How to Handle the Office Bully and Financial, Verbal, Emotional, and Physical Abuse


Have You Been Bullied? - Do Not be Misled by Misinformation

How many workers in America are bullied each year?

Many workers and many people in America generally feel powerless. They never report bullying or bullies. While the Internet includes unsubstantiated claims that 80% of workplace bullying cases are litigated in the USA; as of mid-2011, this is not the case.

Under someone's thumb? Workplace Bullying is inappropriate and a form of harassment.
Under someone's thumb? Workplace Bullying is inappropriate and a form of harassment.

Rather, 80% of the bullied walk away and find another job. This is one reason for a high high employe turnover rate that is not discussed openly.

At the same time, many sources expect 80% of US employers to have a written policy against bullying sometime in the decade of the 2010s. As of 2013, a little progress has been made.


Although many workers report that they have been bullied at work, other individuals may not know what bullying includes or how to recognize it when it occurs. Overall, bullying creates a hostile work environment and this uncomfortable work atmosphere is against EEO requirements and can be reported in an official complaint. Equal numbers of men and woman become bullies in the workplace, so it is not just men and not just women that might abuse an employee.

One hallmark of bullying in the workplace is that a talented, competent employee is the one that is usually bullied, rather than someone that does a mediocre or bad job. A talented, skillful individual is a threat to the bully.

A full 80% of those who are bullied in the workplace walk away and find another job.

Red Flags to Recognize Occur When

Good workers are being constantly criticized, having their job responsibilities taken away, or being assigned meaningless, made-up tasks or "busy work" to perform on a daily basis.

Some of these employees are given nothing to do at all and then bosses write them up for not doing anything. This is bullying and abuse. Other signs of abuse in the workplace:

  • A supervisor constantly yells at workers.
  • A supervisor or coworker picks on the same people in front of others or in private where there are no witnesses.
  • A boss constantly blocks someone's promotions.
  • A supervisor sabotages an employees work or claims it as his own.
  • A boss, supervisor, or coworkers deliberately ignore certain individuals at work and put them "out of the loop."
  • A supervisor overloads employees, sets unreasonable deadlines, and requires many hours work beyond full-time, without additional pay. NOTE: if the average wage because of this added requirement dips below Federal Minimum Wage, legal action is allowable.
  • A supervisor attacks a worker personally and name-calls.
  • A boss, supervisor or coworkers make jokes about an employee.
  • A boss or supervisors consistently give an employee equipment that does not work, such as the oldest computer in the building and it is broken.
  • A boss places an employee in dangerous positions, such as at a front desk area into which gunfire has recently perpetrated, without adding security measures. Another example is giving only certain employees workspace that does not have adequate heating, cooling, and ventilation.

Financial Bullying in the Workplace

This is one type of bullying not often discussed. A few cases came to light in my state, where a few employers in small businesses held one or another employee's paycheck an extra week or left town on payday for two weeks without paying an employee. Some restaurants were fining employees for broken dishes and requiring them to purchase expensive uniforms from a cronie. All this was illegal and created financial hardship.

One boss paid his employees when he felt like it in a small office and the two women employed went 3-4 weeks without pay and finally quit.They reported to the Unemployment Office, whose representative researched the employer and found that they had never paid any Unemplyment Premiums, Workers Compensation Premiums, not most of their State and Local taxes, and definitely did not turn in payroll taxes taken from the two women's paychecks. Several legal actions were taken.

Another employer cut wages without telling his employees. Paychecks were simply far less one week.

Another boss, in a larger company, eliminated health insurance and cut wages for all workers that were not available 24/7/365 (his definition of full-time availability), although his business was open only 10 hours per day.

Another company owner began reducing wages 5% every year once the workers turned 50 - not only did these employes not receive the 3% raise others received, but lost and additional 5% (8% total) and suffered from inflation as well.

There were multiple dozens of these cases, and most came to light only after employees quit, found other work, and filed grievances with EEO. Many of these companies closed down, coincidentally avoiding litigation. In each case, the bullied targets were responsible, talented, intelligent people that represented a professional threat to the boss.

I'll add my own early experience -- For one year, I worked as General Manager of a chain store at a specific wage, putting in required unpaid extra hours weekly to make a solid success and I enjoyed the work. We earned regional profit awards that year. After that year, I learned that my wages were actually significantly below the bottom of the pay scale for that position, despite my producing higher profits than many other stores (it's easy to learn this through the Internet these days; we did not have it then).

I made a formal and polite grievance. Within 60 days, my store and one other local store in the chain abruptly closed and staff were laid off. My final paycheck included only two of the final weeks at the correct pay rate, although at the very bottom of the pay range. Soon thereafter, the entire chain was sold to individual owners.

One lesson from this is that employees are entitled to know the actual range of pay going into a job and can research their company and pay ranges easily today.

Bullying Will Make You Sick

Bullying causes increased feelings of stress and tension in the body anca can lead to clinical indications of :

  • anxiety,
  • weight gain (Even if you don't eat more!),
  • headaches,
  • backaches,
  • nausea,
  • ulcers,
  • insomnia,
  • over sleeping,
  • nightmares,
  • skin rashes,
  • diahrrea,
  • irritable bowel syndrome,
  • high blood pressure,
  • depression,
  • low self-confidence,
  • organ involvement of kidneys and heart,
  • suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide)

Ways Not to Handle A Bully

Instead of taking the action that is many times proven to stop a bully, some onlookers want to "play pranks" on a bully, "punch him in the nose", "give him an ugly Christmas gift", write limericks about him on the batroom walls, etc. To what end? None of these will stop the bully and may inflame the bullying behavior futher.

The onlookers are seeking not to stop the bully, but to one-up the bully and bring themselves what they see as higher status socially in doing so. They place themselves into the bullying category in seeking revenge, instead of a solution.

How to Handle Bullying in the Workplace

A total of at least 44% of all Americans have reported that they have experienced abuse in the workplace as of 2012.

This figure was reported from a study completed by the Employment Law Alliance. It is a shocking fact that nearly half of all American workers report that they have been abused at work. This does not include the number of American workers that are afraid to report it and do not tell anyone about it.

It is impossible to know just how many people in the US are abused on the job each year, because not everyone reports it; but whatever the number is, it is too high.

In order to lower these numbers, people need to learn what exactly abuse entails and that there are various ways to prevent it and to stop it. I believe is begins with education in the home, followed by education and practice at school, and should include not only any-sexual-harassment training in the workplace, but anti-bully and anti-abuse training on the job for everyone as well.

We as a country and as individuals must take the existence of abuse extremely seriously. It does occur and it does happen in the workplace.

Many of people that suffer abuse at work simply choose to quit and escape the menace and the stress, but not everyone feels that they are able to do that. For those who can't escape an abusive boos or coworkers, start with these principles:

1. Know and believe this -

Abusive behavior from your boss, a coworker, or anyone else is not your fault. Ever! It's not even about you - It's about control, just like rape. The target could be anyone. There was one before you and there will be one after you unless something is done to break the cycle and stop the abusive behavior.

No one deserves abuse at any time for any reason. Abuse is an inappropriate reaction. If you have done something wrong at work, you can expect to be corrected and perhaps even disciplined and after a prescribed number of write-ups or other disciplinary actions, even fired. However, you do not deserve to be abused. This abuse includes yelling, hitting, shunning, belittling, sarcasm, name calling, and other inappropriate actions.

If you are the victim of a workplace tyrant, it's easy to internalize blame and feel helpless. But falling into this negativity trap can take its toll on your health and self-esteem.

Try using a Mental Bank account to build yourself up. Mentally vaccinate yourself against the office bully with affirmations and positive self talk. Tell yourself that you are a good person and will continue to do a good job while you look for away out. You job is not who your are, so take up some hobbies if you don't have any. Make sure that work is just part of your day, not your whole day.

Revenge Does Not Stop a Bully

Some people want to abuse the bully, but that makes the cycle worse - in fact, the bully can become so enraged that he kills someone. The people that want revenge want revenge, not justice, no change, and not an end to bullying. They want to elevate themselves by doing the same thing the bully is doing.

2. Insanity is doing the same thing every time and expecting a different result. Stop it!

You cannot change a bully, ever. Only she/he can change himself, short of good therapy or a miracle from God. Keeping an upbeat attitude will get old under the constant haranguing of a bully. Just hoping the office bully will change is hopeless. Accept the fact of the abuse and make plans to address it or quit and address it.

3. Find some good friends that build you up.

Talk about the abuse with sympathetic people at work. Mutual support and communication can help reduce stress and stop the isolation that your abuser wants to you suffer. Don't just complain - get support and go to Human Resources and/or your Employee Assistance Program. Get counseling and file an EEO complaint if the abusive situation is not remedied.

4. Learn Verbal Self Defense and Assertiveness Training Skills.

Your EAP or local YMCA, YWCA, Recreation Centers, or Mental Health network can help you locate free and low-cost classes for these remarkable and useful skills.

5. Quit and file EEO charges.

For me, it is better to live in a cardboard box on the street that to accept abuse!

If everyone I know were to become abusive, then I like myself well enough to be alone and I can find new employment.You have to believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

A lot of help exists for those who have experienced such abuse that they must quit. Call your local social services or court related agencies for a list of organizations that will help. You may be able to receive unemployment benefits.

© 2007 Patty Inglish

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Comments, Questions, and Solutions 188 comments

Dee Dee 9 years ago

I am out of work right now due to office abuse. Most people do not want to admit to being bullied. I wish we could change the name of this type of abuse from workplace bullying to office abuse. Giving the abuser the title of bully seems to make the victim more of a victim. Bullys are never taken seriously how about we call the abuser what they are and abuser. Schools have bullys workplaces have abusers of power. More people may come forward if there is a different label attached to this conduct.

Mary Gold 9 years ago

Call it whatever you want in order to persuade people to take action and talk to others about it. The Bully B'ware program has great success all over Canada and in parts of the US as the stand against bullying and abuse. Start an Office Abuse support group in your town at a church or recreation center, or even your home.

I was out of work as a result of office abuse or bullying from the lead psychologist in a private practice a few years ago. I was able to collect unemployment benefits for it, so I hope you have been able to collect these benefits. If not, please apply and tell the Unemployment Office everything. Abuse can make you sick, so make them understand that. Go on TV if you must and tell your story. File an EEO report if you have not done so.

When I filed a report, it was found that this person had not filed or paid taxes in over 15 years, had not paid his workers compensation premiums, his unemployment insurance payments or anythings else. He was also a slum landlord that never did repairs. He was charged on several counts.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thank you both for these comments. It's something to think about. The first workshop I ever heard on this topic was called "Dealing with Difficult People" and I thought a stronger term was needed, myself.  Then it was "bully" and then "abuse." It is definitely a better approach to refer to "victims" as "targets, instead, imo.  Victim mentality is not good.

Thanks again.

elaine carr 8 years ago

what is the statute in the EEOC which regards bullying as a violation of rights. All I find are sexual harassment related cases. I have experienced a women as the bully toward me, another woman. I fought and was reassigned. I refused to quit. In the last 1 1/2 years, three other co-workers have come to me crying because of this same person. She was even promoted. How can I advise others of what to do--exact wording of the law being broken?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Elaine, EEOC may differ according to the state in which you work, so you need to look up your state's EEOC laws online and/or call the EEOC office for a copy. I'm not a lawyer, but depending on what specifically is occurring, you all may have grounds for a lawsuit for discrimination on the basis of same-sex/gender harassment, but you need to ask an attorney. A woman harrassing other women to keep them down while seeking promotion for herself is bad. Her behavior might also qualify for an assault charge in your state. Ask an attorney. IN my state, prank phone calls are "simple assault" and punsihable with fins and even jail time.

Have you gone through channels of complainikng to your supervisor and HR department and filing a grievance. Haraasment is harrassment and it makes a hostile workplace. You might all get together and even file a class actionm suit against the company and the indidivual, but seek an attorney's advise.

Much success to you!

OliveBranchMSS profile image

OliveBranchMSS 8 years ago

EEOC - WHAT A JOKE. I work for a hostile, verbally abusive lawyer. He throws things, slams doors, (check my hub for more details) but I am haing a hard time. Everyone in my office told me to go to EEOC so Yesterday I went down to the Memphis EEOC office. Told them the situation, told them I tried everything with this man even to the point of apologizing when the verbal abuse got so bad....Guess what.....Since he treats EVERY PERSON THAT WORKS FOR HIM THE SAME WAY....he is protected. I told them I was scared he would get so mad (he is a hunter) he could possibly shoot me...and they said "well, then you would have a case for the police". There is absolutely nothing that can be done. he can continue to verbally abuse me as much as he wants. He can even aim a gunat me, miss me, then say "you're fired". Had a panic attack yesterday and left (before he came in). I start shaking just driving into the parking garage. WHAT ON EARTH DOES ONE DO? I'm looking for another job. I HAVE to work...HAVE to pay bills....and every law firm I talk to says the same thing..."the economy is so bad there are no openings....people just aren't moving"......I told our office manager and the manager in the Main Office I would file an internal complaint because the abuse is so bad I can't even get my work done......EEOC Told me that to have a case he would need to supervise ...say 3 people.....treat 2 of them well and then treat 1 (me) badly.....Since this is NOT the case and he treats EVERYONE this way.....They won't even investigate. Comments? I'm doing tons of legal research trying to find some avenue other than EEOC but ...... I'm female, over 40, catholic, not gay and don't fit ANY category of EEOC discrimination. HELP!EEOC told me that even if I file an "internal" complaint....more than likely nothing will be done (even though our firm supposedly has a "zero tolerance for abusive behavior") because this man is a money maker. His billing rate is over $400 an hour. He makes money for the firm...the firm won't touch him...and he KNOWS IT.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

I'll tell you what my local EEOC people and my attorneys say about "I'm female, over 40, catholic, not gay and don't fit ANY category of EEOC discrimination..."and about - he abuses everyone, they cannot do anything.

My contacts state that 1) female and 2) over-40 are protected groups. Further, treating all subordinates abusively is still discriminating against everyone with abuse. You might file a class action suit - and class action can start with ONE person. You could possibly file assault charges for his slamming, throwing, and creating a hostile work environment, depending on your city laws.

File an official complaint on the proper EEOC complaint forms for your county/state and keep a copy of that. Start a detailed JOURNAL of the abusive and discriminatory behavior. See your doctor and have it in your record the emotional pain and the physical affects of the stress this is causing you; plus, it will give you someone to talk to. If you have no doctor, go to the local free clinic; they will help. Go to the local Domestic Violence Center; they can help you with information and how to navigate abuse and abuse complaint systems.

You may be able to sue the company and the individual doing the abuse. See an attorney. This has been successful in similar cases here.

Call the media. They'd love a story like this. If you are fired for being a whistle blower, that is also illegal. See an attorney first.

So, if the firm won't touch him, you will need legal help and then you may be able touch them both. Meanwhile, keep looking for another job.

Once case in Nevada received an $80,000 court award 10 years ago, kept their job, and the abuser was fired as well.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Since you work for an attorney, you might see a lawyer from a rival firm so that no one finds out about it in your own office, and to have the advantage that another firm may wish to being to light the bad behavior of your firm.

Best of success to you in this.

Autumn Knight 8 years ago

It's most unfortunate when anyone has to face each day being silently tormented. My daughter knows her job well, works very hard, is always on time, goes the extra mile and gets along well with everyone but her supervisor simply does not like her. She is constantly doing hurtful things but she does them in a way that others will not notice. My daughter is doing her best to avoid this woman or to protect herself from her "hidden" harrassment by only speaking to her when necessary and making sure that she does so when others are nearby. It's just a shame that there are such hateful people who find joy in ruining the lives of other people especially for no apparent reason. These kinds of people have no business working in a management position, using their power against innocent human beings and getting away with it.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Indeed correct.

If your daughter begins to keep a daily written log of events at work, particularly these hidden abuses, they will no longer be so hidden in that she can show a lawyer that will give her a free first visit and may take the case oncontingency. If your daughter and the supervisor are different in race or sexual orientation or age range, or religious denomination (and this has been made evident) then the abuses are more definitely breaking of EEO laws. Jealous or abusevide supervisors can be stopped, but you may have to take it to the state. See your State's local EEO page for the right procedure in your state.

I feel that these abusive superviros have a mental illness and should not be in positions of power over people in any venue, because power is like an aphrodisiac and a drug to them. Some of them were abused themselves, others learned it by watching abusive managers and thinking this was something "good." Some of it is still a society in which from 1900 - 1950 at least and longer, hitting or undermining someone on the stage or in movies an dcartoons has been considered comedy. It's a big ball of barbed wire.

catera, OKC 8 years ago

Miserable angry insecure immature people, that's all they are, they're unhappy with their own lives and want to drag others with them. I've had LOTS of jobs like that. When I got the job I have now, I was/am so ecstatic that my boss is my best cheerleader and so kind and patient. I am, however, dealing with a co-worker that has issues and thinks the only way to get things done is to be hateful, but that will resolve itself; she works for the company next door in the same building and the company is in the process of closing. The best thing? Don't let them see that they get under your skin. You will be an easy target. I still don't understand why people bring their selfish, immature, hateful, ignorant and childish attitudes to work, you'd think that when we grow up, our minds would too. It isn't high school anymore! lol Take care, you guys, God bless.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks, catera OKC. The best of success to you at work!


lin 7 years ago

I am also in office abusive situation, it is not even superior but act more than superior, she bullies me to do her work, becoming her servant, need to post mail, become her messenger, and she voice it out so rudely, shouted at me to do things for her, and if i am busy she find it all ways to see that i do it immeditely, and shewill attack me if its not done, she is not my superior at all, she love to bang things, to make commotion when next to me, bang the cabinet, places to scare me, when she talk, she will shout at me. it is abusive language.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

I would tape record a few days of this unaccaptable behavior, making sure to yourself state the exact date on each day's recording. Then take the tape to the personnel or HR department, file a formal complaint and request official action. If they do nothing, I would continue to tape record the unacceptale behavior and call the police when she bangs and shouts, and then file an assault charge.

Please talk to your personnel department about this person and see what they say. Let us know.

nanette 7 years ago

I have a problem at church. There someone at work who came to me asking if I forgave him. I could not remember who he was. He immediately belittled me and accused me. Last week I remembered him. He was in church in another place many years earlier. He bullied me then too. Our paths cross from time to time. What can I do?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Talk to your pastor about his situation. Also, if the man is trying to make amends, it is a good thing. But if he is fooling you in order to hurt you again, disengage by telling him to stay away from you and then ignore him. Talk to the pastor first.

BUT - If he escalates behavior at church, then he will be the foolish one. This is what Turn The Other Cheek really means - the custom in Old Testament times was when a man hit you, the next thing he would likely do (if you did nto strike back) would be to backhand you with the same hand, which was a disgrace to homeself and onlookers called him a fool.

Let me know the outcome, please.


luckylil 7 years ago

I co-worker and I had a misunderstanding regarding the intent of my advice. I am a register nurse she is a LPN I tried to protect her and her license by bringing to her attention to work with in our scope of practice. To make a long story short she has held a grude against me and it has snow balled. Forget taking it to the administrator he just dismissed it and the abuse has been continuing and is becoming worse by involing others on my floor. What are my legal rights and how do I prove what is going on when most of it is mind games.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

You have a higher credential as an RN than the LPN has. Therefore, you are the superior, not her. If she is in a job title superior to yours, there may be a malfunction in your workplace system and you may need to work elsewhere. If she is practicing beyond her scope without a phsycian telling her to do so, she may be in violation with the Board of Nursing and you should call them and ask. If she is in violation, any number of consequences could occur to her.

You needed to have documented the original problem with the LPN in not sticking to her scope of practice; and of your counseling of her. If you did not, then write it up with dates and times, as best you can, with word-for-word conversations as best you can remember. Document what the administrator said and did, with dates and times. Your administrator may or may not be found guilty of harassment precisely because he/she blew it off.

Now, keep a journal with every single mind game and manipulation, etc. beginning today, if you have not already begun one. If you have things written down nearly every day for a week or 10 days, that is a proof of unprefessionalism and personal attack on the job. Take all three of the documentation sets to your HR person or your Union Steward and tell them you will file a formal complaint and then do so with your EEO if no action is taken. Then see an attorney immediately.

If you do nothing, I feel this particular case will get worse.

Best wishes.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Amen! I finally quit after having my health and family suffering. Never enough time to get the work done and co-workers being down right mean and sneaky. I've never been so happy to finally tell them good-bye.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Thanks RGraf - There is so much of this sickness in some of the workplace! CEOs, directors, and managers can stop it early on, but some do not want the confrontation or to lay down the healthy rules. At the same time, some people wish to work only in a place that allows this sickness. Healthy workers do not need the toxic operations. Good for you for going elsewhere.

edaducha 7 years ago

Check out mobbing and gangstalking on the Internet and see who is doing the bullying, you might be surprised, and there is a book Mobbing in the American Workplace. We get bullied by cops and firemen as well as clerks in City Hall, Social Workers, neighbors, doctors, nurses, postal workers, etc.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

I believe that some of this is occuring as you say -- I have also noticed employees bullying customers in some grocery stores.

virgo24 7 years ago

I work with a woman who is constantly causing problems at WalMart, where I work 3rd shift. She is rude, crude, throws food and bottles in the breakroom. Unfortunately, because work conditions seem less "strict" at night, the behavior is encouraged by other associates and tolerated by management (who are well aware of this behavior). This woman has recently started yelling at me, telling me what to do. She was told before that she is not to tell other associates what needs to be done and to leave this to management, but she can't seem to control her behavior. After yelling at me recently, I told her she's not my boss and has no right to tell me what to do. She responded by telling me to "pull my f***ing weight" and to "kiss her ass". I immediately went to my manager and told him what had happened. He and a CSM sat down and talked with her. Afterwards, they called me in and told me that I shouldn't have argued with her and should have politely told her I was going to talk with management about her behavior. In short, she's still there even though she swore at me in front of several co-workers (something WalMart supposedly claims is a reason for immediate dismissal). Since getting away with this conduct towards me she has succeeded in turning many coworkers against me. She shared the fact that I had gone to management with just about everyone on 3rd shift. In fact, the CSM's regularly discuss private issues with associates in the breakroom. Work has become a source of extreme distress for me. In fact, I was ill for 2 days and missed work because of it. I asked for a transfer to days (which would mean a significant drop in pay), but it seems wrong for me to have to change my job because I'm being harrassed. I'm not the first associate to have this problem. There have been other people who have chosen to either transfer or quit because of this situation. I'd like to know what others think about this and what my options might be. Thanks for any help!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

1) Why is management afraid of this person? Have they threated to sue because of race, age, gender, or some such?

2) When you stand up for yourself, people that are afraid to do so are going to turn against you - you have to be strong enough and like yourself well enough to ignore them. However, if anyone does anything wrong or illegal to you, you need to report it to management and you need to start keeping a written log of everything that happens on a daily basis right now.

3) Speak to the managers each time someone undermines your work, curses you, or tries to boss you around - or they might throw somethintg at you, try to trip you, etc. Write down what the managers say in your log. On the third time, tell the managers that you need to file a formal complaint for harassment and go to Human Resources about harassment. Managers CANNOT tell you that you can't do it, though some might try. If the mgrs begin to harass you, you need to file againwt them as well.

4) Find a lawyer that will give you a free consultation about this.

NJL 7 years ago

I don't want to sound rude or prejuiced because I'm not. I've been working with a black woman for 5 months and she resents me. She has worked for the company about 2 years and acts like she is the "total boss". She has been rude & crude to me from the get go. This is an office setting and she sits next to me. She has yelled shut up at me and screamed to the top of her voice. She had an electric heater in there and even though there were countless wall plugs, she chose to plug it in behind my desk and park it in front of my bottom desk drawer so I would have to move it in order to open the drawer. If I move it (even though there is a space between our desks of about 1 foot so there is plenty of room to put the heater without blocking my drawer) then she gets up from her desk and moves the heater back. One day she got up & kicked the heater, one day she yelled at me "don't you touch that friggin heater." I sat for months and let her be mean to me, saying hateful abusive things and it got worse & more often. Then I started saying things back and it really hit the fan. I finally got enough because when the supervisor was in the office, he never stopped her comments and would only "call me down" if I replied back to her. I finally got my fill and went to HR and reported this. Evidently this is a workplace violence incident. HR has done nothing and now they hate me and the supervisor and the co-worker hates me. It has not accomplished anything at all and I am sick & tired of it. I live in a repressed area and there aren't any jobs. Now due to her actions and the fact that the company won't do anything about her (they have chalked me up as the trouble maker for reporting her) they have cut my hours to 25 hours per week knowing I can not survive on reduced hours. Our company policies manual says they have "zero tolerance" for workplace violence. I have never filed a law suit in my life, but I am desperate. I need a 40 hour paycheck and I need a decent workplace environment. I live in Texas and have googled every topic I can think of and can't get decent answers as to what can be done. Please advise

NJL 7 years ago

I live in a tiny town and we don't have any support groups so I could learn skills to combat verbal abuse.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Hospitals and churches have groups that can help - support or information groups. Call National Workplace Violence Hotline and ask for a nearby referral 1-877-987-3747

Whatever you do, do not do anything else PHYSICAL or raise your voice again in the workplace or you will jeopardize the case. Get a can of hairspray in case she comes unfomfortably close to you as if she is going to hit you. You can spray it in her face to defend yourself and get away and immedately call police. Do not hisitate to call them if this scenario happens.

Immediately, I would look up attorneys in the yellow pages and find one that takes law suits on contingency. This might be an attorney that has a speciality in employment law. If you can't find any, call the biggest law firm you see in the book and call and ask them to refer you to someone that can help.

However, what she has done to you is assault - a crime. If she screams and puts a heater up next to you, you could be burned. The next time this happens, call the police and do not back down from pressing charges. An attorney might be able to also, in addition to the assualt charges, sue this woamn and the company for damages, In addition, if it is a private company (not a non-profit), the heater up close to you is a willful OSHA safety violation for which the woman and the company might be legally penalized.

IF you are fired in retaliation, apply for Unemployment anyway and site the assault and willful safefty violations. Don't dliute the crimes - call them exactly "assualt and willful safety violations." Then report the company to OSHA. The Unemployment filing on the ground you have and the OSHA report may trigger IRS audits of the company and it might be found that they are in violation of others regulations.

This one could create a news item on TV before it's done.

Specificity profile image

Specificity 7 years ago from EAU CLAIRE, WI

I was relentlessly bullied as a child and learned how to defend myself as an adult using the rule of law. Good article.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Nopw that people are taking about it more openly in America, I find that many people were bullied as children. Glad you like this article -- we can continue to stand up to bullyism and be an example to others, while teaching children to do the same. Thanks for your visit and comment!

Sue A., NY 7 years ago

I am working for a Technology Co. and over the years I have been having problems with a co-worker who everyone knows has a relationship with the COO. She has made my life a living hell as well as others, however, because her work affects mine, I always respond to e-amils etc. and there is always a confrontaion. The issue is the COO picks up the matter and tries to belittle me. He wanted to fire me a long time ago but couldn't touch me because the CEO knows I am a much needed employee. loyal and looks out for his best interest as well as the copany. The problem is I am becoming fed up of the COO abusive e-mails. My boss the CFO and the CEO keeps calming me down indicating that they are aware of what's happening. The CEO promised that this woman would be fired,but I guess he does not want to "rock the boat" with the COO. I have had it, but cannot quit because I am the sole provider for my family and it's very difficult to find a job in the finance. I have kept all the e-mails and can prove he has never ever been objective in any incident with this "woman". What advise can you provide?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

1) Make at least three hard copies of your documentation, keep one at home, another in a bank safe deposit box, and another in your file with your attorney. Computer files at work are read and erased by any that would stop you, hard disks corrupt, but flash drives are safest. Still, get hard copies that a judge can see without wasting time computer accessing.

2) Continue to document everything related to this descrimination and harassment, including a log of related conversations with the CFO and CEO. This is important. Their calming you down may or may not be to avoid a possible lawsuit, provided you have enough grouds -see #3 below.

3) If you have not consulted with an attorney, quietly do so immediately and make sure it is an attorney specializing employment. Do exactly as he tells you.

Best wishes and good working in the future!

DB Chicago 7 years ago

The EEOC in Chicago is no better than many - with guidelines that defy common sense and a fallout into the legal community that has had 2-3 private attorneys nicely turn down my case because I do not qualify as a victim: male, white, 60 yoa. In effect I went to the EEOC with emails and other tangible proof that management recruited a new, 23 yoa female employee to confirm that I had sexually harrassed her. It was totally untrue but the EEOC investigator said that his agency had "no criteria specifically dealing with a company management recruiting one employee to file a false complaint against another". This is truly what happened and yes, as others have commented, it truly is a matter of people with poor education, poor skills, no work etchic and an absence of backbone, using the system to drive older, proven professionals out of the work place.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

-- Which adds credence to the reality that a small group in DC might wish to stop healthcare to people at age 70/75 at the same time increasing retirement age to 75. 

DB Chicago - Your tanglible proof should have brought action. I would personally take the case on television and/or approach a high profile attorney that would take the case as an expose. 

Best wishes.

Giselle 7 years ago

I work at a bank, and I am always getting the short end of the stick. The lady who sits infront of me is always lying on me. but because of my personally my supervisor started to call me names such as sorty and my manager is laughing at me. Can anyone please hellp me to sue my co-worker and my supervisor? I need a lawyer. email address is

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

You cannot sue until you go through the proper EEO procedures listed above in the thread.

If you are too frustrated to do that, see an employment attorney and do what he/she says to do.

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cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I decided not to renew my contract where I am now because of bullying by some in management. Unfortunately, in a foreign country you just have to take it or leave. It's a haven for bullies as they know that there are no repercussions

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Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

What an unfortunate event. I suppose the only way out is to form your own company and be a non-bullying boss. A haven for bullies is not a good place.

While bullying research is being done for Aouth Africa, it will not help people on the job until more is done and a national initiative arises. You could become part of that if there are support groups at all in your country. Grassroots support among people that are targetes would create a foundation for anti-bully programs to succeed when they emerge (maybe not for many years). Here's one study about students:

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

They have unions in South Africa so they do sort out bullies and you can report them. However, I live in China and we have no recourse

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Sorry! -- You're on our prayer list, then. May of my friends that were missionaires, teachers, or busness people came back from Beijing either mentally stunned or physically ill from the polution. It's not for everyone and cultural differences aside, brutal workplace behaviors are very real.

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

We suffer from throat infections and ongoing post-nasal drip from the pollution. But, it's the hoiking and spitting that gets me the most!

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Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Oh yes, that seems a country-wide habit, as is small children defecating in the streets in Beijing (seen the videos, heard the horror stories). Do they still have spitting basins on the lobby walls of major hotels in Beijing or other cities?

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

yeah, but most people don't use them, they just spit on the ground outside or into a tissue if they inside. And the split-pants instead of diapers, they just hold the kid over the gutter!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Do you take gamma globulin injections to prevent infections? Probably not available.

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Nope, just suffer through it, but I leave here in June, start my next contract in Tanzania in July!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Sounds like going to heaven from hell. You'll be in my best thoughts in the meantime!

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Thanks Patty!

vera 6 years ago

The chef industry is notorious for bullying and abuse of co-workers. I did a chef course, thats right it wasn't a job at all but merely studying rather like high-school, and from one other student I suffered daily abuse from her. This is in no small way related to the encouragement and fostering granted to her dictatorial behavior from the teacher, and to a lesser degree the management of the school. They often allocated her to 'pretend supervisor' roles. I am still stewing about it 2 years on. I was the main target. Cursing, humiliating, name-calling in front of the class, abuse, slave-driving, nit-picking, accusations of poor work, accusations of low effort, and criticism for anything I did. I had to take up drinking to cope. Bullying in the adult sphere should be called abuse. Abuse. We're all adults here. This must end. Whether laws will change and become effective, is left in the lawmakers hands. I wish that we as members of the public could start an international well-known movement against adult bullying and abuse.

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Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Exactly, vera!

I would NEVER eat in a restaurant in which I knew such behavior occurred, nor recommend a training program like it. It affects the food, imo and puts stress hormones into the AIR.

When I worked in food service, I had many good times, but for one chain I always wondered what the problem was - a tiny product should not be life or death. It should look, taste, and smell good, but abuse is not necessary.

Interesting how abuse is linked here with basic drive of hunger/food. Is abuse a cancerous outcropping of competitive survival?

Too many people think the bad behavior in kitchens in "humorous." If that changes, then the bad behavior has a better chance of eradicating itself. I'll cook at home and for friends before I go to a place like the one you describe or any in TV's Hell's Kitchen.

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beccas90 6 years ago from New York

Good stuff Patty. You should do one on school bullying - They just lost a kid in the New England area through bullying. She was from Ireland and committed suicide because of stuff that was done to her while she tried to fit in.

Somebody tried to argue that far from suffering from confidence bullies tend to be very confident - I don't buy it as it's not been my experience. But I'd love your thoughts on the subject.

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Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks, beccas90 - I think school bullying is like adult abuse in that it often stems from a mentality in which pecking orders and competition for survival are applied very heaviy. Bullies and abusers work to keep people down and sometimes to pass on bullying they have suffered in the past. A prime example of this is bullying turned to hate crimes in the recent art film The White Ribbon -- in north Germany in WWI a protestant pastor's kids are so inappropriately handled that they begin to commit hate crimes; thee are kids that would be Nazis in WWII.

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Great tips on handling the office bully.

A professional woman 6 years ago

My boss massaged my neck during a meeting and I filed a complaint with my HR (outsourced) department. There has also been a trend of abusive behavior behind closed door meetings towards me. They rendered their decision after about 2 weeks stating he apologized and based on their inquiries, it is an isolated incident. I wanted them to hold a sexual harrasment training and they said they will but cannot guarantee that it will be any time soon. I go into work in silent hell waiting for the other shoe to fall (retaliation). I don't know what to do.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Continue to document your workday, including abuse, daily in a log, because you may need to file a formal complaint with the state EEO authority. The complaint, if and when you file, needs to include the fact that HR would not agree to set a date for sexual harrassment training.

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Eco_Ali 5 years ago from Central New Jersey ~Trenton/Princeton area

It is so comforting to hear all these stories of work place abuse, not that its good its happening but its good that we are all talking about it and supporting each other. I work for the State and have been the victim of a hostile environment for almost all that time. So much has happened in the last 12 years I'm tempted to write my own HUB about it...maybe I will. But I must say that when God closes a door He opens a window. Do what is right for you, dont fight this war if it keeps you in a valley of death. Live the life you envision...follow your dream! AND GET A LAWYER!!!

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ashatt 5 years ago from GA

I actually just escaped this abuse last week. No one would help me there, not even HR, so once the bullying and threats got to a certain point, I had to walk out and seek help from a higher power. I am still fighting this, and hope to prevent this from happening to anyone after me.

Lisa 5 years ago

I am a supervisor and I am the one being bullied by the staff I supervise. Most people only see it from the other side.

They fight me on every issue and make it difficult to do my job. They tell lies about me and and will make it difficult for anyone that speaks up for me or that will do the work. When I write them up or take any action they all surround me and go to their union for support then I get numerous grievances and lies that I must defend. It is so hard to fight the lies. This has been going on for 4 yrs.

My supervisors all know what is going on but are powerless to stop them. I am not the first supervior to go through this and won't be the last. I just want people to know that there is another side to the story .I am being bullied and anyone that speaks up is bullied by these people.When my parent died they would not even take up a collection for flowers. It is a very sad situation.What have I done to deserve this Nothing aboslutely Nothing but I go to work every day with a smile on my face and do my job to the best of my ability.

Leaving will only give them satisfaction .

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Who cares about a collection for flowers? That's really whiney. When my parents died, work would not even give me a day off - I took it anyway, with the proper paperwork completed.

Develop a stronger personality that makes people want to do the job and to know you won't accept nonsense; or consult an attorney for your next repsonse to them.

Robert Bacle 5 years ago

What if the bully is the owner of the company and it is a very small (mom & pop) company and it is the only way he feels he can have control of anything? I do have a business (hobby) on the side - I DJ for weddings and parties and I am my own boss even though I work for a DJ company on the side. How can I overcome or stop this abuse, I am at the owners mercy so I feel I just need to quit.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I understand the feeling that quitting amy be most effective option, and it might be. You may also want to consult an attorney in a free-consultation, but if you are willing (and document his bullying every day) -- Confront him in a low-key yet assertive manner when he bullies you and tell him he is being abusive and bullying and that you will no longer accept it. He may fire you on the spot, he may escalate, or he may change his behavior. If he escalates, I suggest calling the police; tell them the boss is consistently bullying you and is esalating into what looks to become physical violence. Also file a complaint with EEO. Here, loud yelling and such at work can be determined an assault. I don't know about your city.

Best wishes.

Marilyn 5 years ago

I have kept a diary...48 pages so far and despite doing my job...the office bullies have won and I am out of a job.

I do have a lawyer who helped me to write a letter outlining severance expected and it will be given next week.

It has been hell for the past 6 years; worse since last spring...wish me of them who was the worst of them all has done some damage to my head no matter how hard I tried not to allow that to happen...classic bully...

I am almost 65...cannot afford to support whatsoever within the office...most will mirror the more subtle ways...

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I hope you can find a well trained common-sense counselor to help with your mental wounds. It can be difficult to find any work after 50 and most people will have to work to 70 anyway. Bad showing of our society.

What's worse, those who stand up to bullying are even larger targets. Best of success with your job search.

SylviaSky profile image

SylviaSky 5 years ago from USA

Excellent hub. If only I had read it 15 years ago I might have had a name for what I felt and I might have felt less helpless. Two employees, the office manager and secretary, worked against me, spied on me, went through my office when I wasn't there, read my mail, made cutting remarks. The thing I did right was say, one day "Another nasty remark, Rose?" and name it for what it was. She shaped up, fast.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Hi Patty - Although this hub is a great one, it leaves out one class of bullies and the bullied. I spent many years in the military, and I can assure you that there is no other job on the face of the earth where "bullying" can be seen to be at its worst. If your superior (officer or enlisted person) decides to do you in, it takes almost no effort on his or her part to do so. There is no "democracy" in the military, believe me.

Gus :-)))

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Sounds horrible, Gus - thanks for the info!

lavender3957 5 years ago

This was very imformative. I quit professional jobs as a teacher because of the jealousy and competiveness of other teachers. And these people are suppose to set examples for the children to follow! How can they expect the children not to bully when they themselves do it. Sucks, but true.

primpo profile image

primpo 5 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

I have learned that people who start trouble at work, who abuse and bully and play the role that they are incharge, are insecure and have no life so they try to make other's miserable. They put workers down infront of customers, constantly yell at people, but they disapear for a couple of hours or they say you are too slow while they are even slower.. it makes me laugh, you know, my promise to myself always works, refuse to engage in negative activity... another words get away from them!!! Life is too short to work around miserable people.. lol

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Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

We always hear about the children in school being bullied but don't think about this happening in the workplace unless it happens to us or it is something we observe. I think this is an important topic and you have done an excellent job covering all the basic components of a hostile work environment. Rated awesome.

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Midsrailer 5 years ago from West Midlands UK

As a child I was bullied & the victim of physical abuse from my father, so yes I abhor bullying! And I agree it is a serious issue that is still apparent today in the so called "modern world".

Here in the UK it is most visible in University Graduate bosses in the work place, who have no "People Skills" or have never got their baby soft hands dirty! The only form of control they have is to pick at the mentality & ridicule their employees to get results, all else fails, sack the employee & recruit a "Yes" man.

In answer to Gus the Redneck, the "military bullying" is a different grade. It is designed to extract the best of a human, to hone & define areas that are not normally or naturally found in everyday behaviour. As a UK service veteran, I found it was better treatment than when I was a child. Hard to believe? I spent most of my childhood in hospital, the military didn't do that, they taught me & my colleagues the "Pain Barrier" & how to cross it. They taught us the Pinnacle of Human Excellence & how to maintain it & personal discipline. They taught self pride, & how to maintain "The best there was, The best there is & The best there ever will be"! If you didn't want all that, get out, you was obviously meant to be no good as a Country Protector.

These skills I took to the civilian world, No Boss will ever treat me as a doormat. And to the best of my ability it will not happen to my colleagues on my Watch. The long & short...... All bullying in the workplace is abysmal, it needs to be stopped, it makes for an unhappy workplace, which in turn can create danger of any sort.


salt profile image

salt 5 years ago from australia

Thanks Pattie, this is great. I left a job where the boss had called me a crazy woman with a kick board. He said he sacked me for talking to the shower and using the word aura.

I did talk to the shower, I needed to focus on a solid object as I was so cold because the building had heating in the change rooms, but not near the pool and it was the change in temperature that made me feel extra cold.

I note this same employer did not seem concerned re his other staffs handling of children.

kesinee profile image

kesinee 5 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

This is awesome hub. I have been bullied at work many times with all that you stated in your hub. Thank you for your great hub, Patty.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks to you all for adding your insights!

A company/owner/employer has the right to expect a fair day's work from each employee and should dole out fair treatment and equal opportunities to all demographics. Anything else, in my view, is morally wrong and economically risky. And, work/career is not supposed to be punishment.

SEXYLADYDEE profile image

SEXYLADYDEE 5 years ago from Upstate NY

It's great that this often ignored form of abuse is getting more attention. Many people have difficulty standing up for themselves. After that young man jumped off of the George Washington Bridge here in NY after being streamed by his roommate I think many are more aware. It's important to give our children the tools they need to handle and protect themselves in this often cold, cruel and mean world. Dee

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

It's hard to have privacy as well, Dee - so many forms of ID required for simple transactions now! It's like a million eyes are on our young people and the rest of us. The NY man could likely not stand anymore, expecially after streaming.

joannaking 5 years ago

I have come to the end of 18 months of abuse. I talked to my manager and she wants me to document my coworker. I take this to mean it is hopeless-How do you get someone to believe it is real

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Consistent, long-term, everyday documentation is a really big part of the reality. Get a spiral binder or ledger book and start documenting every day. Don't let any instance of abuse escape your docunmentation. Note witnesses if there are any. Best wishes!

Being Bullied 5 years ago

I don't think that there are any words to describe the kind of bullying that I had to indure in my life in the workplace. Just the type of environment that I have been working in, made it very difficult to report. The latest bullying that I have encountered has been directed to almost every employee in the section. One employee has resigned recently and I suspect that he does not have the guts to report it properly. I have suffered numerous bullying attempts myself from the same bully(Section Manager) and I therefore think that the employee who is leaving would rather go to a better environment without further bullying.

Apart from being totally over-worked, certain approvals like financial claims for company expenses had been withheld by the manager and rediculous demands have been placed on employee's shoulders. Most of the section employees cannot move, since they are being blocked to move or transfer to other business units in the coorporate world that we are functioning in. People with years of service will loose a lot by leaving the company. We as a section have sat together and voiced all our grievances to the particular manager after which he apologised, but it only takes some time and the pattern is repeated. I have been insulted recently as well as in the past, being called a liar and being made to feel inadequate. I have realised that he has been manipulating situations and individuals with power to incapacitate me so that I cannot properly function. Resources have been withheld or being used for the wrong purposes - example - 2 laptops to be used as engineering and commissioning tools have been re-located to new indiviuals in the section where an agreement just to use one of them has been over-ruled. My own laptop is 2 years overdue for upgrade, but just nothing happens to replace it. I also get the idea that the manager is a serious racist and he discriminates against me(the only white person in the section). On many occasions he came in private and then looks for trouble when I am under heavy work pressure where immediate action was required. He made statements that were not true which were directed at me and then waited for me to say something bad back at him. Fortunately I stayed calm and I confronted him about his time wasting and insult while I was trying to get the work done.

What I have mentioned is but the tip of the ice berg. I also heard threads that certain employees will be relieved of their duties.

I have spent a lot of my time to develop individuals so that they can function properly, but I get the idea that my own development is of no importance when I ask for it. WH

elaine 5 years ago

I'm exhausted from all the bullying. No one gives a damn! I'm broke. I can't sleep, eat,

think clearly. In short - I just want to die! Really!. I really really do!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Talk to a counselor and vent about the bullying, file a grievance; do whatever it takes.

Linda 5 years ago

I walked out of a job at a hospital here in chesterfield Mo. The office manager is a bully and incompetent in her own skills. She went out of her way to seek me out daily to humiliate me in front of others. I went to the practice doctor and reported her, nothing was done. I went to HR, nothing was done. I tried to transfer jobs, was never given another one. Everyday I could do nothing to make this person happy. I noticed the more education I received, the meaner to me she became. She would yell in your face "I'm the manager" as if you did not know that. She would take credit for your work, and loved to say things about you infront of others. They did nothing and due to stress illness I left the job I loved. I am still unemployed and this woman bad mouths me all over where ever I apply. I felt like elaine above until one day the manager needed me to fill in on phones at the busy time of day because so many called in sick. I waited packed my stuff and waived goodbye leaving her holding the bag. Her face was payment enough she knew she could no longer get to me and everyone around here who has to call her now bypasses her and calls HR's recording. She is a rotten egg, it will come back to her. One day she will meet a bigger bully than herself and then she will have to bow and take it!

Jeannnine9 5 years ago

I went to HR one year ago and complained about a coworker bullying me and it only made things worse. She retaliated by making sure I am completely isolated. No one talks to me and everyone treats me like I have cooties. When I first started this job 2 years ago, my boss was a tyrant who was extremely intimidating and I experienced a lot of demeaning comments and treatment in general. I believe this encouraged others to treat me the same way, especially this one co-worker. I asked my boss if I could be moved to a different cubicle where I couldn't see or hear her all day. Instead, she put up a wall between us. That was a horrible day for me. Everyone asked why and the bully said all kinds of things about me to everyone walking by. We were in a high traffic area. The next week I went on facebook and she made a bunch of general comments that I know was directed toward me. I deleted her as my friend. I went to HR after that and complained about the bullying. She denied everything and is now buddy buddy with my boss, HR and the President of the company. I took the high road, was eventually moved with my entire department because of expansion. people that used to talk to me and liked me, avoid me know. It is very uncomfortable going to work. There are many other things that have hurt my feelings: not being included in things, being invited and then uninvited to an event, not being taken out for my birthday when everyone else is and on and on. The final straw was when the President started being rude to me and his wife would get up and leave the table when my husband and I went to service for a co-workers loss of his mother. I was so depressed. I didn't understand why i was being treated like this. The next day I started having back spasms and by Friday I could move. On Sunday, I took so many pills to put me to sleep, that my husband took me to the emergency room where they recommended I be admitted for psychological help with the stress my job was causing me. I was there for 3 days and returned to work the following week. When I walked in, a group of women where standing there and not one of them said hello to me. If they only knew I wanted to die. I am the sole provider for my family and can't afford to quit without getting unemployment. I wish I had kept a detailed journal. I am now, but I know they googled the doctor's name and he is listed as a nuero psychiatrist. They (my boss and the president) are being more careful about rude to me and are being nice, but it is very very uncomfortable going there everyday. Any advise?

Anonymous 5 years ago

I work at Sears: The supervisor screams and power trips all over the place, but I ignore her. I don't even acknowledge her. When she tries intimidating me also, I give her a card and tell her to go HR and voice her childish and beefed complaints to the district manager. One day, the DM will find out she lies and she'll lose her job while I still work, happily, making lots of money. Bullying? I really don't give a F what her insecurity is that makes her a bully. She appears to be an obstacle, a coward, and drain on everyone, a person that you just walk away from. Just because someone is your supervisor, it doesn't mean you have to take abuse from them. Feel free to use your company's harassment policy and shove it in his/her face next time.This works all the time,showing the harassment policy. I do it often.

Little Bit 5 years ago

My story is much like Linda's. Been with the same company over 3 years. Reported it to HR and he called me a lier to my face. It got so bad today that I left 2 hours early. Told him I didn't feel well. Jokes on him, he had to stay and wait for the truck for a delivery. I offerd to wait for the truck yesterday even though it was not my job so he could leave early. That made him late for his after hours company function. I was the only one not invited to it. Apply to several jobs per day but still no phone calls yet.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I wish the best for each one of you in these bullying situations. Work should absolutely not be punishment.

huuchi 5 years ago

I had work for this company for 12 years , I am the hard worker , speak some english , but I don't know why , the company never trust me like others people , but they always trying to watch me timing me where ever I go , and limiting my activity at work , I am feeling like , I am the spy or I feel like crime , a prisoner in jail , they had a lot of man power , and they can following me from home to work or at work to home , just like they want to make sure I was out of the area , which I am not allow after work . and recently I had to work in the office with modify job , and now I can fell the security more tighter than before , can you teach me what to do with such situation , and anywhere I can complain about this matter

Dawn 5 years ago

Myself and a co worker (both of us female) work in an office of 15 men, due to poor management, the tensions, bullying and harassment over the past 18 months has reached a point that is unworkable, and both of us have been suffering from anxiety, insomnia and dread of work. Our office is completely divided with our manager giving in to the 'bullies' for an easy life, at the expense of all the people who work hard (the bullies dont do anything for anyone apart from themselves)

Our mananger has stuck his head in the sand about it and has in fact fuelled the fire, although he gets it as much as us.

So today after another incident of intimidation we have approached our HR dept, who have stated we have a strong grievance, and that all concerned are going to be warned indefinitely.

Although I feel relieved we have told someone, I am feeling very anxious about the repercussions of what is going to take place over the next few weeks.

We work in a large higher education institution.

I will let you know what happens over the next few weeks :-(

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

My advice is that you need to be documenting every instance of bullying and your recent approach to HR and to keep these notes for possible legal action on your part in future. With two females and your boss being bullied, ask your attorney the advisability of a class action suit. Good luck!

VA Survivor 5 years ago

I am the target of unremitting bullying by the AFGE union President at the VA Hospital in Jackson MS. He undermines my dignity and integrity at every opportunity. I feel raped and violated. The Bullying is most often done in the presence of my subordinates and VA Senior Officials. Emails forwarded to my subordinates are then spread throughout the facility. I have frequently been teased or pitied by on lookers in receipt of his emails. . On emails or in public he is quick to ridicule, call me la liar, disrespect me in the presence of my staff and undermine my authority. My staff now engages in mobbing using this individual at their will to publicly harass or degrade me. I am now at a point were as I feel HR officials are encouraging me to seek his permission before make basic management or patient care decisions. Im told his digusting behavior is well known , there is nothing I can do about it, I should just should get over it and don't take it personal. Now patient care is an iissue.Any efforts to stop patient abuse is met with résistance by this individual by his support of the violators. I will not stop doing my job but the toll is taking its affects. I am physically ill, my home life has now become affected. My Physician informs me I am not alone, that they have many clients that work at this organization going through the same thing. We all work hard to care for our veteran populations and care for and manage our staff. The AFGE Union President now has me and other managers working in such a level of high stress that many just leave. I don't know what else to do. I feel ashamed that this man has violated me and rapes me of my dignity and tries to take my self respect. I don't know how much longer I can put on the poker face covering the hurt I am going through. I don't feel comfortable going to my Senior officials, I feel alone. He is now launching an attack as though I am the victimizer again all done in the presence of my staff. I minimize my contact and communications with him nothing works. He will stop harassing for brief periods only to strike out viciously with no warning. I don't know what else to do. If I talk with him he will spin the conversation and lie. If I don't talk to him he becomes more hostile. This is truly an insane situation and I don't know what to do.

anthony, ny 5 years ago

I am a carrier who is bullying by his manager. I collect any proves, include log, tape recording, photos.... Now is the time i stand up against it. I just call the EEOS. I won't give in without fight.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

VA Surivovor - I think the union president cannot legally tell you how to make healthcare decisions, but is bullying you for control. To stop him, you must not only completely document what is happening (start now if you have not), but you must go over his head in the chain of command, tell everything, and ask for help. He has you intimidated, which is where he wants you. Break out of it and get it stopped. Even getting no help anywhwere up the chain and quitting s better than being sick and shortening your life. You shouldbe able to contact someone at the VA Administation in Washington DC bbout this as well.

anthony in ny - Our thoughts are with you!

ramesh 5 years ago

i want to resister a court case in my senior employee of my company .she is mentally harassment to me please provide the solition

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

ramesh - Contact your EEO office and your attorney for instructions.

stopthebully2day 5 years ago

To Linda from the hospital in Chesterfield, MO. I really wish we could get together in person as I have had no luck with their HR department either. I will be fired shortly because I have gone up against a bully. Co-workers won't come forward because they fear they will be let go. The bully has gone so far as to announce that no one there is their friend, thus pitting co-worker against co-worker. He has told employees to choose between him or me, the docs or him, made gestures to me an others as though he was shooting them or karate chopping them. HR knows this along with other incidents, yet he is still there and I will be gone. I doubt the EEOC will help because the bully just stays one step short of the laws they enforce. You might consider contacting an employment attorney because you were forced to leave. I could use another witness as to how the hospital "does things". Just remember HR is not there to protect YOU. You are easier to replace than a manager as I have been told by a co-worker. You, as I, have become the bad guys and the managers the victims. This is probably how it works at other companies. There are movements in the State of Missouri trying to get an workplace anti-bullying law so you just might want to investigate this. Blessings to all of us who have experienced abuse in the workplace.

stopthebully2day 5 years ago

To Linda re the hospital in Chesterfield, MO. All verifications of employment are to go through Human Resources. This is the POLICY. When asked if your manager may be contacted, state no and give an explanation that it is the policy of the hospital that only HR be contacted.

YvonneSmith135 5 years ago

I worked at a security company for almost three years. Me and the other female co-worker were being bullied by the new supervisor. I filled a complaint against him on June 3rd and was released from my duties on June 21st. My unemployment has been denied twice and is in the appeal process. As it turns out, others have had complaints against the supervisor but the company refuses to do anything about his actions which includes falsifying documents, stealing time, and other infractions that the company had terminated people for. The EEOC told me that although it was unfair, there's nothing that they can do, so...WHAT DO I DO????

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

The strandard practice used when EEOC fails a client is to go to an employment/labor attorney. Good luck!

Allison 5 years ago

Why should supergiants endure bullying and harassment? Just because we are "in charge" doesn't mean we are not human and we don't have rights. I have a very abusive employer right now who is accusing me falsely of discrimination. She exaggerates and lies. The last year had been hell. I've developed a heart condition, had an abnormal well women's exam, have tension headaches, gained weight and have experienced depression. It had been awful. I get sick of hearing that it is only the manager who does the harassing and bullying. Please help! I have contacted an employment lawyer. Can I go to the EEOC like she did and file a complaint? I'm at my wits end and not sure what to do.

Cosy 5 years ago

One of my co-workers tries to get on with everyone and makes out he is great even though half of the time he is sitting there doing nothing. He is very opinionated and always thinks he is right if not there are frank views exchanged. Most people seem to get on ok with him but due to treatment of certain junior staff by him i.e. way he talked to them, he just doesn't wash with me and think he knows this as he doesn't try that hard with me like he does with everyone else. We do talk occasionly and its usually friendly face to face. When he walks past my office he wont say morning to me (he will to everyone else in the corridor) unless I say it.

Anyway I dont know if it is bullying or whether I am being over sensitive. For years we used to go to the pub on a Friday lunch. Emails would go round etc asking who was going. Lately this bod seems to otganise it asking only a select people. He never asks me and it seems I am the only one in the original 'pub gang' not being asked anymore.

When they all walk past my office to go to lunch no one says that they are going to the pub so whether they think I have been asked and said no I dont know.

My co worker made a comment one time I met a friend for lunch and invited the others down to the pub. he said that if anyone wants to go to lunch they just come along. I think to myself how can I when I dont know that they are going. I know its still being organised as a colleague was on holiday and first day back being a friday she was asked whether she wanted to go to the pub. I could hear the conversation from my room.

One rare occasion when someone else organised the pub visit and sent an email round I went along. Another co-worker who sits with this bod then said to me'Oh your coming are you?' as if to say he didn't want me there.

Is this bullying or am I being too sensitive and just need to realise that maybe my coworkers dont like me any more and I just have to get accept it?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Allison! _ I'd be interested in your attorney's advice! I think it's general harassment, no matter who does it. It's certainly creating a hostile work environment. Continue to document all of the harassment the employee does, along with your medical complications from it and eb ready to file with EEOC at your attorney's recommendation. In the meantime, you might call EEOC and find out what the procedure is when an employee harasses a supervisor with false charges.

Best of relief to you!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Cosy - Since it's a lunch situation, I'm pretty sure there's no legal case, because it's not at work. However, it is isolating you from a group of friends, which can be bullying.

Start of detailed log of the times you have been, and in the future, will be left out at lunch and keep doing so in case bullying carries over onto the work floor. Then you can go to your supervisor, EEOC or attorney with the log and your complaints.

anonymous 5 years ago

My boss illtreats me. I have been ignored by my boss. I have over 20 years experience. My office is a social service organization. I am a patient; however do not neglect my office work. My boss has curtailed my medical expenses. My boss has given fauls information to the head office abroad; this is my understanding. I am the most senior and I have a lot of work which I do sincerely. She makes maximum use of me. However, I had to wait for over 12 years to get a promotion. Thereafter I did not get any promotions. This year I did not get a salary increase, but my bosses favourite got a salary increase.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

anonymous - Check in your country for whether there is a workers' advocacy organization that can help you. If not, you may need an attorney.

anon 5 years ago

This is a control issues - much of this stems from the economy and that workers can no longer change jobs once they have one. This bullying is a power trip and a sense of entitlement that you somehow owe them more than a good days work being "allowed" to work there. There is a general policy in place to keep workers in their place that is passed down to middle-management and encouraged. If you really want to do something...Join the occupy movement ...give power back to employees and allow them to be in charge of their own destiny - not in the hands of some defunct person who's only sense of purpose comes from feeling they can control someone else and being stuck in a world where we're supposed to keep quiet accept it and allow the abuse. Abuse of power trickles down hill...unfortunately wealth and freedom does not.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for your views!

Concerned 4 years ago

I work in a small govt. contracting service company; there are 3 techs that I schedule. 1 for service and the other 2 for PM service. When the service tech doesn't like his schedule or if he has to work later than 2pm (he starts around 9am) he yells and screams and cusses at me - but only on the telephone; I just hang up on him. He then calls the owner and repeats the process, the owner calls me to make the change the tech wants basically allowing him to act this way. I complain every time this happens but it is brushed off and a joke is made about it. The lady before I was there used to say she required combat pay because of his verbal assaults - but it's made to be a joke. He also curses using extremely fowl language when making in house repairs and when I complained that my customers could hear it on the phone I was told to shut my door. Once he say some parts on the table for him to install and he said to the boss "what the F is this" and only then did the owner tell him to stop with the "F" word. I have also let him know I am allergic to smoke and please don't do it around me - he smokes like a chimney in the garage directly across from my office and if the boss sees my door closed I tell him why and he just opens my door and walks away. The tech has also said negative comments about me to our customers who when they call me they tell me what he says; again no action is taken. I now just ignore him, literally pretend he is not there, I don't speak to him, look at him or acknowledge him in any way - and the boss/owner thinks that is acceptable. I find that I have no options as I have been here 7 years and with this economy there are no jobs at the level/pay I am currently.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

It as in a privately-owned company rather than a govt agency, but a woman in a similar job as yours in my county 15 years ago filed an EEO complaint and charged the man with simple assault by telephone harassment. It worked for her.

Top Secret 4 years ago

I told someone in HR dept many times that ADA requires that company to provide me a sign language interpreter. They refuse to provide me a sign language interpreter for a year since they think I can hear and understand what people are saying. HELL NO, I was born DEAF! If I plan to file a lawsuit against that company, then they would FIRE me for another reasons (I have two written-ups since a small group of co-workers complained and whined to my supervisor (they are very miserable and jealous since I work very hard). I cannot afford to lose my job if I file a lawsuit against that company. Both company and a small group of co-workers make me very sick mentally. What shud I do? Please email me at

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

If it is in the USA and the company is small enough income- and revenue-wise, they do not legally have to make all the ADA changes - specifically those that cost the most money.

Best advice is to see an attorney for a free consultation.

4 years ago

Not really sure why this page is sponsored by the most bully tolerant (BT) employer I ever had the misfortune to work for. The place is rife with it, you could get raped in there and it would be your own fault

Concerned Update 4 years ago

So I have been ignoring the tech and a week ago today he got upset because he got a service call at 2pm - he proceeded to curse and yell and wave his arms at me; finally at my breaking point I told him that I really didn't care. He then threw the 30pages of print he was holding at me; told me to fing find someone else to do the sh** and slammed out the door. I was shocked & scared as now his anger had escalated to violence. I called my spouse who called my boss and the police. Nothing happened...the boss apologized and said he's have the tech apologize when he got back from travel and that if I filed charges the tech would lose his job because he'd no longer have access to the military bases. He said he'd send the tech to anger management...I'm scared of this tech and now am being forced to meet w/him upon his return! I am terrified to do that but don't want to lose my job!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

D -Who/what company do you mean? Ads on the page rotate and I cannot see what you are indicating.

Concerned - Better to lose a job than your life. First it's papers thrown, then a heavy object thrown to the head.

This will be uncomfortable, but you must file charges to get this to stop. The "Oh, don't make the abuser lose his access to military bases" is an enabling excuse and trying to lay guilt on you. Apologies will be followed by escalation and more abuse. I have found among my client loads that anger management usually does not work with abusers - How about other readers out there - What do you know?

But, your husband called the police, now file charges. I never hesitated to do so in such situations I found myself in (few, thankfully). This is a hostile and perhaps dangerous workplace and you need to have a free consultation with an attorney and see if you have EEO charges or even Workers Compensation claims. Not righting a dangerous workplace is illegal in some states.

annonymous 4 years ago

until just recently i worked at a place in Lubbock TX that made bullying look like child's play. bullying is the mainstay of management at the organization. people work in fear of accidentally saying something that might offend anyone whereas management will jump on it a find a way to abuse the individual who is clueless of why (it is obvious they enjoy the high they get from abusing people). the result is constant, childish chaos. they rely on pitting one employee against another to create an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust and then blame to devalue and beat down employees. i finally quit after my blood pressure, anxiety level and digestive system were out of control. you may wonder why i put up with it for years - it is because jobs are hard to find, in lubbock, that pay more than minimal wage.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I am very sorry to hear this happened to you! Sounds like Lubbock needs more of the good jobs and managers.

stopbully2day 4 years ago

I believe it is important in any workplace bullying situation that there is an established pattern of behavior towards more than one employee. This will add to your credibility when making a claim. Keep notes of the bullying toward you and your co-workers. People talk - get in the habit of being a listener - and keep notes. Don't embelish the notes; facts only. Find out if your employer has a workplace anti-violence policy (do this discreetly) and make a copy of it if you can. Take a look at the US OSHA guidelines for workplace violence. If you are in the healthcare industry, take a look at the Joint Commission's statement on workplace violence. Take a look at the employee retention in your department where the bullying takes place. Spend a few dollars (I know it is hard) and have a talk with an employment attorney just to have your situation on file. Tell your physicians and have this in your medical record. You would be very wise not to share what you are doing with your co-workers because you never know who the mole might be. Your co-workers won't stand up for you because they fear the consequences. If your co-workers have been drawn in by the bully and they are mobbing you, their fear of the bully is greater than their concern for you. How sad. The bright spot is that the resurgence of "healthy workplaces" is on the move. The State of New York implemented this. Do internet research on organizations in and out of your state and consider joining one. Nothing will improve if we sit around and do nothing but complain.

rcamarillo 4 years ago from USA

I am so disgussted, I am currently being bullied by another women at work. I have been bullied for years. For 4 years to be exact, I took many steps, written down everything, talked to supervisers, CEO of company. They have given this women write ups, and still at work. Now it's affecting others and the only thing they do is bring it up on stupid team meetings, how to have work etiquetts ect.... How much longer, what else??? I am looking for another job now, I have been there 8 years and my boss seems to handdle with care when it comes to that b@#*%......I have a big family to support and my boss knows it, it's hard but I am going to have to struggle and get another job so I can improve my health, this has affected me so much. Another employee is fed up and wants to leave now. So sad.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

You have followed correct protocols and chain-of-command as far as I can tell in this harassment matter, so file a formal complaint with EEO. Get a free consultation from a labor attorney. File charges against the bullies if you need to do so. Ask the attorney if you can file against the company for allowing it to continue.

US States are beginning to discuss Employment Bully Laws in their legislatures, so more help may be forthcoming, but it will take a while. Then enforcement is another matter.

rcamarillo 4 years ago from USA

Thank you Patty for your advice. I actually love my job. My boss is great with benefits ect.... At first, I understood why she just let someone like the bully linger, I thought that it was human of her to try and work something out with problems, like give an oportunity. But its has prolonged and it does affect atleast 5-6 co workers, but, they wont say anything because they do not want to get on our boss bad side. She practically told me the last time to deal with it and fix it, since I am expected more after having a management position. I actually took management classes, communication classes and even offered to forget and start fresh, but that women is very malicious, the moment I did not cover her for being late in the mornings, after lunch and or doing personal business during working hours,...she tripped out again and started to treat me like crap. Honestly, I am going to do something about it. And I can't say here, but I think I know why she still lingers. We all know too much information here, I really can't say. But I think, my boss would lose more money, clients and reputation if certain things came out. Since I am a good worker and have a consience, I am sure my boss knows that I am going to chill and just hang on like usual. But everyone has a limit and I am sick, stress and tension has gotten the best of me. During a pregnancy that affected me so much. Thanks for your time and understanding.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Well, whatever you decide, my best wishes go to you for success in your job and life. You must be a very patient person to hang onto this situation and continue to function.

More bullies than ever 4 years ago

I also work for a bully that does not like me to blow my nose due to my allergies and the whole area (constructions/piles of dirt outside) makes it a very very unhealthy place to work (the dirt is in the air and comes into the A/C system). This is nonstop the 8 hrs. of damage to my lungs. Yes, I agree most bullies are protected by the govt. agencies. The only solution is to get a new job but look at the economic situation so it is a daily abuse. I just hope they fired me because I blow my nose and then I will sue the hell of them for medical discrimination.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

You might also be able to file a Workers Compensation claim if the dirt in the AC is making you ill. That may comprise an unsafe workplace. Check your state WC laws or get a free consultation with an attorney.

There are cases where the employer will not permit workers to use the restroom all day as well. I have seen those cases go to court.

Victim #4 4 years ago

I am currently working for Ann Taylor in San Antonio, Tx. I am not only a witness but a victim. The sad thing is I see the Store Manager bully everybody except her friends who work there. What do I do?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Follow the usual steps for an EEO complaint, which are outlined in the Hub and comments. Ask for help from the local EEO office and get a free consultation with an attorney.

Diana 4 years ago

I'm out of work because of this situation... my coworker was really sarcastic about anything (calling my work disgusting and referring to me as a lazy worker) I did and was smart enough to disguise it as "joking", I felt stupid and useless, was force to work extra time in things that at the end they didn't use(with no payment), they expected me to be there 24/7, they even called me when I was doing groceries with my daughter on a Sunday morning and of course I got sick, got terrible anxiety episodes, lost like 15 pounds in a month and almost ruined my family relationships. At the end I asked to terminate my contract since the complain I did didn't work. At the end I was left without work, this person stayed at the job and... they decided to ask for new workers pointing out that I don't work in teams and I take things personally, they pay me a sad amount of money and I was left with a horrible bitter experience... on the other hand I have a second job, and I do perfectly fine there, my bosses and coworkers like me and... RESPECT me, and... I've never been accused for not working effectively in a team environment.

Non-bully 4 years ago

I just wanted to be left alone during break and off the clock, I did respond to fake conversation. But they kept harassing me with prying interest, then gossipped about what I did to everyone around them. AND THEY WONDER WHY I BECAME THE BULLY. THEY STARTED IT.

Boy the followed me around, other corporations were in it too. Where I shopped and went, not a coincidence.

constanceanne 4 years ago

I am having a difficult time defining what is being done to me. Without going in to too much detail, I have a co-worker, who is in a supervisor position, but she is not my supervisor, who I would call a bully, but she isn't directly verbally abusive towards me consistently, however; she makes things very uncomfortable for myself and another co-worker that she does supervise. The most recent thing that she has done is she had a virtual PC program on my computer that I had found and had our IT department remove. It had been installed since April of 2010. Within a week of having it removed she had physically logged on to my computer again. She logged on to it again two weeks after that.

I have gone to the head of HR and we will be dealing with the situation when we return to work next week. The problem is that our boss won't likely do anything about it. She seems to either protect the "bully" or is afraid to confront her herself. I don't know which?

The "bully" seems to have a different set of rules than everyone else or doesn't have to follow rules. She comes and goes as she pleases (she is salary, though), wear's inappropriate clothing, makes other employees outside our office upset, and is allowed to make unethical decisions with no consequences.

There have been at least 2 people who have had this position before me who have left because of the way they were made to feel uncomfortable. I have considered leaving myself several times and then changed my mind and refused to have someone run me out of a job I actually like.

How do you determine what this "harassment" is called?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Get a free initial consultation with a labor attorney. They can tell you for sure. Good luck!

Nancy 4 years ago

I have just recently become the victim of workplace bullying, I have filed a police report because it was a physical assault. I was just wondering what other steps I need to take in order to have this matter resolved.

Worthmore 4 years ago

I have been dealing with an abusive work environment for 4 years now. I have followed every protocol known to the Texas public school system. This lady has screamed that she hates me in front of administration, she has yelled at team meetings, she has come and screamed and hollered at my students and me, tossed documents across my desk kicked my classroom door. Came within 5 inches from my face and screamed about how she wishes I would leave the school. I am literally in HELL, I have been at this campus longer than her and I have never had issues with anyone else. I don't know what to do, I feel trapped and alone and scared that one day I am going to snap and react. Thus far after 4 years I have kept a level head about the abuse. I have have had mediations with her with the principal and she has yelled and screamed at me. There has been no write up, no disciplinary action and she doesn't even hold any level of power, she is just on the same grade level and subject so I have to be in close quarters with her at least once a week. Where she yells and screams at me with every opportunity she gets in front of people. No one says a word.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Nancy - File a formal EEO complaint.

Worthmore - On the next attack, call police and file assault charges. Ask an attorney - in my city, these behaviors qualify as simple assault and carry a fine at least; throwing things and kicking - short jail time.

tiredworker 4 years ago

I been trying to handle an abusive co-worker with the only tools I have, patience.For months he has taken things I have said and twisted them to sound like I was being whiny or disrespectful. He was vacuuming under me while I was working on difficult dogs and scaring them, till someone else witnessed it,then he stopped vacuuming around me all together (grateful, I can do my own thank you). He sprays are-sol cans in my direction, knowing that I have asthma and am allergic to it. Yesterday he brought in a bottle of "Awesome" to clean with, but it was bleach water in the bottle and he knows that bleach shuts my lungs down nearly completely. My bosses have never been bosses before and still think like employees. They wont say anything to him. He accused me of taking dogs that were supposed to be his, I do the dogs my boss tells me to do. He accuses me of giving him bad dogs, my boss hands out the dogs, not me. He even trashed me on Facebook, saying the exact opposite of what he was telling the bosses (I don't help him to the bosses, and I don't want your help on fb). Of which I copied the comments and deleted him from my fb. I am supposedly the "manager" but my bosses don't back me up. I don't know what to do.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I hope you are documenting everything. Get a labor attorney, at least for a free consultation. In my state and city, spraying the aerosols and handing you bleach water that all trigger asthmatic attacks are legally assaults (criminal charges) and you could press charges. Ask the attorney and call the police the next time it happens. Also get a note from your doctor about how dangerous those triggers are and that they are triggers. This person is trying to hurt you and will probably hurt the dogs. Take action ASAP.

pininas 4 years ago

I ,too, am out of work due to a workplace bully. This person teamed up with several other people who went against me at work. My now ex-boss and I had a great relationship until this one person started to work there and turned her against me. I knew this because of a person who worked in another department overheard, on more than one occasion, these people making negative comments about me. My boss then started to believe them, and subsequently fired me. As it turned out, a friend of the bully was hired that same day. My ex-boss called her right in front of everybody, and told her that she got my former position.

I've been told I should have defended myself. That may be true somewhat. But tell me, how I can when my boss only believes her favorites? (The bullies.)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

To defend yourself:

1) When you begin a new job, keep a Work Portfolio of what you have learned, projects completed, etc.

2) Document bullying, rumors, negative comments, etc. in your portfolio. Do not miss one instance. Without documentation, you can do nothing.

3) Have a meeting with the boss to discuss the bullying. Keep documenting, include the meeting.

4) If that fails, talk to his supervisor in a meeting. Document.

5) If that fails go to HR about it. Document.

6) If that fails, contact an attorney for a free consultation and file an official EEO complaint.

M Dee 4 years ago

I too was bullied in my last position and management turned a blind eye. Management would say that it was my personality and that I was also to blame.I was lucky to have one co-worker that believed me and that got me throught the ten years of hell. I like my job but it was always complicated by this insecure person who got other staff on her side to work for her and also bully me. They often don't do anything up front that they could be held accountable for. It was sneaky and secretive. I was a hard worker and was upfront i my opinions. I had to do a lot of m work on myself e.g. workshops in better communication etc to try to just have a conversation with her. I do believe she was a psychopath - very clever and dangerous.I now have another position where everyone is so respectful and honest. My job has no problems staff wise as they are all professional and have confidence themselves. To me this is proof that it was not me to blame. I left a little parting gift though. I was asked to submit my 10 years of evidence in diaries where I wrote a lot of stuff that went on. Now there is an independent inquiry, but I am not involved. HR thanked me for my evidence and assured me there would be a result.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Congratulations all around. Documentation is vial, of course. Bullies and abusers try to make the targets feel that they are to blame. It works too many times.

stunned 4 years ago

While I can't be specific, the instances above like not mentioning birthdays, giving others special financial treatment and then refusing it to the bullied, giving opportunities to others or supporting their efforts to advance in their careers but not the bullied (instead redirecting them to other work) have all happened in the past to me. I have now gotten stronger and refuse to be a part of any group who does this and will soon own my own company. I will use what has happened as my own example of now not to treat people and how to recognize such actions in others I may manage and instead, to value each person even if they are irritating... Thank you Patty for this hub. Very helpful for all who have responded.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

What an awesome thing to do! I congratulate you on doing this and think you will make a very keen employer. I've been in the situations you described, but was fortunate in that I stood firm - the bullies and would-be bullies were all terminated. Much success to you and please keep me posted on your progress.

rcamarillo 4 years ago

Hi Patty,

Thank you for your time and advice. I have taken some inniciative and read alot about controlling my emotions, breathing techniques and it was so hard, but I disciplined myself to ignore this women that harrasses me. It is so hard, but she has lowered a notch on the harrassing because I completely ignore her and am happy, even sometimes faking happiness. She assumes I am not hurt and walks away, I think it's working, she will leave me alone...but, I am so dissapointed in my supervisor and boss. I have to literally go through this, and not only me, another employee here too. We are the highest in demand and our supervisors see we are uncomfortable and they do nothing!!!! It's true, it makes you stronger, but I don't feel like committing to this job like I use to. I use to see it as a career, now, just a J O B. Everyday is the same thing, I get more work, and they get freedom to handle their personal life at work, and we all get paid the same, same benefits, same everything. Wow...but, I have to do whatever it takes to keep my job, times are critical and I have my family to take care of.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

That is an unhappy thing when those in authority take no action to stop obvious problems. I, too, would lose my interest in such a career. Perhaps you will receive a promotion out of there or could you transfer to another, more healthy, department?

rcamarillo 4 years ago

I already looked into the line of work I do, there are very few places that do my type of work and they are very far, very expensive areas to live in. I have been here for 8 years and am good at what I do. So, with having a sick mom, kids and sister to take care of, I have to decide to relocate of just thoughen up and have more time and stability for the sake of my family. Recently, a problem, regarding the same bully, was presented by another co-worker and our bosses seem to not like to confront the bully. They simple said, "Try to fix it, or deal with it, we are all adults here!", I agree to some point, but some "adults" are jerks of nature. All they did was sent a office etiquette reminder to everyone. They try to avoid being aroung when it's a tense environment. Pff... I guess, I will have to deal with it. Some people that have authority and power, know that us peasants (struggling people lol), NEED to keep their job at all costs. :-[

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

That's a tough situation for you to be handling. Perhaps the bully will transfer out. In the meantime, my best thoughts go to you.

Lsnelling 4 years ago

I find this sight alittle to late. My spouse was continuously bullied at work for about six months. His boss would verbally abuse him and make him do things that was not his job. The last task cost him his life. Even sadder the bully stood over him while he died with out lifting a finger to get him medical attention. My husband was made to do a training exercise in which he had no previous training nor qualifications. OSHA has found the company was wrong and that the hazard conditions during the exercise would have lead to serious injury or death. Nothing will bring my husband back, but I will fight to the end to get justice.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

And while it sounds mercenary, you deserve to fight for a larger monetary settlement as well. Ask for changes in policy at that company to ensure future safety. Did the boss get fired?

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Unequal in NOLA - The second someone at work hits you, even on hand or arm, is the second you should call police and press charges. Yes, document everything by day, date, and time, keep a log book, and get an attorney ASAP.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Before going to the news, you must start documenting this maltreatment on a daily basis in a log with names, dates, days, and times and on the next physical occurrence, call the police immediately. If you have no written documentation at present, then going on the news will be attention-getting, but you may look foolish and even be fired for allegedly "lying" about the company.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Comment to a friend and others in any workplace bullying scenario -

EEO takes long-term written documentation from an employee very seriously, with more weight than anything verbal-only a company rep may say against the charges. Further, if the company has no written record of the events, then the EEO will investigate workers' charges very seriously (they always have in Ohio).

If a company suddenly wants to bring memos to the abused person and have the victim/target sign those letters that he/she himself was at fault in the abusive events, then this may be a sign that either 1) a paper trail against an innocent victim is starting, or 2) the victim is not so innocent. There are cases of abuse in which the abuser provokes his victim to the point that the victim acts out to become viciously abusive himself. Be careful not to get caught in this trap at home, at work, at school, anywhere.

Mental Health Counseling is always good to have in these tough cases as well. It helps the target and serves as evidence just in having occurred.

Tracey 4 years ago

I too have been bullied at work, mine started over 18 months ago. At first i thought it was me that was the problem bu then things seem to go from bed to hell. I even lost my voice due to the amount of stress that my boss had caused me. It all started when i had a sore throat and i could speak for nearly 2 weeks. when i returned to work after being signed off by my doctor because my job involving speaking on the telephone all day, wheni returned i noticed things weren't right. The stress of work and a few personnel problems had completely got to me that the muscles around my voice box had lock on, so my speech became even more worst. It got to the stage where i wasn't fir for work and was signed off for over 10 months after lots of hospital visits and speech therapy i had to fight to get back into the job which i had done for 2 years prior to go off sick. Whilst i was off i would go into work so that they could see i wasn't bluffing them off . My speech was unbearable i wasn't able to eat, sleep or drink. All i wanted to do was return to work. Since my retuen on the 5th September 2011 they have done everything possible to make my life a living hell. I have spoken to my HR and they made me have a meeting with my boss to try to outline what the problems ans issues were. I had gone from being the most happyest person in my office to the most unhappy. Even now the stress that they cause me make me think i should look for another job. I have discussed every stage of what has happen to me with my 16 year old daughter and even she has advised me to get out and look for another job. I am being to think she is right all i want to do is go to work so that i can provide for my children and wonder why these people can make your life such a misery. I am off work next week thanks god but i am dreading a week on monday when i have to return to the mental abuse.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I suggest consulting with an attorney, but the work environment is making you ill. What sort of workers' compensation system do you have in your country? In USA, the conditions you describe could amount to a lawsuit for the employee against the bosses and company.

Kei 4 years ago

I'm quite surprised to find out that there are many abusive & bully situations just like mine. I just got fired from my job because of a false accusation working at a dept. store. My supervisor wanted me to quit for over 4-yrs & tried many abusive behavior on me so that I will quit the job, and yelled at me many times to quit. She has done many other awful things like shoved me away fm my costomers and gave my commissions to her favorite associates on purpose so that I will quit. She has also cheated on my commissions many times. I've heard that there has been many other coworkers in the past that has quit & got fired & I've actually seen several that had quit because of her abusivenes & not being fair. What's so sad about it is that this manager has been working here for 17-yrs, that she is getting totally trused. Nobody (upper mgmt people) will ever believe me even if I tell them the truth. The truth is that she is such an abusive, controling, manupulative person & even cheats on my commission & break company rules. She has been framing me to fire me for 4-yrs & I've got written up for being totally innocent several times. Finally when I got written up from these groups of three bullied customers, they had reported on me from a huge misunderstanding, then my mgr had fired me w/o asking what happened. She has yelled at me fm the top of her head & fired me. I had been terribly victimized by her controling personality, bullying & that she will manupulate everything in her own ways twist things around to make me as if its all my fault. She will jump conclusion she has made me feel bad in fron of other coworkers many times by cutting me down. I'm not a slow person but kept on telling me that I'm slow at the register, etc. She will constantly verbal abuses me in any way that she could.

Its so sad that this whole world has been taken over by these bullied controling people. They need to make some kind of a new law about this kind of an abusiveness at work issues because it has tortured me for many yrs. I started to get very depressed & I even started to binge on food when I'm not even hungry & have gained a lot of weight & game me a lot of headaches. Everybody, its not worth it. Life's too short. Just get away from it if you can ASAP fm any kind of an abusiveness or fm getting bullied at. I'm only worried about how I'm ever going to find another job now because I got fired now. I am in mid 50's. I have never encountered in this type of abusiveness before in my life!! I would simply say that only the uneducated people with low class low level people will do such thing. Bring us all a justice to all the people that had gotten abused & bullied from their coworkers. I really feel for them & Peace on Earth.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I appreciate you taking the time to post your experiences. These abusive work situations are inexcusable.

4 years ago

I was in the same boat until about a year ago.

I worked for a company for 4 years that caters to some well known national clients. During that time the owner, an alpha-male with too much ego, would use a belligerent/sarcastic/deriding style when addressing me while he would address the female co-workers in much softer tones. This grew over time and started out slowly. He would often question my work habits (I have twenty plus years experience) in front of others or most often create an argument that he was already prepared to take the other side in just to get his ego going for the day.

Some days were rougher than others. I would find myself the workhorse on certain projects only to be pushed aside when it was time for the clients to see the work, and when that happened my female co-workers would get the credit. I only use the term "female" to highlight that my former boss has some gender issues and not to insult the other 50% of the planet. They are hard working people as well and just don't want to rock the boat. Regardless these situations left me demoralized and questioning my own status and if I was fit for the business I was in.

On one occasion I knew that there was going to be trouble. One of my co-workers made a mistake with a brand new client that cost thousands of dollars and a delay in a release of client materials. I was never asked to review this younger coworkers work, but had I done that I would have caught the mistake. It didn't matter. When the mistake was found out by my former he treated my coworker gently while taking out his anger on me for a job that I had noting to do with.

During this time my wife is pregnant. My alpha male boss loses no opportunity to tell anybody that will hear him how stupid people are for having kids, and that kids are just "rats" for all he cares. This isn't made up. He really said tis in front of me and others several times. It was meant to intimidate and insult me and my family to be.

Not long after these types of remarks, two months before my daughter was to be born, I was told that there was no more work "for me", and good luck in the future. There was plenty of work for those who potentially lost a new client but nothing for me.

No severance. No vacation time. Nothing less than a kick in the stomach during the worst economic downturn in 70 years. Thanks for nothing.

That was a year ago, but the upside is that I have had time to spend with my wonderful daughter.

I was a damn good employee. All I wanted to do was do my job and hope that the nastiness would go away.

There's one thing that I will be doing in my next line of work if I am ever bullied again, and that is buying a digital audio recorder. I will keep it on my person and let the next bully(s) hang themselves with their own words. I will protect myself this time, and god help the fool who tries to take my dignity because I will litigate.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

That's a good plan. Document and use the information. Work should not be punishment and it was clearly that under the child-hating alpha.

Kevin F 4 years ago

I tried to be happy everyday while everyday being mentally abused at work.

It caused me to now have a mental condition.

Get out! Quit! find another job! say to hell with them,him,or her.

Nothing will change the evil in these kinds of people, and you will loose your will to be happy, get out now and save yourself the mental disorder you will receive from trying to think they will change and you will win them over, You will end up with a deep hate for people and a whole inside you will find hard to patch.

don't be ashamed to leave,You will feel the fredom you deserve, and they can just receive their karma reward someday.

You are not weak to leave ,you are strong to leave and get away from the tyrant that blows the big one.

Remember ,If I ever meet you I will love you,and so will so many others who will see the love in you.

Bless you My good friends,Please say hi to a stranger ,or have a great day or anything that will make someone new smile today.

Kevin F.

JAMES V 4 years ago

I was bullied at work,I worked as a Controller of a company and my senior gave wrong informations to my Boss who is a foreigner. Eventhough my relation was good with my Boss, my senior became successful in misleading my boss. The Senior permanantly canvassed some of the office staffs in bullying me always and one day he called the office staffs in the meeting room and they all started insulting me for not making the payroll infact the company has no money to pay. The so called Senior told certain office staffs to talk against me and the planned attempt was successful in attacking me for almost two hours. I handled the company during a bad period of financial stress and they do not co operate in my attempt to reduce the problems but he joined with outside vendors in bullying me. Almost four years I worked for the company as a controller and at the same time performing all the work other than a Controller, I was asked to leave the company. By writing about this misbehaviours, threatening and so called politics the senior played on me by posting here, I will satisfy myself that I have done my part by not hiding a serious mistake of a management.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Can you take legal action against the former Senior? Consult with an attorney or solicitor and we hope it is not too late.

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louromano 4 years ago

Thanks Pattie, this is great. I left a job where the boss had called me a crazy woman with a kick board. He said he sacked me for talking to the shower and using the word aura. Thanks.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

What sort of place was that you worked?

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Jack White 4 years ago from Ormeau Road, Belfast, Ireland

Great hub!

Combating isolation is often the first step in facing up to a workplace bully.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Some employees don't realize that they are in isolation at the beginning, because some of this is quite subtle at first. People are thinking more about it now.

stopthebully2day 4 years ago

To update my previous comments, here is what I have found. By the time attorneys take their time handling a situation, it is most likely too late to go to the EEOC or lodge a complaint with OSHA or any other entity due to time limits in reporting incidents. This is happening, I believe, to me. The company's attorneys are dragging this out; they are not stupid by any means. I should have gone to the EEOC whether or not I had an attorney. So, based on my experience, I would consult an attorney AND go to the EEOC. It may be too late for the EEOC to do anything. However, if something is not resolved in the next two weeks, I shall go to the EEOC just to get this company on record. As Ms. Inglish has stated over and over again, document each instance. Make sure you date your notes. If there is one, make sure you have a copy of the company policy regarding harassment/intimidation/retaliation. The last thing I want is more government intervention in business and our lives (United States). However, after my experiences with the bully, the management of the company, human resources, and the cost of an attorney, I am ready to get on the bandwagon.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Many of us feel your pain and these situations need solutions and justice. You seem determined to make it so, thus a good example to us all.

Walter Miester 4 years ago

I just started a new job that had to most toxic personality I have ever witnessed in my entire life! This guy's bulling even had management scared! I assume they thought he would be the one most likely to show up with a gun if dismissed. Anyway, I called him out in front of the whole store, treating him just like the dirt he was! I'm proud I set the tone for the rest of the crew to follow. I'm, of course, not there anymore and very happen I found a better job. You dont have to to be nice to a bully! It worked for me

David M. 4 years ago

I recently found out the owner's daughter who is a coworker has been spitting in my lunch. She had admitted it to several other coworkers. She has also made work for me a living hell. She even admitted to several coworkers that she hates me. She is always going to her daddy to make even the most minute detail an enormous event so as to make my work performance look poor. I have never once done anything to antagonize her to warrant such behavior. Are there any legal options for me? It is a small company with her parents being the owners. Thoughts? Suggestions? I am seriously afraid of having some biological disease from her saliva. Please help.

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Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

1) Document everything about this every day in a log book with names, dates and times. Be prepared to call witnesses in court. Stop eating lunch there. Keep granola bars in your car or desk or pocket if you have to do so.

2) Go to the doctor, tell him/her what happened and get a blood test.

3) File a Worker's Compensation claim a) for the spitting and possible infection to you - and you can sue on top of the WC because this was intentional, and b) for emotional distress. Yes, infectious diseases count on Workers Compensation.

4) Contact your county or state EEO office and discuss the matter with them.

5) See a WC attorney for a free consultation.

stopthebully2day 4 years ago

To David M. This is disgusting. Perhaps you might ask an attorney if this is illegal in your state/county/city. If so, I would take two lunches - one for her to spit in and one to eat out of sight. Leave the bait and excuse yourself to the restroom. Look for spit in the one you don't eat and take it to the police with your evidence. By all means, get the blood test. Hopefully you have had a recent one to compare it with.

stopthebully2day 4 years ago

Before proceeding, I just scanned Ms. Inglish's response - she already suggested you consult an attorney. Don't let grass grow under your feet - heed her advice. Here is an update of where I am in my quest. The bully AND his supervisor have lied to the company's attorney. Keep good notes with date and time. Copies of my notes and other documents should, if nothing else, rock the boat again and really draws the supervisor into the protection of the bully with lies. Makes me wonder why the bully is protected and reinforces my thought that the bully cannot exist without a network to support him/her. I may not "win" the battle monetarily, but at least I called him out for what he is. Also, I believe on some level bullies are mentally ill.

Pascale Tchebou 3 years ago

Healthcare ...hospitals are a playground for bully... Honestly, what can be done?

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Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Stop accepting abuse. File complaints. Report it when you see it.

kittydog 3 years ago

I agree it has to stop, but there is no easy answer to solve the problem. When you need a paycheck, when you are the only one being targeted, when it is your word against a manager that is trusted, it is basically like you take it, or start looking for a job without being able to have a reference for your current job. I document the bullying I have endured the last 3 months, but have no one to turn them into that wouldn't make the situation worst. I wish everyone that has to endure bullying to feed their children the very best, and I hope you know your not on your own, there are many of us out there.

Bullied 3 years ago

Workplace bullying has to stop. All bullying has to stop. I am now unemployed. Bullied and then lied to (gaslighting).

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Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I hope you find a much better employer soon!

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Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

...and then they wonder why workplace shootings happen...

This will continue until bullying is no longer tolerated.

I could tell you some stories, but they're unfit to print.

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Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

It tooks like robbery in the retail sector is still the biggest source of workplace homicides as of 2010 at 27%, but I see from the news that school shootings are occurring more frequently, or we hear about them more often. And the fact that 39% of homicides to women at work were by aquaintances (only 3% of the men's homicides) points a finger directly at bullying and abuse.

Work should not be a life-or-death place.

Mary 2 years ago

I am a manager at work and a new manager has recently jioned the company she is at the same level as me but gossips to others about me, calls me whinny, refuses to invite me to meetings even though it concerns my area, writes papers to the executive that cover my area but dose not consult me. Her team bad mouth and put down my team and generally display an air of superiority over the rest of the organisation. I look for reports and data from her team and this is not supplied - does this amount to bullying? My stress levels are off the scale I am starting to have major health problems, my team is feeling overwhealmed through lack of support - any ideas would be really helpful

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Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

Yes, it is bullying, abuse, and discrimination, because it includes:

1. Ignoring you,

2. Putting you out of the loop of work activity and refusing to supply data,

3. Bad mouthing and name-calling or gossiping about you,

4. Plagiarizing your work or at least your expertise by taking your place in writing reports on your area instead of his/her own...

File a formal complaint with your supervisor and go up the chain of command to HR if necessary; also get a labor attorney - consultations free.

Tessa 19 months ago

Here I sit unemployed and I am not one bit happy. I am also another victim of employee bullying. Why? Because my old company employed a boss who was very likely drug addicted. He had all of the symptoms: Glassey eyed, staggering gait, forgetful, and verbally abusive. He was terminated but the the newly hired boss was just as bad! Despite the fact that she did not have signs of drug addiction, she was very controlling, degrading and she yelled and several of us. I just could not take it any longer so I resigned. She is still gainfully employeed yet I am unemployed so where is the justice? I know it was my choice (if you can call it a choice) to resign but I was mentally and physically exhausted. My life was literally reduced to depression and jangled nerves. My hope is that someday a law will be passed where the abusive bullies are forced off the job so others who deserve to be there can work productively, live happily, and be free of these miserable demons. They say what goes around comes around so I clearly believe it's time for them to be terminated immediately because it really is there's to "own" and not ours.

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Patty Inglish, MS 19 months ago from North America Author

A few years ago, I helped a woman file an Unemployment Claim after she quit her job because of abuse from her employer, who lost his job eventually. It helped her that he had done some illegal activities on the job and failed to file taxes and pay the employee payroll deductions he took from their paychecks to the government for his crew for years, but she received Unemployment. Look into that.

Aki46 5 months ago

I shared with someone who was a coworker that I had been hospitalized due to extreme stress and depression over 13 years ago and was suicidal. She is now my direct boss and is using that information against me.

The General Manager, my direct boss and another supervisor make remarks to me daily about my mental state. They have started calling me "psycho, f&$@ing nuts and make references to my straitjacket."

My boss sent me home because I was going to have OT on my check. I had always been allowed OT until she became my direct boss.

I feel this is due to her knowledge of my past mental history.

I went to file a grievance for being singled out since I was the only employee that was not allowed OT. The GM looked at me and told me "I was crazy and needed to call a psychiatrist"

I ended up tearing up the grievance after she told me civil service was a joke.

Since the treatment continues and in fact has gotten worse, My depression is back and I have been suicidal. I am having panic attacks every day I am supposed to go to work. I asked for an ADA accommodation because I felt my job was on the line.

They have yet to accommodate me and I filed an EEOC charge of disability discrimination.

Since then they have taken the majority of my work away. They have started enforcing rules they never have before.

I am walking on eggshells.

My direct boss told me she no longer trusts me and has started locking her office door.

The GM told me she wanted me to understand that filing the EEOC charge was bad for workplace morale.

I am struggling. I have to work. I have no choice to go into that environment daily.

But I am not sure I am strong enough mentally to get through the harassment, bullying and isolation that gets worse with each passing day.

Is there anything else I can do? I have been told that EEOC charges can drag out for years.

I'm not sure I will survive it. However I know if I don't stay the course this will continue.

I am not the first person with a mental illness that has been targeted. They fired another girl. Asked a supervisor to step down, all after they found out they had a past or was seeking therapy for mental health.

At this point I am wondering if it's worth it. I am so stressed I have lost down to 120lbs. I can't eat, sleep and I am constantly anxious.

Please any advice or encouragement is appreciated.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 months ago from North America Author

@Aki46 - They discourage you from filling with EEOC in order to avoid a black mark on the company's record and individual abusers' records, and to avoid legal consequences that are sometimes very expensive for them.

See your doctor (or get a doctor), have him/her document the physical and mental problems associated with this bullying. File with the EEOC. Find a support group to help you mentally survive. Go to the TV news media and tell them about it - the situation may be put under a microscope of public criticism. Find an attorney that specializes in labor law and report to that person about the slander and discrimination for "craziness" that does not even exist..

You can take a stand now, or have the rest of your work and job taken away for false, slanderous reasons ("craziness"), then take the case to the Unemployment Insurance office and apply for benefits, which will get the company investigated; and perhaps sue for slander and/or wrongful termination..

None of it will be easy, but I sense you will be pretty sick soon if you stay and accept the escalating abuse.

Best wishes to you!

Aki46 5 months ago

Thank you so much for your help and recommendations. I had not thought about finding a support group but that will be very helpful.

I just want to work and provide for my family. It's very sad that there are people in this world that are so cruel.

This woman knows all about my struggles. I shared with her thinking she was my friend. Only to find out that she was only taking notes to use against me at her enjoyment.

But I am seeking help from the Lord as well.

I know He will take care of me.

The spirit of fear doesn't come from God.

I am continually praying for strength to get through this very difficult time.

I will take your advice and share with you the outcome.

Thanks again!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 months ago from North America Author

Amen to all of that!

Aki46 4 months ago


I work for a local government agency so, in the public sector.

There are now signs of sabotaging my work. Such as having vendors send invoices to other employees instead of me.

I am receiving statements but at that point the invoices are past due. I have called the vendors and they told me they have another person as their contact for invoices.

I am the HR/Accounting Assistant. I do payroll, and accounts payable and assist employees with benefits.

Do you know if I take the steps above if I could get in trouble for taking it to the news station? The treatment at this point I believe is intentional infliction of emotional distress. I have contacted an attorney that I will see Wednesday. Any advice?

Patty Inglish, MS 4 months ago

Ask your attorney exactly what he thinks you should do. Since invoices appear to be manipulated to be late to you, your attorney should have some definite suggestions.

When money and A/P, payroll, and benefits are at stake, legal advice is best, but the company might fire you in retaliation for going to the media or press frivolous charges against you or threaten to press charges.

It sounds like someone may be setting you up for financial missteps in late payment of invoices and perhaps other financial issues like errors on paychecks, like deductions for taxes, etc.; wrong # of hours worked, wrong pay rates, etc.

Be careful, document everything, and stay safe!

Aki46 4 months ago

I am documenting everything. I think I am going to sign the mediation papers the EEOC sent and get this behind me.

I called in to work this morning.

I am stressed out over all of this.

I just want it to be over with. I wish I had another job to go to.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 months ago from North America Author

It sounds like you have a good plan for your situation. I'm sending out best thoughts and prayers for a new job for you.

Aki46 4 months ago

Thanks so much for your encouragement and most of all the prayers

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 months ago from North America Author

You are welcome and will be in my thoughts as well!

Aki46 4 months ago

Yesterday I was given my first evaluation even though I've been employed for almost 3 years. This is the 4 time they have given evaluations to my coworkers.

Yet the first time I received one.

I was given poor marks on 3 sections.

When I questioned my boss if those poor reviews were based on my FMLA leave she said" partly"

I didn't think they were allowed by law to give remarks based on FMLA.

I have also requested an accommodation that would allow me to work but they have refused to accommodate my disability making it impossible for me to be there.

What should I do?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 months ago from North America Author

Aki46 - I think you are right about the FMLA use not being allowed to generate bad marks against a worker (see quote below).

My opinion is that you should see your attorney as quickly as possible and present this information. I know that in USA, if the company is small enough in revenues, then the leaders are not required by law to make accommodations for disabilities in workers. If you work for the government of any kind, then I think they must make the accommodations. If it is a non-profit company receiving federal funding, then I believe they have to make the accommodation, - check with your attorney.

When anything else negative happens about this to you at work, write it down and call your attorney.

Department of Labor quote:


Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to his or her original job or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.

An employee’s use of FMLA leave cannot be counted against the employee under a “no-fault” attendance policy.

Employers are also required to continue group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

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