People sometimes assume that bullying ends in high school. Unfortunately, that’s not true. It often extends into the workplace. It’s not something that stops as people grow older.
In some cases, the bullying could feel at least marginally related to your job. Maybe a supervisor doesn’t like you and bullies you in an effort to get you to quit. When you don’t, they eventually make up a reason to fire you.
In other cases, it doesn’t seem like it’s related to your work at all. Examples of workplace bullying include:
- Gossiping about you, whether or not what is said is actually true
- Starting rumors that definitely are not true
- Calling you names, especially when they have a negative connotation
- Insulting you directly or saying insulting things to other workers about you.
- Yelling at you when it is not warranted, perhaps in an effort to intimidate you
- Mocking or ridiculing you, especially in front of others
- Putting offensive objects or photos in your locker, at your desk or with your things
- Making offensive gestures and trying to physically intimidate you
When things really go too far is when it turns into physical abuse. This can be combined with the types of abuse and bullying noted above, or the physical abuse could be the only aspect. Every case is different. The above examples just give you some idea of what it could look like, but you should go with your gut. If you feel like you’re being bullied, you may well be. That’s when it’s time to make sure you understand your legal rights.