Bullying is not just a playground phenomenon

We’ve all been picked on before, sometimes for really trivial reasons, but most of us do not expect to be bullied at the office. It makes sense, the office is where you work and where you are expected to be professionals, but there are many workplaces in Manhattan and across the country that could be called hostile work environments.

In some cases, leadership is unaware of what is going on. The harassment and hostility happen behind closed doors, over email or through nefarious means. In other workplaces, leadership is participating in the harassment or is at least complacent. Regardless, employers must do what they can to remove employees who cause hostile work environments. If they don’t, they could find themselves on the other end of an employment lawsuit.

One way to lessen the chances of workplace bullying is to make it harder to hide. A more transparent environment, both literally and figuratively, makes it easier for leadership to see when bullying is happening and to take action to correct it. Moreover, if employees know that they can and will get in trouble for hostile behavior, they may be less willing to bully in the first place.

Not only is it in the best interests of employers to provide safe workplaces in order to avoid employment lawsuits, but it is also a step toward encouraging positive mental health among its employees. Poor mental health, just like poor physical health, can take a financial toll on a company.

Sadly, some employees will be bullied at work, but they can work with an employee rights lawyer to seek compensation for hostile work environments.

Source: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, “How to design workspaces that support employee mental health,” Jennifer Stukenberg, Dec. 4, 2013

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