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Workplace bullying takes its toll

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

According to data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were 5,818 claims of age-based harassment in the workplace in 2007, the Workplace Bullying Institute reports. By 2011, that number swelled to 6,406.

How should HR administration handle these sorts of situations? Taunts aimed at older workers – typically aged 50 or older – can come from coworkers, customers or even the boss, who may feel confident enough that he or she won't get sued by the worker.

Similar results were found in a 2011 study from CareerBuilder, as 29 percent of workers age 55 and older said they'd been bullied on the job, compared to 25 percent of those aged 35-44.

"Bullying is a serious offense that can disrupt the work environment, impact morale and lower productivity," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

In order to combat workplace bullying, both workers and HR administration should build a case by keeping track of what has been said and done. Also, check out the company's handbook to determine if there are any specific policies regarding bullying. Lastly, gather data about the economic impact that bullying has had on the company in terms of dollars and cents. 

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