Only recently has bullying in the workplace been identified as a very serious issue which requires immediate attention. Workplace bullying usually consists of repeated mental abuse rather than a single instance of physical abuse that can constitute workplace harassment.
Furthermore, workplace harassment is usually directed at people of the opposite gender or another race. Whereas bullying can be directed at anyone who the bully views as a target. As a result, it becomes much more difficult to identify.
It is very important for employers to have specific policies around workplace bullying which specifically state the kind of disciplinary action that will be taken. Instituting such policies not only protect employees from becoming victims of bullying but they also act to protect the employer. Employees who are victims of bullying can consider themselves constructively dismissed, and are therefore entitled to monetary compensation. Moreover, employers who are found guilty of condoning a poisoned work environment can be held liable for monetary damages.
Charles (Chuck) D. Tahirali
Senior HR Consultant