Workplace bullying refers to repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed toward an employee (or a group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate or undermine, or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s).
“Tough” or “demanding” bosses are not necessarily bullies as long as they are respectful and fair and their primary motivation is to obtain the best performance by setting high yet reasonable expectations.
- Victims of bullying experience significant physical and mental health problems, such as:
- High stress; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Financial problems due to absence
- Reduced self-esteem
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Sleep and digestive disturbances
- Increased depression/self-blame
- Family tension and stress
Sometimes workplace bullying is the result of workplace culture, where behaviors of bullying are entrenched in an organization and have become accepted practice.
The AFT health, safety and well being department works with affiliates to address workplace bullying and to reclaim the promise of safe and healthy workplaces.