"Workplace violence is any act against an employee that creates a hostile work environment and negatively affects the employee either physically or psychologically. Bullying is a non-homicidal form of violence and a systematic campaign that jeopardizes your health, your career, your family and the job you once loved. And because it is violent, emotional and physical harm results". (www.workplacebullying.org)
With that said I would like to inform the community about the hostile work environment that has been created and tolerated at a local health care facility in southern New Hampshire. To date I know of 9 employees that have been subjected to some form of repeated harassing, malicious, cruel and humiliating attempts to undermine them by their management all within the same department. Having personally worked with 7 of these wonderful people I can attest to their character, professionalism, skill, loyalty and genuine care for the people in the community. Three weeks ago one of these employees was terminated after 38 years of excellent service to this institution. Prior to her being terminated she was emotionally tormented for months. She would be called into meetings and yelled at, lied about and threatened with termination. She was humiliated and tormented by words, intonations attacks on her character even though her work performance in the past was great. Another employee from the same department was terminated last week. I was terminated 1 1/2 years ago after 28 years of employment at this facility. Like everyone else my evaluation were great, coworkers enjoyed working with me and my patients appreciated all that I did for them. I received a large pay raise 5 months before the torment began because the management said they appreciated the years of dedication, professionalism and ability to be a team player.
What we all have in common is the fact that we were subjected to an infliction of emotional distress and psychological harassment over a period of time resulting in mental and physical distress. We were all subjected to behavior from the manager that was offensive and threatening. By his words, intonations and actions he created an environment that was hostile and offensive.
Sadly the administration including Human Resources were aware of the hostile work environment created by the manager and other leaders in the same department. We would go to the Vice President of the HR department and beg for the bullying to stop. We pleaded to know what we were doing wrong but vague answers were given, untruths were stated without examples and not one accusation was followed up with any form of investigation. The administration failed to take measures to prevent and abate the problem. We are just sent back to the bully for "conflict resolution". Stopping violence requires more than mere "conflict resolution".
Workplace violence is an occupational and safety health hazard. I would be interested in knowing the cost of the mental and physical ill health that this stress has caused on not only the abused employee but to all the others that witnessed the abuse and were too afraid for their jobs to say anything.
There are presently no laws that can safeguard such behavior. Hopefully with public awareness, a new administration and claims of abuse causing medical malpractice to soar due to bullying employers and patient injury we can say that bullying in the workplace is wrong financially and morally. It shouldn't hurt to go to work.
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