Culture & Entertainment

Do you have a coworker from hell?

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Do you have a coworker from hell?

Don't take workplace harassment lying down It's a familiar scene for anyone who's caught an episode of The Bachelor. One woman is hated by all the other females. She's rude, mean and downright arrogant. The only person who doesn't see her ugly side is the man whose affections they're competing for. Eventually her presence breaks a couple girls down. Some are reduced to tears, others find themselves in the middle of a heated confrontation. But the bachelor never sees it. Now imagine this isn't The Bachelor mansion but an office. The man isn't a single guy looking for love but your boss. The unpopular woman isn't a reality TV villain but a workplace bully. They exist in more offices than you'd think. According to Bernardi Human Resource Law, a workplace legal resources provider in Toronto, one in five employees have been subjected to bullying on the job. I've encountered a bully in my work history, even if it was a much milder case compared to what I'd witnessed in my earlier years. One of my most vivid memories of my mother from childhood was sitting next to her at the dinner table, watching the stress and grief of working under an abusive boss chip away at her spirit, night after night. Luke, the workplace bully in question, was ultimately fired as a result of the verbal abuse directed at subordinates, not to mention the fits of rage that sent doors and warehouse product flying. But it wasn't until 2010 that a bill addressing workplace violence and harassment was enforced in Ontario. The Occupational Health and Safety Act amendment mandates that companies with five or more employees must have a workplace harassment program in place, allowing employees to report incidents of harassment and employers to investigate and address those reports. Complaints don't necessarily have to include physically or verbally abusive behaviour, either. Persistent, excessive and unjustified criticism is also classified as bullying, as is excluding or ignoring the victim. Are you dealing with a bully in your workplace? Handle your office antagonist with these helpful tips. (Photo courtesy Stockvault)
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Do you have a coworker from hell?

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