Sunday, March 25, 2007

Study: Bullying Bosses Rampant

Boss_button_3 Here is a post from the AFL-CIO Blog that points to the continuing challenge many workplaces face in dealing with bullying bosses:

This week, a new study by the Employment Law Alliance finds that 45 percent of workers say an abusive boss has bullied them.

The poll defined bullying boss actions as yelling, rudely interrupting, publicly criticizing, making sarcastic jokes and teasing remarks and giving dirty looks. These actions take a serious emotional and psychological toll on workers and reduce workplace productivity, say employment experts.

Stanford professor Robert P. Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule—Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, says:

This national survey adds to a growing mountain of evidence showing the abuse of power is a rampant problem in the American workplace.

If there is any good news here, it is that the Workplace Bullying Institute reports that nine state legislatures are in the process of debating legislation which would give employees some degree of legal protection against abusive bosses.

The AFL-CIO blog post also points out that those interested can get more information on anti-bullying legislation and advice on how to deal with a bully boss from

Update:  For a different take on the "office asshole" issue, see Lisa Takeuchi Cullen's comments at Time's Work In Progress Blog.  She writes: "I'm not condoning asshole behavior at work--far from it. But I am saying that we ought to look beyond the behavior at the person. That's not always easy, or even possible, in a workplace setting."


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