Workplace Bullying & Discrimination

Workplace Bullying & Discrimination

When I look back of more than 20 years of work with workplace conflicts and challenges, specifically in academic environments, and I re-evaluate complaints through the lens of workplace bullying issues, I think that many cases of discrimination were actually workplace bullying, or vice versa. And I am not alone in that perspective.

In a recent article in Corporate Counsel  at, Proposed Legislation Stands up to Workplace Bullies, the author, Shannon Green, assesses workplace bullying claims and discrimination claims.  She indicates that while she doesn’t believe workplace bullying claims will surpass discrimination claims (actually, I think they might as solid legislation takes hold but that’s another blog), “but I do think these claims will be as prominent as discrimination over time” she asserts.

Workplace Bullying is Bad for Business

What are the implications for pending legislation and the possible overlap with discrimination? Obviously solid and reasoned investigations, a seasoned understanding of workplace aggressive behaviors, prevention training, interventions, and professional responsive coaching come to mind. These are all mitigating behaviors for employers. But, in the end, the most important reasons to respond to complaints of workplace abrasive and aggressive behavior, including workplace bullying behavior, is that it’s bad for the workplace—costing employers billions of dollars every year.

I’m Kathleen Bartle, a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years.  My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts.  You can contact me here.

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  • Kkmcclenahan

    Can being fired for not sharing the same political views as your boss be considered discrimination? I was fired for that trival reason.