact on morale and productivity.” But Dickson also noted that while the law defines abusive conduct, naming it in the workplace might still be difficult.” “It gets very mushy around the edges,” she said. However, she compared the task of defining workplace bullying to the questions that surrounded the idea of sexual harassment when it was first litigated in courts. “People said how are we going to say what harassment is? That worked out.”

One test case emerged in 2006, when a judge in London ruled in favor of a former employee of DB Services (UK) Ltd., a UK subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, who said she was systematically bullied at work until she suffered two bouts of Major Depressive Disorder. In a detailed, 46-page decision, High Court Justice Robert M. Owen said the bullying was harassment under the country’s Protection from Harassment Act of 1997, and that the company should have done more to prevent it.

The plaintiff, Helen Green, said coworkers engaged in “petty” bullying conduct and went out of their way to exclude her from conversations, lunches, work-related email chains and more. Green even recounted that one coworker made a raspberry sound every time she took a step while walking across the office. “Many of the incidents that she describes would amount to no more than minor slights,” Owen wrote. “But it is their cumulative effect that has to be considered.” What’s more, the company was privy to information about Green’s mental health history and could have known she would be vulnerable to such bullying, he ruled.

Such situations aren’t uncommon in American workplaces, plaintiffs’ attorneys said. Mandelbaum said many people call seeking legal representation, only to learn what they experience at the hands of a coworker or supervisor is not illegal. What’s more, often it’s bullying that motivates someone to sue for sexual harassment or discrimination in the first place, he said. “It’s that kind of conduct that underlies their feelings and their motivation to go through what they need to go through to enforce their rights legally.” Mandelbaum said.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | 1 Comment



October 3rd, 2014

New WBI Instant Poll: Training by employers

What training or education does (did) your employer provide related to workplace bullying?

View Results

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October 3rd, 2014

Advice for bullied targets from a veteran of being bullied

I’ve endured a nasty work environment for a very long time. It’s been hard and opened my eyes to the reality that way too many people are walking around with sore egos underneath fake smiles. The self talk going on has got to be self-pitying to an extreme in order for these sick minds to rationalize away their behavior. Be sure there’s a lot of deeply angry insecure people wearing “look normal” masks out there. And when these miserable characters find each other, their conduct turns manic. Like a perfect storm of lunacy. They lose perspective even more, become further delusional, and wage career wars against do-gooder law-abiding ethical people. Nevermind that there are pedophiles, terrorists, and murderers walking the planet. Nope. Not important. Their priority is taking out those who probably deserve a thank you.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to make it through something like this with self-esteem intact (job or no job afterward), you HAVE TO remember the truths about yourself that the sore egos would like you and anyone else to forget. You have to remind yourself everyday who you in fact are and the principles that you stand for. Your self-talk needs to be more profound and more frequent than the magnitude of the vileness and obstacles they’ll keep trying to put in your way.

Resist the urge to concern yourself about what others will perceive regarding you or your reputation. You can’t control people. I have found that folks think what they want to think and I’m certain this goes beyond my experiences and is probably just a universal truth. If someone wants to think less of you because it makes them feel better, they will. And they are going to. ANY old excuse, true or false, will do. Proof is absolutely not required. And if someone is self-content, he or she is not going to waste time or thought to joining the smear campaign. Yes there can definitely be negative consequences that result from damage to your reputation, but at the end of the day, oddly, your reputation really has little to do with you and much much more to do with others’ subjective and often fallible interpretation.

There is no easy way through something like this. You already know how sympathetic employers aren’t to this and so you’ll likely be the only one in your corner AND be outnumbered. So remembering who you are in the midst of evil people, knowing what is right, and acknowledging what are truths are all the “support” you’re going to receive. And you’re going to need all you can get. And know through and through that you’re not the only person out there this is happening to. There are many people enduring this at the very same moment you are.

– Jen

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 4 Comments



October 2nd, 2014

WBI Survey: Intentions of Workplace Bullies

INTENTIONS OF WORKPLACE BULLIES
WBI Research/Instant Poll: 2014 – B

There has long been a debate about intentionality of perpetrators’ action in workplace bullying. Were the tactics committed deliberately? In the earliest WBI definition of bullying, we included “deliberate.” But as our legal education progressed and we began to lobby lawmakers to introduce our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, we learned that the law did not require the discovery of motive if the action happens. That is, the wrongdoing — bullying acts — was evidence of intent. No one has to divine the hidden goals of perpetrators. If they committed the act, they meant to.

Nevertheless bully apologists —bloggers and reporters for business media — like to state that most bullying is unintentional. We certainly allowed for “accidental” or inadvertent bullying in our book, The Bully At Work (Sourcebooks, 2009). However, we now believe that it is very rare, not common like the apologist believe.

WBI Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

For this survey, we asked 817 respondents (bullied targets and witnesses) to describe the intentions of perpetrators they have experienced.

Of the workplace perpetrators of bullying I’ve known, they?

The percentages for each response option were:

.821 acted with the deliberate personal intention to harm others

.086 harmed others but were not aware of the consequences

.078 followed instructions of superiors in ways that hurt others

.015 never meant to harm others; were misunderstood
Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



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