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Workplace bullying may lead to workers’ comp filings

male boss bullying female employee at her office workstation

The Workplace Bullying Institute’s 2021 survey found that approximately 30% of America’s employees experience abuse at work. As reported by Purdue University, repeated bullying sabotages or interferes with the abused employees’ ability to perform their job tasks. In some cases, it may affect employees’ health.

Mistreatment could involve humiliating or threatening conduct. While the actions may not involve physical contact, workplace bullies often have an unhealthy need to control other employees. They may, for example, verbally harass someone or hold back tools needed to perform tasks.

Research defines different types of workplace bullies

According to research published on the website, different bullying types may appear in workplaces. The “Screamer” reflects the most common type of bully and tends to yell or bang fists. This type of behavior can have a negative effect on other employees’ health and well-being.

Another type of bully referred to as a “Schemer” may often appear quiet and helpful. The Schemer, however, does not have a powerful position. This type of workplace bully relies on gaslighting and plots manipulative smear campaigns. The Schemer’s motive involves forcing other employees out of their jobs or stripping them of the resources they need to perform.

Bullying’s negative health effects may require workers’ compensation

Disadvantaged employees experience higher incidents of bullying. They may have few available resources to cope with the negative health effects that come from repeated harassment. As Purdue also notes, long-term exposure to bullying could lead to panic attacks, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some employees may develop chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, which could then become a disability.

Medical conditions that prevent employees from working require treatment and time off for recovery. By documenting and reporting workplace bullying, employees may show how the misconduct resulted in a disability that qualifies for workers’ comp benefits.

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