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Workplace Bullying 101 AFT Workshop 2011


Title: Enough Already! Bullying Behavior in the Workplace Author: 944 Last modified by: Joe Bontke Created Date: 7/12/2010 8:06:47 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Workplace Bullying 101 AFT Workshop 2011

Workplace Bullying 101 AFT Workshop 2011
  • Presented by
  • Joe Bontke
  • EEOC Houston District Office

Where have I seen him before?
Workshop Objectives
  • Identify issues associated with workplace
    bullying and how they may turn into workplace
  • Identify best route for resolution of bullying
  • Assess strategies before, during and after an
    episode of bulling
  • Identify management and workplace allies to deter
    and/or resolve bullying issues

Whats in your backpack
  • Its what we bring
  • Its who I am
  • Its my stuff

Obligations of Employers
  • Make the workplace free of unlawful
    discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • Promptly and confidentially investigate
    complaints of discrimination, harassment and
  • Where discrimination, harassment and retaliation
    may have occurred, take prompt and appropriate
    remedial action
  • (i.e., discipline commensurate with the

Protected Federal Categories
  • Race National Origin

  • Genetic Information

  • Disability Religion

    Sex Age 40

Generational Groups
When were you born?
Traditionalists (prior 1945) Baby Boomers
(1946-1963) Generation X
(1964-1980) Generation Y (1981-2000)
US Workforce Demographics
22 (Gen Y)
7 (Trad)
11 million
33 million
43 million
63 million
29 (Gen X)
42 (Boomers)
Total Workforce 150,000,000
Importance of Generations
  • There are a variety of things that help shape our
    values ( its a backpack issue)
  • Historical events impact individuals and
  • Differences in generations can create conflicts
    inside the home as well as at work

Workplace Dynamics ?
  • Define these terms
  • Team player
  • Effective communication
  • Appropriate
  • Casual

Is Social Media A Fad?
Workplace Bullying Defined
  • Repeated and unwanted actions by an individual
    or group intending to intimidate, harass, degrade
    or offend
  • Abuse or misuse of power
  • Bullying is psychological violence

Harassment of a Different Kind
  • Harassment comes from the French word
  • Harasser which literally means to sic a dog on
    someone without provocation

Is Workplace Bullying covered by EEO or HR?
  • The 3 primary avenues for workplace disputes HR,
    Union, EEO and if youre lucky an ADR or CR
  • Unless the bullying actions specifically involve
    a protected basis under EEO, then its NOT
    covered by EEO laws, but does that mean that you
    should not address it?

What Does the Law Say?
  • EEO Law Protection
  • Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
  • Retaliation
  • Workplace Violence Issues
  • Lawful v. Unlawful Bullying

Whats Covered by Federal EEO Law?
  • Charges dealing with EEO Cases Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National Origin
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Hostile work environment

  • Must have previously engaged in protected
    activity under Title VII, the ADEA or the
  • Includes participation through testimony,
    investigation, at hearing or litigation proceeding

  • Can be either hostile work environment or quid
    pro quo
  • Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on one
    or more of an individuals protected bases under
    Title VII, ADEA, ADA or other statutes

Bullying as EEO Discrimination
  • A hostile work environment consists of
  • An unwelcome act that can be Physical or Verbal
  • Based on employees protected status
  • That is sufficiently severe or pervasive to
    create a hostile, offensive or abusive work

When can Harassment occur?
  • Before, During or After Work
  • Breaks
  • Lunch hour
  • Work-related events outside of office, (i.e.
    happy hours, work conferences, dinners, holiday
    parties, picnics)

Bullying Workplace Violence
  • Factor to Consider if an Individual imposes a
    Direct Threat
  • Nature Severity of Harm
  • Likelihood that Harm will Occur
  • Imminent Fear or Intimidation
  • Your Workplace Violence Policy

Offensive Behavior
  • Remarks
  • Feelings
  • Behaviors
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Hurtful
  • What Pushes Your Buttons?

Workplace Examples of Bullying
  • Being shouted at or humiliated
  • Being the target of practical jokes
  • Blame without justification
  • Exclusion or social isolation
  • Physical intimidation (proximal)
  • Excessive micro-managing
  • Purposely withholding vital information

Examples (cont.)
  • Setting impossible goals for subordinates to
  • Blocking potential training and employment
  • Tampering with an employees personal belongings
  • Removing areas of responsibility without cause

The Effect of Bullying
  • Absenteeism
  • Decreased productivity
  • Manifestation of illness
  • High turnover
  • Increased accidents on the job
  • Violence

The Effects of Bullying
  • When targets believe that they have been bullied
  • Some will cut back on work
  • Some will contemplate leaving the job
  • Only 10 do
  • Take it out on innocent family or pets
  • Others will steal from the job, sabotage work,
    damage equipment, damage personal property of the
    bully or
  • Contemplate a violent act and carry it out

Bullying is on the Rise
  • According to a recent study by the national
    Institute for Occupational Health and Safety
    (NIOSH) bullying in the workplace is on the rise.
  • 24.5 of companies surveyed indicate that
    bullying has taken place 10.5 involving
    bullying by external customers
  • More women are becoming bullies

Statistics on Bullying
  • 37 of the workplace has been bullied
  • 72 of bullies are bosses
  • 57 of targets are female
  • Bullying happens four times more than illegal
  • 62 of employees ignore the problem

The Dynamics of the Situation
  • We are in denial
  • We avoid the person for fear of escalation
  • We raise the issue with coworkers hoping that
    they will do something about it
  • We surround ourselves with protection from other
    coworkers for support and reverse bully
  • We check-out at work look for other jobs

What Can You Do?
  • Before Situation Occurs
  • During Conflict
  • After Conflict

How to Deal with Bad Behavior
  • Try to address the underlying cause of the
    behavior I see you are very stressed. Maybe I
    could help if you tell me whats bothering you?
  • If the conversation remains irrational, then know
    when to quit
  • Recognize whether behavior is a pattern or
    mishap, conduct or performance respond
  • From The Civility Solution What to Do When
    People are Rude, St Martins Press, 2008

What Can You Do?
  • Ask yourself Are you ready to stop whatever
    youre doing and take action to address it?
  • Recognize that bullying is about control
  • Realize that its not your fault
  • Keep a detailed diary and paper trail
  • Explore Resources Internet, HR Policies, Union
  • Think about leaving division/organization

Conflict Management v Conflict Resolution The
I-R-O Method
  • Issue - What is the issue or situation? What
    level of attention does it deserve?
  • Response What is appropriate given your role
    and responsibility?
  • Outcome What is your desired outcome and what
    communication strategies will best serve that

How Should Complaints of Bullying be Addressed?
  • What is the outcome that you seek?
  • To make the bully a better person?
  • Behavior modification?
  • Acknowledgement of an offense and apology?
  • Other?
  • Note The aim of conflict resolution is not to
    change the bully from the inside out, it is to
    change or modify the behavior in the work
    environment so that morale and production are not

New Kid On The Block
  • Rachel Matthews is a new teacher at for Anderson
    Elementary School. While shes experienced and
    graduated at the top of her class, shes finding
    that during her first month in her new position,
    shes been given a mentor who is the team lead
    for 1st Grade Classes. Theres definitely a
    hierarchy of sorts and shes been having
    difficulty with her coworkers who are all older.
    They are all married, have children and even the
    one other single teacher in the group is only
    interested in talking about sports. Theres one
    student teacher in the unit, but this person is
    only in the office twice a week due to college.
    Her coworkers always call her kiddo and refer
    to themselves as old timers to get out of bad
    assignments which require more after hours face
    time at the various after school activities. They
    talk about the good old days when Teachers were
    respected, tell stories about the previous
    Principal and all talk about retirement which
    is over 5 years away. Rachel doesnt mind doing
    things to help out others or learn more about the
    job and she even accepts that shes the new one
    to the group, but shes been talking this
    situation over with her fiancée and he thinks
    this is discrimination. She doesnt like being
    called kiddo and getting all the bad
    assignments, nor being dismissed by the others
    because of her age. Lately, she finds that these
    remarks are more and more targeted to make her
    feel outside of the group like making fun of
    never having Records or using a typewriter - no
    matter what she does and has started to call in
    sick more.
  • She recently did some searching online and
    brings this situation to your attention. She
    thinks this situation is unfair and wants you to
    tell her what she should do? What do you tell

The Devil Wears Prada
  • Principal Williams is the best-dressed person in
    the school and even the entire district. Her
    motto is dress for success and she believes in
    judging a book by its cover. She struts her
    stuff down the halls during bell changes and
    everyone knows her by the clank of her Prada
    heels. Her sharp dressed views are matched by
    her sharp tongue. Her management style is
    command and control. She inspires fear in both
    students and this extends to Teachers and staff.
    You have witnessed several verbal altercations
  • believes in Kenny is known as the quirky guy in
    the office. He wears ties that light up for all
    the holidays and makes all kinds of bad jokes
    that no one ever laughs out. You know someone
    from another division who once went out on a date
    with Kenny and he pulled a gag during the date by
    putting a whoopee cushion in her chair. Your
    friend left the date and actually left the
    division to get away from Kenny. Kenny comes to
    you to complain that there are two individuals in
    the office who are abusive and mean to him. They
    walk away anytime that he talks, have told him to
    put everything in writing and started spreading
    rumors about him, so that now, others in the
    office are ignoring him too. Hes spoken with
    Ryan, the team lead, but Ryan told him to not
    let others get to him and just focus on the work
    product but Kenny cant get anything done
    because people will not interact with him. His
    work is suffering, he doesnt like going to the
    office anymore and believes that his performance
    evaluation will be marked lower. He recently
    heard that another employee went to HR to
    complain about him and when he saw them in the
    parking garage he simply said You better watch
    yourself and started humming some bad 80s song
    Why do I feel like somebodys watching me and
    walked off.
  • Mary Beth is an employee whos worked with Kenny
    for years, but has complained about Kenny to you
    and states that his rude comments seem to be
    targeted to people like herself who are
    pleasantly plump. He seems to think its all
    right to make fun of people and their eating
    habits. Truth is, she was diagnosed with
    Diabetes last year and is eating better, but that
    still doesnt make it right to make fun of larger
    people. She describes the same scene with Kenny
    in the parking lot and thinks he may be unstable
    and be violent.
  • If you are the local Manager, what do you do?
  • If you are the Union Steward, what do you do?
  • If you are HR/EEO, what do you do?

Ragin Cajun
  • Jimmy Boudreaux was a super-4 star manager for
    the Louisiana District Office for XYZ and has now
    been assigned to one of the lowest performing
    divisions in the southern Texas area. He
    volunteered for the transfer to make more money
    and has a reputation in the other offices for
    being very abrasive with staff. Hes over 12
    employees in this new TX office and began his
    first day by telling everyone how theres a new
    sheriff in town and things were going to change.
    He barks orders to all the staff, wags his
    fingers in peoples faces and laughs out loud
    when he hears anything that he thinks is funny,
    then changes his face to a serious look and says
    bring me a real idea next time all of which
    have only served to make employees feel that they
    are working with a Ragin Cajun. In fact, Jimmy
    once heard staff referring to him in the break
    room as that and walked in and said I like it!,
    poured him some coffee and left with everyones
    mouth wide open.
  • As Regional HR Director based in Dallas, youre
    starting to get calls from employees talking
    about a hostile environment. You speak with the
    Regional Director and he comes immediately to
    Jimmys defense saying that he hasnt heard any
    complaints and only sees that the division
    performance measures have improved 12 after only
    5 months.
  • What do you do? What conversations need to be
    had with upper management? What do you tell

Keep in Mind
  • Conflict Happens.
  • Situations happen but work should not hurt.
  • Remember The only thing you can truly control is
    how you choose to respond.

What Can Managers Supervisors Do?
  • Create and enforce a zero tolerance policy
  • Address the bullying behavior ASAP
  • Hold an awareness campaign
  • If you are the bullystopseek help
  • Model effective professional behavior
  • Use Facilitation, Conflict Coaching, Mediation or
    design a Group Intervention/Team Building or
    Training Retreat

Continued Busy EEOC
  • 99,922 Private Sector Charges Most Ever
  • Retaliation 36,258 charges
  • Race Discrimination 35,890 charges
  • Sex Discrimination 29,029 charges
  • Disability Discrimination 25,165 charges
  • Age Discrimination 23,264 charges
  • Sexual Harassment 11,717 charges
  • National Origin Discrimination 11,304 charges

EEOC statutes protect individuals who
  • Oppose an unlawful employment practice
  • File a complaint, testify, assist or participate
    in an investigation, proceeding or hearing
    concerning prohibited discrimination
  • Request a reasonable accommodation (religion or


90 of education is knowing where to find the
information when you need it.
Joe Bontke 713 209 3436 office 713 907 2855
cell email