You are currently viewing Stand up to bullying in the workplace
Brent Knight, CSP; President of ISS, Inc.

The below was taken from an article in Forbes Magazine.

Bullying is still occurring in the workplace, even in large, well-known companies. It’s shocking to believe that people still behave so badly and even more shocking that companies tolerate it. Workplace bullying is often directed at people identifying across different dimensions of diversity such as race, gender, and age.

In a recent case, Mattel was sued for harassment, age discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. The Plaintiff, Bernard Grisez, was a permatemp set and scenery builder at Mattel for nearly two decades. Despite Grisez’s long-term service, exemplary work history, and unquestionable skill, he alleges he was repeatedly passed over for promotional opportunities and permanent employment due to his age. Mattel offered promotions and permanent employment positions to less-experienced, younger individuals, many of whom Grisez had trained.

When Grisez reported the overwhelmingly toxic and hostile work environment to Human Resources, that he was routinely berated, mocked, and ridiculed by his peers and supervisors because of his age, they substantiated his complaints. However, rather than take corrective action, according to Grisez’s lawsuit, the company retaliated.

In the end, his temporary position was eliminated, and he was terminated.

Bullying in the workplace is no joke. Even despite the consequences, it is as common now as it ever was. There is no argument that bullying in general, especially in the workplace must stop. So how can we help?

If you see bullying, address it immediately with those bullying, with the supervisor(s) and with HR. Sure, there is a level of risk, but this is a great place to make a stand. When in doubt, put yourself in the shoes of the person being bullied. That makes it very easy to put yourself on the line.

In the end, you will never regret standing up to a bully, but if you don’t and look the other way, you will always regret that decision.