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Paul77

Bullying at work

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I work for a big UK company (ftse100 listed) which has some great policies when it comes to dealing with bullying, this gave me false perception that there is someone who actually cares... in reality, they indeed employ a few experts, who, rather than helping you, will work hard to make you and your complain looking silly. In short, they will pick a few weak points in your complain that can be used as an attack and fire these at you... not even bothering to ask questions or investigate. This has raised a question that some people here may be able to answer (I see very experienced people posting here).

Has anyone actually achieved anything when reporting bullying at work? I have experienced bullying in the past and it simply prompted me to leave, however, on this occasion, I was under impression I can really make a difference... reporting it has turned massively against me.

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Raise a grievance, they can't dodge it then

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Haven't really got any suggestions, but people say keep a record of everything that happens to you of you are being bullied

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3 minutes ago, reddog said:

Haven't really got any suggestions, but people say keep a record of everything that happens to you of you are being bullied

We have a bully in our department. Numerous complaints to management about one-off incidents did little. Newer member of staff kept very detailed notes of everything though, until something big happened. Then she reeled off the whole list with dates, times etc. Management finally took a bit more notice and bully quietened down for six months or so.

I actually stood up to the person on one occasion and walked out of a meeting. We had a serious meeting with HR a week afterwards and were given time to talk in turn. I started off by saying she was a bully who frequently resorted to intimidating and belittling colleagues. Pulled the rug from under her feet a bit for when it was her turn. She's not singled me out since then for the bullying I was getting before.

Good luck and please share any successes so there rest of us can learn from it.

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3 hours ago, Paul77 said:

I work for a big UK company (ftse100 listed) which has some great policies when it comes to dealing with bullying, this gave me false perception that there is someone who actually cares... in reality, they indeed employ a few experts, who, rather than helping you, will work hard to make you and your complain looking silly. In short, they will pick a few weak points in your complain that can be used as an attack and fire these at you... not even bothering to ask questions or investigate. This has raised a question that some people here may be able to answer (I see very experienced people posting here).

Has anyone actually achieved anything when reporting bullying at work? I have experienced bullying in the past and it simply prompted me to leave, however, on this occasion, I was under impression I can really make a difference... reporting it has turned massively against me.

I have rarely encountered lone bullies in such situations. They often reflect the values of more senior management. I just walked on an employer for similar.

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.

Quote

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_dismissal

In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect, a termination. For example, when an employer makes life extremely difficult for an employee, to attempt to have the employee resign, rather than outright firing the employee, the employer is trying to effect a constructive discharge.

The exact legal consequences differ between different countries, but generally a constructive dismissal leads to the employee's obligations ending and the employee acquiring the right to make claims against the employer.

The employee may resign over a single serious incident or over a pattern of incidents. Generally, the employee must have resigned soon after the incident.

 

I guess if it's that serious and if thinking of following that route it might be best to take expert legal advice before resigning.  I think it's possible that any claim might depend on how long a person has worked with the organisation in question.

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1 minute ago, billybong said:

.

I guess if it's that serious and if following that route it might be best to take expert legal advice before resigning.  I think it's possible that any claim might depend on how long a person has worked with the organisation in question.

I would say definitely seek legal advice before resigning if you plan on making a claim for constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal is quite difficult to prove in court even if you go down this route.

I was sexually harassed/bullied some years back and put in a formal complaint about what had happened. I won't go into too many details at the moment as it has turned into an ongoing legal situation.

Have learned a bit about employment law over the last 12 months. I have also learned that all the company you work for will likely be interested in is preventing any complaints of bullying/harassment being found to be true, as this could provide legal difficulties for the company and make them potentially liable to pay compensation.

If you have made a complaint about bullying or harassment and feel you are being treated badly by your employer because of this, then you might be able to claim against your employer for Victimisation, which is unlawful under the Equality Act.

 

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I feel for you on this issue.  One of the problems here is the erosion of Union power by both major political parties and this has made this sort of behavior harder to challenge and consequently harder to deal with.  The advice to record everything is good practice but ultimately much depends on the organisations 'culture' and the way senior management reacts to the concept of bullying.

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14 minutes ago, Billy Ray Valentine said:

I would say definitely seek legal advice before resigning if you plan on making a claim for constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal is quite difficult to prove in court even if you go down this route.

I was sexually harassed/bullied some years back and put in a formal complaint about what had happened. I won't go into too many details at the moment as it has turned into an ongoing legal situation.

Have learned a bit about employment law over the last 12 months. I have also learned that all the company you work for will likely be interested in is preventing any complaints of bullying/harassment being found to be true, as this could provide legal difficulties for the company and make them potentially liable to pay compensation.

If you have made a complaint about bullying or harassment and feel you are being treated badly by your employer because of this, then you might be able to claim against your employer for Victimisation, which is unlawful under the Equality Act.

 

Presumably if you claim against your employer for Victimisation you don't have to resign and a proven claim could have consequences for the perpetrator(s) as well as the company.

The basic point I wanted to make is that beyond an ineffective grievance procedure there is a body of law with the potential for compensation -  some of the sums I've seen reported in the media have been considerable although I suspect the average successful claim is relatively small.

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In this day and age of cheap electronic recording devices, cctv everywhere, etc it makes the below much harder to do and get away with.....

Most bullies are, inherently, cowards and easy to break (physically as well as in spirit) and IF they find they have taken on someone who will actually not only stand up to them but give at least as good as they get - they will, typically, leave you well alone.

I have experienced what, in todays thin skinned overly sensitive age, people call bullying - both at school and in the work place. Now a long time ago.

I learned to deal with the former through the pragmatic advice of my elders and the fact that the education system, then, didn't react quite so hysterically to anything more physical than a gentle push in the playground. Looking back on it I could have had my head caved in by some of the said bullies, given how much bigger they were than me. BUT when they found they had picked on someone who was prepared to fight back (even verbally, never mind physically) they were never a problem again.

Years later, in the workplace, having been at the receiving end of a more senior staff members bullying (my being relatively new) in a public setting, with witnesses, I calmly 'let it slide'. BUT later enagaged with said bully in a more private setting, of my time and choosing, and made clear if it happened again it would be the last mistake he ever made!

Suffice to say said bully never troubled me again.

Peiople really need to stand up for themselves and not been afraid to speak out and 'fire back' verbally, especially in public and when the bully has a good audience.

Sadly, the school system of today is creating a generation of cry babies. That's not to say that mechanisms, processes and procedures should not be available for victims deal with the problem formally. Just that it needs to be recognised that most people have it within themselves to often nip the problem in the bud without resorting to such processes.

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7 hours ago, anonguest said:

In this day and age of cheap electronic recording devices, cctv everywhere, etc it makes the below much harder to do and get away with.....

Most bullies are, inherently, cowards and easy to break (physically as well as in spirit) and IF they find they have taken on someone who will actually not only stand up to them but give at least as good as they get - they will, typically, leave you well alone.

I have experienced what, in todays thin skinned overly sensitive age, people call bullying - both at school and in the work place. Now a long time ago.

I learned to deal with the former through the pragmatic advice of my elders and the fact that the education system, then, didn't react quite so hysterically to anything more physical than a gentle push in the playground. Looking back on it I could have had my head caved in by some of the said bullies, given how much bigger they were than me. BUT when they found they had picked on someone who was prepared to fight back (even verbally, never mind physically) they were never a problem again.

Years later, in the workplace, having been at the receiving end of a more senior staff members bullying (my being relatively new) in a public setting, with witnesses, I calmly 'let it slide'. BUT later enagaged with said bully in a more private setting, of my time and choosing, and made clear if it happened again it would be the last mistake he ever made!

Suffice to say said bully never troubled me again.

Peiople really need to stand up for themselves and not been afraid to speak out and 'fire back' verbally, especially in public and when the bully has a good audience.

Sadly, the school system of today is creating a generation of cry babies. That's not to say that mechanisms, processes and procedures should not be available for victims deal with the problem formally. Just that it needs to be recognised that most people have it within themselves to often nip the problem in the bud without resorting to such processes.

Couldn't agree more. Clearly easier said than done but such is life.

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8 hours ago, anonguest said:

Most bullies are, inherently, cowards and easy to break (physically as well as in spirit) and IF they find they have taken on someone who will actually not only stand up to them but give at least as good as they get - they will, typically, leave you well alone.

Most bullies will punch you back harder if you directly stand up to them, the "they're cowards" rarely turns out to be true. At most if you can convince them that they'll just get hurt more they'll go and look for easier targets, whilst keeping an eye out for the opportunity to stab you in the back for standing up to them.

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40 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Most bullies will punch you back harder if you directly stand up to them, the "they're cowards" rarely turns out to be true. At most if you can convince them that they'll just get hurt more they'll go and look for easier targets, whilst keeping an eye out for the opportunity to stab you in the back for standing up to them.

Because many of them, since early to mid adolescence, seem like they're afflicted with anti-social personality disorders. They don't have to punch back; many of them are good at playing the victim and running away from direct confrontation. They'll also act in a passive aggressive fashion by vanishing into thin air or giving people the silent treatment. 

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Keeping a diary is a good idea. You'll never remember what you think you remember and details such as exact times look good.

Now, about proof: I imagine this puts off a lot of people. It should not. Video things, record audio, save emails, entrap people. You can always decide against using it. No doubt you may be breaking some rules such as photography in the workplace but see what's possible.

I would agree with what has been written that sometimes you just have to walk away.

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Make sure everything is well documented. Print off all relevant emails. Keep a contemporaneous journal of events.

Consult an employment lawyer if things keep on going badly.

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7 hours ago, Big Orange said:

Because many of them, since early to mid adolescence, seem like they're afflicted with anti-social personality disorders. They don't have to punch back; many of them are good at playing the victim and running away from direct confrontation. They'll also act in a passive aggressive fashion by vanishing into thin air or giving people the silent treatment. 

I've had this recently. Spent 12 months tolerating some very bad behaviour by a colleague and as soon as I called her out she went to HR claiming I'd abused and degraded her (wtf???). These people are often very clever and very dangerous.

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18 hours ago, billybong said:

Presumably if you claim against your employer for Victimisation you don't have to resign and a proven claim could have consequences for the perpetrator(s) as well as the company.

The basic point I wanted to make is that beyond an ineffective grievance procedure there is a body of law with the potential for compensation -  some of the sums I've seen reported in the media have been considerable although I suspect the average successful claim is relatively small.

Yes, you wouldn't have to resign if you made such a claim.

You're right about the average compensation for a successful claim being a relatively small amount. With the introduction of fees and possible solicitor costs it's probably not worth the stress and risk of not winning in taking things that far for many people.

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19 minutes ago, frozen_out said:

I've had this recently. Spent 12 months tolerating some very bad behaviour by a colleague and as soon as I called her out she went to HR claiming I'd abused and degraded her (wtf???). These people are often very clever and very dangerous.

This is what the careful records are for. If you can present a timed/dated record of any incidents stretching back 12 months then you are in a strong position.

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1 hour ago, frozen_out said:

I've had this recently. Spent 12 months tolerating some very bad behaviour by a colleague and as soon as I called her out she went to HR claiming I'd abused and degraded her (wtf???). These people are often very clever and very dangerous.

I don't doubt that this is a common tactic by them IF they find, to their surprise, that their victim doesn't actually roll over and play helpless sheep.  They key is, with an absolute straight face, swear blind to HR or whoever that you have no idea what they are talking about, that its the first you've heard of it, etc.  Their word against yours. THEN stir it up for them by counter accusing with your own theory why they would have said such things about you. 

The work place bully I referred to in my own distant past was offered such a prospect by me OR finding himself accidentally falling out of a 7th floor window late on evening! When I explained my view was the former was too much hard work over such an inconsequential specimen of humanity and my preference was for the latter option they clearly 'saw the light' and, as said, never bothered me again.

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10 hours ago, Riedquat said:

Most bullies will punch you back harder if you directly stand up to them, the "they're cowards" rarely turns out to be true. At most if you can convince them that they'll just get hurt more they'll go and look for easier targets, whilst keeping an eye out for the opportunity to stab you in the back for standing up to them.

Sorry but must disagree. Just not my experience or observation.

Some may 'punch back' at least initially (e.g. go and make accusations about you to HR, etc) but will quickly stop when they realise their latest target is not the pushover all the previous ones were.  It's not  a case of them getting hurt 'more' then you,, it's a case of just them getting hurt at all. It's something they're just not used to precisely because all their previous victims have allowed them to come on top so quickly and easily.

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56 minutes ago, anonguest said:

I don't doubt that this is a common tactic by them IF they find, to their surprise, that their victim doesn't actually roll over and play helpless sheep.  They key is, with an absolute straight face, swear blind to HR or whoever that you have no idea what they are talking about, that its the first you've heard of it, etc.  Their word against yours. THEN stir it up for them by counter accusing with your own theory why they would have said such things about you. 

The work place bully I referred to in my own distant past was offered such a prospect by me OR finding himself accidentally falling out of a 7th floor window late on evening! When I explained my view was the former was too much hard work over such an inconsequential specimen of humanity and my preference was for the latter option they clearly 'saw the light' and, as said, never bothered me again.

What did he do beforehand?

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My thread on this has been deleted. Probably because I was accused of racism and that was in the title. Case now resolved and his claims were thrown out. This guy and his manager were appauling bullies and when he was called out he used every internal and external procedure under the sun to accuse his accusers of bullying. So my message is, don't underestimate these peoples ability and cunning when it comes to legal procedures etc

 

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15 hours ago, anonguest said:

Sorry but must disagree. Just not my experience or observation.

Some may 'punch back' at least initially (e.g. go and make accusations about you to HR, etc) but will quickly stop when they realise their latest target is not the pushover all the previous ones were.  It's not  a case of them getting hurt 'more' then you,, it's a case of just them getting hurt at all. It's something they're just not used to precisely because all their previous victims have allowed them to come on top so quickly and easily.

Agree. Attitude is very important though. You have to mean what you say. If you do - the problem should disappear.

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Difficult to say what 'bullying' is.

One man's bullying is another man's motivation - see sports thread some time ago. People have different outlooks & thresholds.

We all have bosses, and at some time or other we have to take crap from them, justified or unjustified, some of us shrug it off, others take it personally (again, it may be meant personally or it may not).

So not knowing the OP and the context of his situation, I can't say if he is being bullied or if he interprets it as being bullied.

Is it just a manager giving him a push or is it a manager using him to climb the corporate ladder, or is it really a bully.

If it is the latter, I am sure other people talk about him and senior directors will know this.

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On 2017-5-10 at 8:20 AM, hotairmail said:

I agree with that. It is usually more of a culture thing. You have to work out which one it is and tailor your approach/set your expectations accordingly.

If it is a senior management thing, you'll find HR will be two faced - being sympathetic to you at times to your face, but "dealing with the situation" in cohorts with senior management behind your back. They may try to 'retire' you in one form or another - make your life hell, or even go as far as turning their sights onto you with trumped up charges and the like.

HR ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE. You need either union and/or legal help if you want to address this.

I would always walk away, for me, life is too short for long drawn out disputes.

 

 

Spot on.

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