Bullied no more: Laws against workplace bullying soon to come

Carly Yamrus, Opinion Editor

I’ve worked in the restaurant business since I was 14 years old. Although part of a business’s success is maintaining this certain image of organization and control, the reality of it can be hardly be that of a textbook management structure.

If you haven’t worked for someone or under someone who, for lack of a better term, sucked… consider yourself extremely fortunate!

For those of us who have had to deal with unreasonable superiors, we know all too well that workplace bullying is alive and well, and that dealing with it is a part-time job in and of itself.

Workplace bullying can present itself in a variety of different ways. Superiors may be passive aggressive. They may tantalize you and place you “below

themselves on the hierarchical chain because they can. They may engage in a constant struggle for the upper-hand in silly situations. If you’re really unfortunate you could end up working for someone who is outright aggressive.

Workplacebullying.com reports that 35 percent of the U.S. work force has been bullied. 15 percent has witnessed bullying. And that’s only the amount that said something about it. I know for sure that it unreported in many places of business for fear of losing the job or being seen as weak or uncooperative.

We usually associate bullying with teenagers but adult bullies are most certainly alive and well.

It’s like there is this unsaid agreement that your boss is allowed to treat you like garbage because they hired you. As of recently, many companies have been realizing the negative effects of workplace bullying on employee morale and productivity.

The problem right now is that unlike sexual harassment or physical abuse, bullying is not illegal.

Though it really should be… not only does it prevent work from getting done, it can trigger many stress-related illnesses such as hypertension, neurological problems, impaired immunity, and chronic fatigue. Bullying can also cause anxiety and panic attacks, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, guilt, shame, and feelings of inferiority and equality.

Because jobs are scarce these days, it is common for bullied employees to stay in an unhealthy environment despite feeling harassed and singled out.

I’m happy to hear a talk of stricter laws for bullying because I know how difficult it can be to work with or for someone who constantly is on the attack.

Although the campaigns are in earlier stage of development, volunteers are working to try and convince elected officials of the advantages of a healthy, cooperative workplace.

It is everyone’s job to report workplace bullying before the situation gets out of hand. If you’re an “innocent bystander” who remains silent, you are not helping the problem. If you are victimized and remain silent, you will continue to be abused and could suffer from any of the physical and mental health problems aforementioned. If you are a bully, you may way to reevaluate your actions and come to realize your destructive behavior on the workplace environment.

Other countries have already enacted anti-bullying laws. The U.S. should not be too far behind.

It’s time to acknowledge workplace bullying as a real problem. Just remember that you if you are bullied at work or know someone who is bullied, the last thing you want to do is stay quiet about it. Learn more at workplacebullying.org.