By Linda Baker
Unlike sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, workplace bullying isn’t against the law. But bullies in the workplace are as common as their playground counterparts, and they can be a major financial and liability risk for employers.
What is it? “Workplace bullying is when an employee is being intimidated, threatened or unmercifully teased — when people are compromising an individual’s ability to do their work effectively,” says Judy Clark, founder and owner of HR Answers in Portland. “It is persistent and offensive, and designed to make the target feel vulnerable.” Bullying behavior runs the gamut, adds Tamsen Leachman, a partner with employment law firm Fisher & Phillips.
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