The Complete Guide On How To Report Bullying At Work

HR Complaints The Complete Guide On How To Report Bullying At Work

The Complete Guide On How To Report Bullying At Work

Did you know that approximately 2 in every 5 US workers have been bullied? In reality, this number is even bigger if you consider those who fail to report bullying incidents at work.

So how exactly do we define bullying? A clear sign that you are being bullied at work involves continuous harassment that leaves you feeling inferior, irrelevant, and questioning your significance to the people at your work.

Bullying can be:

Top-down: A lower-level employee bullies a higher-level employee.


Bottom-up: A higher-level employee, like a line manager, bullies a lower-level employee

Vertical: An employee is bullied by their fellow worker on the same level 

How to Identify Bullying

Since bullying is not directly protected by the EEOC Federal laws unless the action falls under the category of age, sex, race, color, and race, it may be tricky for you to spot what counts as bullying and to report it. As a general rule of thumb, bullies often display acts like:

  1. Verbal attacks – demeaning comments, incendiary remarks, gang-ups and gossips,  insults and cuss words.  
  2. Physical attacks – bodily harm, property harm, infliction of all sorts
  3. Personal threats – to life, to that of loved ones, or safety outside work
  4. Humiliation or superior power attacks
  5. Other intentional and repetitive work hindrance acts.

Regardless of which category your experience falls under, it is necessary that you report all cases of bullying to prevent further escalation and the possibility of future victims.

Bullying leaves the victim feeling:

  • Shock
  • Workplace fear
  • Dwindling confidence and vulnerability
  • Frustration
  • Anger and Helplessness
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Loss of concentration
  • Dwindling motivation and work output

Every reputable employer would demand that you report incidents of bullying because they realize how much of a negative impact bullies can have on the workforce–even in difficult situations such as reporting your boss or manager. The negative effects bullying has on employees can range from absenteeism, risk of accidents, reduced corporate image, poor customer confidence, increased turnover, and other recruitment costs that can be enormous if left untreated. 

What Should You Do If You Are Bullied?

Once you are faced with a situation where you become a subject of unhindered and unwarranted physical, systematic, or verbal attack, these are some of the things you should do:

 

When you experience bullying Do these:
You should:
  • Try to keep calm
  • Walk away from the scene if possible
  • Confront the bully yourself or in the company of your manager, your HR, or a respected colleague, and tell them that you no longer find their acts comfortable.
  • Make your stand and your expectations clear to your bully
  • Keep dates, facts, and a comprehensive record of bullying accounts.
  • Officially report acts of bullying to your HR or Manager
You should never:
  • Attempt retaliation
  • Overreact or match acts of bullying with disproportionate acts
  • Make racist remarks
  • Engage in any activity that may bring your employer to disrepute, or make your workplace unsafe for customers

How To Report Bullying At Work

Now that you have identified a case of bullying in your workplace, the next step is to report it. You can report bullying as a direct victim or as a witness to the act. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Read the organization’s handbook: Not many employees remember to read their organization’s handbook. This document typically contains guidelines on the steps to follow in dealing with all kinds of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. These steps can help you determine what the next best course of action to take is.
  2. Confront the bully: You should also take the step to have a constructive conversation with your bully. Do not get overly emotional; try to stay calm, logical, and explain your thoughts on the situation and why you would like them to stop treating you this way. Share with the bully how their actions bring you discomfort and how you hope they can respect your wellbeing. You may do this by yourself or recruit other colleagues to stand by you if your bullies are a group of highly dreaded individuals.
  3. Write a formal complaint to your HR: This is the most important step to take. To formally address the issue and put the bully on the company’s radar, you must let your HR know the unfavorable work conditions your bully has created, and how they affect your productivity. In your document, also add all the evidence you have gathered that indicts the bully.

Other Tips and Tricks When Dealing With Bullying

Keep in mind that HR may be more willing to give urgent action to your case if they can establish a relationship between your complaint and how it affects the performance or threatens the existence of the business altogether. This means you will need to put a well-structured complaint letter to your HR. You will most likely know how much success your efforts yield by the attitude of the bully after reporting.

Other things you can do while reporting a bully are to try to keep a positive attitude, maintain a healthy social lifestyle outside your workplace to regain your confidence, and prevent overthinking which may lead to insomnia, depression, or even suicide. 

Reporting Bullying At Work With DoNotPay

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This may all seem like a lot. This is why DoNot Pay is here to help automate the process and help you prepare and file your complaint so that you don’t have to do it alone. To use DoNotPay, simply

  • Type your name and email address of your HR and that of your employer.
  • Narrate the type of bullying incident you experienced or witnessed,

DoNotPay handles the rest and ensures your complaint is delivered quickly and anonymously to your HR. You can also file discrimination complaints, report your manager, and sue any person on the website.