Top 10 Signs Your Boss is Bullying You
Workplace Bullying Is More Common Than Assumed
An employer may admit that it has one rogue supervisor, but most companies will not admit that bullying in the workplace is a widespread problem. This is why Zogby's 2007 poll has not gotten the attention it deserves -- because it proves that U.S. workplaces are deeply infected with the disease of bullying supervisors, but businesses fear the treatment more than the disease.
Zogby's survey found that workplace bullies caused actual damage to the health of one third of Americans at work today. In other words, more than 54,000,000 employees have been severely bullied at work. To make the issue more personal, think of two friends: one of you has been abused so badly at work that he or she needed medical care.
Why does this continue?
It continues because it's legal.
The U.S. Supreme Court has specifically said that courts will not get into the business of enforcing a "civility code" in the nation's workplaces. With the law turning a blind eye toward civility and respect at work, bosses are free to push their employees to produce more and more by employing threats, humiliation, and fearmongering. It may be immoral, but none of it is illegal.
Some companies take a long term approach and reognize that rampant abuse of employees at their company will only increase the number of employee resignations, decrease the number of employee applications, and grow the use of sick time and workers' compensation claims.
If you are reading this, however, chances are that you are not working at one of the precious few companies who does take the long view. Instead, you at least suspect that you are being taken advantage of at work.
More likely, you know in your heart that you are suffering through workplace abuse but you have been denying it; some people fear that taking action against a bully will be even more difficult to endure than the everyday abuse that's been grinding them down.
Many Employers Ignore Bullying Problems
If you are one in either of these groups, take a look through this list of the Top 10 Telling Indicators That The Boss is Bullying You. After going over the list click on the survey at the end to report how many of the signs you've experienced in your own work life:
- Your boss consistently blames you for the problems at work, while boasting to others that his or her own skills are responsible for the good outcomes
- You've found that your boss scheduled key meetings knowing full well you had a conflict at that time
- Your boss sabotages your success by claiming to be "too busy" to sign off on your work or give you needed feedback, making your work incomplete or late
- You are kept out meetings your supervisor schedules, your work station is moved further away from your supervisor, or you are conspicuously left out of work lunches
- You learn that your supervisor or someone in his or her peer group is gossiping about your work, or even your life
- When upset or stressed your manager will bring up a mistake you made long ago (even years ago), as a way of shifting focus from the current problem to something that was your fault
- At night and on the weekends you feel completely exhausted and have no energy for pursuits you used to enjoy
- A co-worker is allowed by your boss to put you down, insult your work, and humiliate you with co-workers present, or, your boss does these things to you directly
- You feel like every day your manager only gives you criticisms, but your performance reviews are always positive and you are know at work as a good worker
- You long for each weekend, but you are full of anxiety and even become sick with dread the evening before the work week starts
Readers' Poll: How Many Have You Experienced?
How Many of the 10 Signals of Being Bullied at Work Have You Experienced?See results without voting
Ranking Your Results
So what should you do if this quiz indicates that you have been the victim of a work place bully? First, although the quiz asks what you've experienced in your whole career, the need to take action depends upon how many of these indications you are currently experiencing.
- 1 to 3 of the indicators: Your boss needs counseling or Prozac
- 4 to 6 of the indicators: You need to prepare yourself for a confrontation. Learn your legal rights which are far more powerful than you probably realize
- 7 to 9 of the indicators: You are in the thick of a drawn out conflict with your boss. You must learn all of your legal rights now to fight back against this hostile work environment. Also consider seeing your doctor for time off work to decompress.
- All 10 of the indicators: You've already quit or been terminated, but you still have rights. Be sure not to let the EEOC's 180 day deadline pass for filing a complaint, and make sure to immediately file for both unemployment benefits and the new subsidized COBRA health benefits continuation program. Also, stop and smile because you are free of that awful place!
Start Fighting Back
Are You Bullied by Your Boss?
- Get Hostile Work Environment Help
Get the Undercover Lawyer's FREE "7-Secrets of Work Law" e-mail course. Learn how to fight back against a bully boss and end workplace abuse using an easy to understand, step by step system.
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