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October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Do you remember a time in your life when you either witnessed a bully in action or were a victim of an assault by a bully?  I™m sure we can all think of a time at the playground in elementary school when we witnessed a bully in action.  Unfortunately some bullies just haven™t grown up and we may also hear about or witness bullying or harassment in the workplace.  Since October is National Bullying Prevention awareness month, it™s a good time for us to consider how we might combat this type of behavior in the workplace.

Just what constitutes bullying in the workplace?

Workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one person or persons by one or more perpetrators. Workplace bullying is abusive conduct by an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer™s business interests.

Bullying or harassing conduct includes:

  • Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating behavior towards a person or persons
  • Work interference, which prevents work from getting done (sabotage or undermining of a person™s work performance)
  • Repeated infliction of verbal abuse including the use of derogatory remarks, insults, words, expressions, or a phrase used invectively as a term of abuse or contempt to express hostility.

Workplace bullying often goes unnoticed because it is a slow process of emotional and psychological manipulation that is generally hard to detect and prove. In some states, such as California, workplace bullying is protected under law; in other states workplace bullying isn™t protected under law. Either way, it is important to have a policy in place.  Surveys indicate that most targets and witnesses are reluctant to report when they experience or witness bullying. Because of this, it is important to have a plan in place for preventing workplace bullying.

Taking our Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace course will help you to develop a plan to prevent workplace bullying. This course provides helpful information and techniques to combat bullying and harassment.  Topics include:

  • definitions of harassment, sensitivities and awareness,
  • how to handle complaints from possible victims,
  • harassment training for managers,
  • as well as training on how to deal with Bullying in the Workplace.

You may not even know about a situation where bullying or harassment has occurred in your workplace; it™s likely that the victim hasn™t spoken up.  A victim might feel more empowered to stand up for themselves if they know that the workplace will not tolerate such activities.  If you™d like more information on preventing or managing workplace bullying please reach out to HCP for assistance.

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