Wedgies at Work… when bullies grow up
By Kris Schantz
Ever wondered what happened to those kids who threw sticks and shouted taunts on the schoolyard? Well, they grew up, got jobs… and, unfortunately for the rest of us, became our coworkers and bosses. A newly released report from Quebec, the first province in Canada to make workplace bullying illegal in 2004, found that half of workplace bullying complaints were justified - that is, 50% of the complaints were more than sour grapes from employees. The most common complaints were from female victims against male bosses, and the general corporate response was to simply ignore the issue. 39% of the complaints were settled directly between the company and employee via compensation of some kind. However, almost 8% of the complaints were referred by investigators to provincial labour standards lawyers. Interesting facts on office bullies:
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, most bullies are bosses… more than 70% of bullying is top down (source)
- Most common gender bullying on the job is women bullying women, representing 50% of bullying, followed by men bulling women (source)
- A 2005 study of UK workers found that those treated fairly on the job had a lower risk of coronary heart disease
- A recent UK article on the “worst case of bullying ever seen in the workplace”.