April 2, 2012
Office Bullies, Listen Up
Given the recent furor around the rating of the documentary Bully, spare a thought for the grown-up victims. A new coalition, Protect US Workers, is petitioning the Obama administration to "formulate uniform national legislation" to ban bullying in the workplace.
Bullying evidently costs businesses billions in absenteeism and lost productivity, and it costs individuals their emotional health and sometimes their jobs. It usually involves a supervisor who is an equal opportunity asshole to all his subordinates, or a single benighted soul who gets picked on by co-workers and supervisors. The recourse available for victims is as useful as parental advice was against playground bullies: ignore them and they will go away, or we'll call their parents (i.e. Human Resources). Like that ever worked.
National legislation may be a while coming, so if you are being bullied in the meantime, and have a plausible discrimination claim, call a lawyer to help you get the hell out of Dodge and take some cash with you. Otherwise, transfer schools (i.e. find a new job) – it worked on Glee.