Something’s off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. You expect your boss and co-workers to support you to do the work you were hired to do and expected to be treated with dignity and respect.
But that’s not what's happening. Your boss or co-worker talks down to you. It seems you can’t say or do anything right. Your office was moved to a less visible space.
You've been targeted by a workplace bully.
You try to please the abuser or try to figure out how you need to change. But nothing works. The abuse continues. The bully is threatened by your competence, social skills, and any other good qualities you have.They either keep you immobilized under their thumb or do everything in their power to get rid of you.
You want to respectfully confront the abuser and tell them their behavior is unacceptable but are afraid they'll come back at you even harder next time. The power imbalance silences you into submission to keep the peace and your paycheck.
The bully doesn’t let up, and you report the problem to management. You expect the organization to intervene and either discipline or get rid of the abuser, but neither happen. Delay after delay. Nothing is ever done about the bully. Something isn’t off. Everything is off.
You're in a HOSTILE work environment.
For the majority of targeted and victimized employees, the psychological harassment and psychological abuse doesn’t stop until they leave. If toxic workplace behavior isn’t dealt with effectively in the short term, employees are likely in a hostile work environment — where higher-ups prioritize avoiding corporate liability over human well-being.
Employers aren’t currently liable for the psychological safety of their employees — nor do they want to be. So the employer/its representative employees further abuse the employee with a willful blindness and deafness to the problem (mobbing). They choose to ignore the problem and make reporting employees go away instead.
In hostile work environments, employers/representative employees defraud and conspire against employees who report abuse to avoid the threat of liability. If employees fight them, they fight harder. With legal resources at their fingertips, they win most of the time. The mission of organizational bullying is to break you psychologically, leaving no fingerprints.
There are three typical outcomes for bullied and mobbed employees:
- They leave voluntarily from the health harm they incurred from silent-killer stress waiting for organizational resolve.
- They are fired by the employer because they can no longer perform their duties due to that health harm.
- They die.
A crime is a crime. These are inhumane workplace practices that violate basic human rights without account. The majority of targeted and victimized employees don’t realize what’s happened to them until after they leave the work environment. Realization of the premeditated health harm and job loss often leads to traumatic psychological injury, an injury to the brain.
We need a law.
Psychological harassment and psychological abuse at work is an epidemic that affects as much as 96 percent of U.S. workers, and workplace experts believe they are on the rise. A 2021 study estimates that 48.6 million Americans are bullied in the workplace.
The mistreatment often leads to serious, long-term, physical, psychological, emotional health harm and economic injury as many employees suffer severe financial loss after losing their jobs and careers, too ill to return to work. PTSD and stress-induced illnesses are common consequences as is suicide and suicide ideation. Employees die.
We have regulations at work for environmental safety. We have regulations at work for physical safety. It has been the historic practice in the United States to legislate issues of employee exploitation. The psychological safety of employees is of no less importance.
We need a law NOW!
THE DISCRIMINATORY NATURE OF WORKPLACE BULLYING AND MOBBING
At the heart of workplace bullying and mobbing is the imbalance and misuse of power, and the power dynamics are highlighted by the fact that people of color, women, LGBTQ, the oldest and youngest members of the workforce, and the disabled are mistreated more frequently.
Anti-discrimination laws are supposed to protect workers against harassment and unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age (40 or older), or disability or genetic information, but they have failed to do that for decades as researchers have shown. Workers outside these protected classes have no legal protections whatsoever and are equally exploited when it comes to psychological safety in the American workplace.
Our workplaces and the legal system have consistently failed to protect employees from psychological harassment and psychological abuse. It is an issue of occupational safety and human well-being. It is an issue of employee exploitation.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Evan Seyfried is a blueprint of both bullying and mobbing.Evan's co-workers mentally tormented him, and then his employer/its representative employees who turned a willful blind eye and deaf ear to the abuse to avoid a PERCEIVED threat of liability further abused him.