According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, approximately 35 percent of the U.S. workforce report being bullied at work. Other researchers indicate that 60 percent of U.S. workers experience bullying behaviors at some point during their careers.
Reportedly bullying occurs more frequently than sexual harassment or other illegal discrimination mainly because it is not illegal under current law. However, in recent years legislation called the Healthy Workplace Bill is being discussed at the state government level in order to pass legislation to prohibit workplace bullying.
In the meantime, how do employers and employees address workplace bullying? Sources, such as the Workplace Bullying Institute, indicate that one of the first steps to address bullying starts with naming or identifying it.
In spring 2013, Staff Alliance shared the results of their staff work/life survey with UA leadership. Multiple survey comments included mention of problems with workplace bullying. Staff Alliance suggested that training on this topic would benefit UA employees. After President Gamble reviewed the survey, he requested HR staff to develop training to increase employees’ awareness of bullying and the options available to resolve the bullying behavior when it occurs.
Statewide Human Resources is currently finalizing and vetting class materials. Training sessions will be scheduled during fall 2013.