Business Ethics:Bullying in the Workplace

Read the Decision Point about Bullying in the Workplace on page 269. Write a 3 page discussion about bullying in the workplace. Incorporate the responses to the questions, significant information from 2 outside sources and all APA documentation.


Should states enact anti-bullying laws that would. enable victims of workplace
bullying to sue their harassers and also to hold their employers accountable?
Surveys show that at least 35 percent of US. workers have experienced bullying
in their place of employment in the past year.16 Advocates of anti-bullying laws
argue that the extent of the problem-when considered alongside evidence
that bullying causes significant physical, emotional, and economic harm to its
victims-calls for a legislative response. On the other hand, critics worry that anti-
bullying legislation would lead to a spike in employee lawsuits and point to the
difficulty of determining whether abusive bullying has taken place, particularly in
high~pressure work environments.”
Since 2002, 21 states have introduced anti-bullying bills. New York, for example,
began considering a bill in 2010 that defines bullying broadly and would include
the repeated use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, as well as conduct
that a ’reasonable person’ would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating.”

As of 201 1, however, no states have passed anti-bullying bills into law.

0 How would you define “bullying” if you were to design an anti~bullying law?
What stakeholder groups should be considered in crafting your definition?

0 As a manager, what steps might you take to prevent bullying behavior in your

0 Do you believe that legislation is needed to respond to the problem of work-
place bullying? Why or why not?

0 A 2010 study revealed that the maiority of workplace bullying is same-gender
harassment, with 56 percent of male bullies harassing other men and 80 percent
of female bullies harassing other women.“ Unless another protected class (such
as race or religion) is involved, or the harassment reaches the level of criminal
violence, same-gender bullying is not illegal. Does this data affect your views
about anti-bullying legislation? Why or why not?

even television news programs devoted to the subject in recent years.” It is more
predominant in the service sector because that work relies significantly on inter-
personal relationships and interaction. “Frequent, ongoing personal interaction
between workers often becomes a basic element of a job. especially in work
arrangements between supervisors and subordinates. The more people interact,

the more likely it is that personalities will clash.” says scholar and bullying expert,

David Yamada}0 Add to those interactions the personal threats that people sense

from pressures during a downturn in the economy, and one can only imagine the

boiling points that might ensure. Yamada tells of a study of an earlier economic

slump that found that the environment “ignited explosions of brutality both from

innate bullies who thrive on their mistreatment of others and from overburdened

bosses who might never have behaved that way in less stressful times?”

Ironically, while basic fairness may demand that employer power he used
33 justly, the law has not always clearly supported this mandate of justice. Much
TIVE employment law within the United States instead evolved in a context of a legal

doctrine known as employment at will (EAW).

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