The first thing to note is that neither bullying nor discrimination should be tolerated in the workplace. They have no place in modern society. However, it still happens and if you feel you are being bullied or discriminated against, it is important to be able to identify the issue and takes steps to resolve it.
If you think you are experiencing either of these issues it is important to take action. The best approach is to speak to local employment lawyers and explain the circumstances. They’ll be able to identify what is happening and the best course of action to take.
Bullying happens when one person or a group of people target an individual in a mental and sometimes physical way. The interactions are designed to cause distress, build anxiety, and create fear. In most cases, the victim of bullying will feel intimidated, embarrassed, and even degraded.
Bullying can happen in the workplace, in schools, and even in social gatherings. The bully generally likes the feeling of power that comes with others being scared of them. Bullying will happen often and usually revolves around the same behavioural patterns.
For example, if a work colleague knows that you need silence to complete a specific task and, whenever you do that task, they make a lot of noise, they are deliberately targeting you.
In short, they will feel in control and you’re likely to feel helpless even if you have asked them to stop doing it. Being bullied at work will usually mean the quality of your work suffers.
Other examples of bullying include verbal abuse, rumours being spread about you; consistently undermining your work, being excluded from certain activities, and even being isolated at work.
If you’re experiencing any of these things you’re being bullied and need to seek help.
Discrimination can feel very similar to bullying. You’ll still be targeted at humiliated. The attacks can be verbal or physical and they are likely to be repetitive. The same level of humiliation and embarrassment will be experienced.
The main difference between bullying and discrimination is the reason behind it. Bullying is done to help the bully feel powerful and in control. Discrimination is when you’re targeted for a specific part of your identity, it’s done by others because they feel they are superior to you.
The part of your identity that could be targeted is race, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, and other things such as gender identification.
You will experience different, less favourable, treatment to colleagues simply because of your skin colour or another part of your identity. This means you’ll miss out on promotions, pay increases, training, and may even be laid off before others.
The good news is that bullying and discrimination are illegal. If you think you’re experiencing this at work then speak to an employment law specialist and they can advise you about the best way forward. It’s not a pleasant situation to find yourself in but there are ways to move past it.
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