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Workplace Bullying, Occupational Violence and Harassment

Viimati uuendatud: 15.10.2019

Workplace Bullying, Occupational Violence and Harassment

Occupational violence is the ungrounded behaviour against an employee or a group of employees with the aim to hurt, humiliate, belittle or threaten. The attack could be directed against a person’s dignity, professional knowledge and skills, personal life, physical characteristics, racial belonging, sexual orientations, or other.

Occupational violence includes bullying, sexual harassment and physical assaults. Occupational violence could occur as a single case or systematic behaviour pattern, and take place on different levels of the organization (manager’s violence against subordinates, violence among employees).

Bullying and occupational violence can have very serious consequences, triggering the decline of self-esteem, depression, sleep disorders and other stress-related health disorders. In more severe cases, the symptoms of stress caused by bullying resemble post-traumatic stress syndrome experienced after disasters and assaults, which lasts for years after the incident. It may be accompanied with social isolation, family problems, leaving or losing work and connected financial issues. The person being bullied might turn aggressive and take up the bullying role themselves. Cases have occurred when the workplace bullying has ended with suicides.

Workplace bullying and violence affect both the person being bullied and their co-workers. Research has shown that the reactions in employees who have witnessed violence are similar to those of the victim.

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