What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullying At Work

by Caroline

I work with all men and up until the last 6 months was the only woman - now there is just us two.

My foreman is treating me differently to the others. It all started when I fell pregnant for the second time. He went overboard with risk assessments on my job. He told personnel he didn't think I should be working shifts whilst being pregnant... he would allow work colleagues to smoke in our tea room so I was passive smoking... even now he never says anything to the smokers... and there is a law in place to prevent this, and does nothing... he lets everyone do what they like... but when I needed to request 5 late starts per month to take my daughter to school... he went overboard wiv manager and personnel and trade union meetings... my daughter was sick this morning so I called in to ask for the day off but he spoke to me in a very nasty way and had me in floods of tears.

Where I work all the foreman are usually understanding and I know of others that have ask to pick up children from school during work time... drop off lunch to their parents who are o.a.ps and go home early if requested and he always says ok, but everytime I ask he makes me feel bad and now feel like I can't approach him about anything.

Im back at work in two days from now and fear that he will make my working life difficult and give me horrible jobs to do.

How can I stop this from happening and resulting having to leave my job after 15 years?

Comments for Bullying At Work

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Is it worth it?
by: Trinity

Hi, try being straight with him, not accusing or confrontational, ask him if you can rely on his support with your family responsibilities like he does with the others or if there is something that you can do or change to accommodate the work. If that doesnt work then make notes of every encounter with him, times and dates because if things get nasty then you will need these. He has a duty of care to provide you with a healthy work environment and you can use the smoking cafetaria etc. As well, remember that your work stress becomes your unborn baby's stress, your homelife stress. Is it worth it. Recently a 12 year old girl in the UK died of a heart attack in her father's arms after revealing that she had been bullied at school. Bullying kills and if I were in your shoes I would negotiate a golden handshake if your boss can not find suitable duties. But I dont know your situation, and I'm not an expert. Try not to 'freeze' in the situation if he becomes nasty because that is more damaging than cutting your losses and splitting. I once sent a resignation letter with a photo of me sitting on a photocopier with my panty-hose around my ankles and my finger on the start button, and wrote 'take your job and shove it up your ...', it was my finest most glorious moment and it gave me back my power.

Not bullying
by: Anonymous

What you are describing is not bullying.

Your personal life has encroached on your professional life. More important for you to understand is that your personal issues have become a problem that you expect your employer to accommodate.

Now, you are late for work five days per week, need time off for child sickness, etc.

Business is business. Personal life is personal life. Yes, some employers are very understanding and accommodating, but some are not. Bottom line is that you are selling your time and talent to your employer. They pay you to be at a specific place at a specific time to do a specific job. They have no obligation legally or ethically to accommodate your personal needs.

You need to be able to fulfill your duties equally with all your colleagues - male or female. If the men aren't frequently coming in late or leaving early or taking personal time, then that is the standard for your workplace.

Equality means equality. Being pregnant or being a mother does not grant special privileges.

In short, you are not being bullied. You simply are not being given special accommodations for being a mother.

Disagree that she is not being bullied
by: Anonymous

There is a law that Employers can not discriminate against pregnant employees. Obviously the males may not be having the same issues at her job because obviously they are not pregnant. Your way of thinking is exactly why the law against discriminating against pregnant Women was enacted in the first place. Allowing people to smoke around her? Obviously her Employer is an insensitive bully so she really needs to speak up for herself about not wanting the cigarette smoke around her plus she needs to document everything because it is ILLEGAL to discriminate against pregnant employees PERIOD and a lot of what she has been subjected to have been discriminatory PERIOD.

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