As of today, there are no workplace anti-bullying laws on the books in the U.S. That’s according to a recent article on MSNBC.com. Writer Stephanie Pappas states: “Despite numerous bills introduced over the last nine years, ‘none have yet passed.’
Such legal protection is long overdue.
Sandy Herschcovis, a University of Manitoba professor who studies workplace aggression, says, “Between 70 and 80 percent of Americans report rudeness and incivility at work. Over 40 percent have experienced psychological harassment on the job.”
A new study in the International Journal of Stress Management offers this definition of abusive supervisors: “Bosses who humiliate and insult their employees, never let them forget their mistakes, break promises, or isolate employees from other co-workers.”
Stress from bullying “links to a laundry list of ailments, including higher body weight and heart disease.” It can also lead to bad decision-making and decreased ability to adapt to change.
Two tidbits stood out for me:
- Victims “put up with the abuse for an average of 22 months.”
- “Hierarchical and highly competitive organizations tend to exhibit higher rates of bullying.”