Should You Report Workplace Bullies for the Greater Good?

By  //  November 2, 2021

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In 2017, Workplace Bullying Institute released its newest report on the issue of workplace bullying. The study, based on a random sample of 1,008 Americans, found 19% of workers experienced or were witnesses to workplace bullying. In both genders, bullies were more likely to target males as perpetrators and females as victims, regardless of whether the perpetrator was female or male.

A more recent poll, conducted by in 2019, found 90% of respondents have directly experienced workplace bullying. Among the bullying behaviors reported, aggressive emails and gossiping were among those perpetrated by supervisors or managers.

What is workplace bullying?

The term “workplace bullying” describes any pattern of behavior that involves harassment, intimidation, or humiliation at work. It can be done by your supervisor or by your coworkers. People who are bullied may suffer emotional, physical, and professional setbacks as a result. 

In the event that you or a colleague suffers the effects of bullying at your workplace, you should take action.

Bullying at work: What you need to know? 

You should know there are things you can do when you are being bullied and people who can help if you need it. The right to work in a safe and harassment-free environment exists for everyone.

Responsibility of employers.

Employers have a legal duty under anti-discrimination and Occupational Health and Safety laws to provide a safe workplace. Your employer has a duty to look after your health and wellbeing while on the job. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure bullying does not occur in the workplace.  

Responsibility of bystanders

Everyone has a moral obligation to foster a positive, safe working environment.  You can help someone who is experiencing harassment or bullying at work by telling them how to handle the situation. 

How to report the bully at work?

1. It is important to review your employment and civil rights before reporting workplace bullying. Even though federal and state laws don’t explicitly prohibit workplace bullying, business and legal principles can protect you from retaliation if you report an employee who is being bullied.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination and harassment, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits bullying retaliation actions, such as discipline, suspension, or termination, against employees who assert their rights under legislation such as Title VII.

2. Contact the right person to report the bullying. Do not be afraid to report bullying. It is important to follow your company’s harassment and bullying procedures when reporting harassment or bullying. 

You should nevertheless speak to your supervisor if there is no policy at your company unless the offender is the supervisor, in which case the Human Resources department should be contacted.

3. Alternatively, you could speak confidentially to your manager about your co-workers, but you might be better off talking to a human resources representative. It might be best to avoid your immediate supervisor. 

Furthermore, going to your supervisor seems like a form of tattling, which is not widely accepted at work. In that case, HR is the best option. Consult the owner or senior manager if your company doesn’t have a dedicated HR department.