Bullying in the workplace is an international issue

If you thought you left bullying behind along with jump ropes and gym uniforms, think again. The Workplace Bullying Institute, yes there is such a thing, reported last year that 37 percent of the U.S workforce or 54 million employees are being bullied now or have been bullied at the workplace at some point during their careers.

"Organizations don't realize that just rude behaviors, ongoing discourteous types of behaviors, have such negative effects on employees," Sandy Hershcovis, assistant professor of business at the University of Manitoba, told livescience.com.

Although there are no laws on the books, several states have considered healthy workplace legislation to ban bullying behaviors, according to The Inside Training Newsletter. Since 2003, these states have included: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

A form of workplace aggression, bullying behaviors include incivility, yelling, spreading gossip or lies, insulting employees, as well as hostility, verbal aggression, and angry exchanges. Various proposed laws define abusive conduct in a broad sense as "conduct of an employer or another employee that a reasonable person would find hostile or offensive," Susan K. Lessack, a partner with Pepper Hamilton's Labor and Employment Group told The Inside Training Newsletter.

For the past few years, Britain has held a Ban Bullying at Work Day with more than 300 organizations and an estimated three million workers participating. On the official day, employers are encouraged to promote bullying awareness, inform employees of company policies on bullying, and distribute promotional materials. The UK's Ban Bullying at Work Day is scheduled for November 7. The Ban Bullying at Work Web site states, "Workplace bullying is a silent disease affecting millions of people through the UK. Nobody is immune, so turning a blind eye or a deaf ear is no longer an option."

You may like these other stories...

By Jason BramwellThe IRS on August 19 unveiled a new online registration system for financial institutions that need to register with the agency under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).Financial institutions...
By Curtis C. Verschoor, CMAThe furor over the extensive tax avoidance measures used by technology companies such as Google and Apple has reached new heights in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Government...
By Jason Bramwell Government leaders of eight of the world's largest economies pledged on June 18 to take a tougher stance on fighting tax evasion. The Group of Eight (G8) leaders, who met in Northern Ireland,...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.