Not all workplace injuries are cut and dry. While an employee who hurts his or her back or breaks a limb on the job is a more traditional source of workers’ compensation claims, employees can also suffer emotional trauma by being bullied by a boss or co-workers.
A new study, which examined 6,000 employees in a European country, found that one in every five women and one in every eight men reported that they are bullied at work. Going hand-in-hand with this trend is the fact that those who are bullied at work are twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants or other drugs.
While the study was carried out in another country, many would say it still says a lot about employees in Maryland and throughout the rest of the country. In this country, “bullying” is not something that is clearly defined within the workplace. This, according to a professor at a U.S. university, shows that America is somewhat behind the times when it comes to addressing the concept of bullying in the workplace. He said that bullying is essentially any aggressive behavior at work that causes someone to feel intimidated, anxious or fearful. Many Americans cite this as the reason they quit their jobs.
The United States has taken aim at bullying in schools — passing legislation in 49 different states — but little to nothing has been done to address bullying in the workplace.
One woman told her tale about how she was told by her boss to let her hair down and wear more makeup while she was at work, where she served as a visual designer at a retail store. Other managers would chime in and comment on her appearance. She brought the issue to executives, but they did nothing about it, forcing her to quit.
Employment litigation is a totally separate issue. In terms of workers’ compensation, workplace bullying can cause serious health issues. Employees need to know their rights when it comes to having these health expenses covered under workers’ compensation claims.
Source: The Daily Beast, Is Your Boss a Bully? Lizzie Crocker, Dec. 30, 2012