How workplace bullying can lead to homelessness

Chains

There’s a stereotype that homelessness results from physical and mental disabilities. But experts say that most homeless people “have been thrust into homelessness by a life-altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for” (Homeaid.org).

According to Homeaid, those life-altering events or series of events include:

  • Loss of loved ones
  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce and other family disputes
  • Job loss

Experts believe that addressing these issues can help end homelessness in America.

A deeper look into job loss
Job loss often results from mistreatment. While some find themselves unemployed after firing from poor work performance or layoffs from cutting expenses, many are either forced out or quit from mistreatment. In fact, 66% of aggrieved employees quit to end the bullying says The Conference Board Review. (Even if employees don’t quit from bullying, depression and post traumatic stress disorder alone from bullying can send them on the streets, according to Homeaid.org.)

Let’s look at the number of people at-risk for homelessness due to job loss:

  • Roughly one in three Americans will suffer from workplace bullying. That’s around 33% of the workforce.
  • If 66% of those employees leave their jobs to end the bullying, then around 20% of all employees will likely leave their jobs to end bullying.
  • Statista.com reports that 125.5 million people work full-time in the U.S.. So roughly 25 million are at-risk to leave their jobs from workplace bullying. That’s about the number of people who live in the entire state of Texas.

Sure, many of those employees leave for another job. But if the bullying is brutal enough, many employees are forced to choose between the lesser of two stresses: the toll on their health from bullying or living without an income. So many choose to leave rather than suffer the blow to their health, including depression, chronic anxiety, and even suicide contemplation.

With a steady income, those employees could likely manage paying for a car repair or illness. But when those who’ve been bullied out of work don’t have another job lined up or a strong support system and find themselves living in poverty or close to the poverty line, these once just annoying “everyday” life problems can put them out on the street.

And who knows how long taxpayers have to pay for services for targets of insecure bullies. According to one study, regaining employment at all and getting back to normal life doesn’t look promising. That means that getting off the streets or saving money to move out of assisted living in affordable housing to market rate housing doesn’t look hopeful either.

So who loses when a bully stays on payroll? Not just the target. And not just the business either. Taxpayers do when they’re left to fund services for some of the best employees who were simply in the path of insecure bosses. It’s not good for targets. It’s not good for businesses. And it’s not good for society.

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5 comments

  1. Steven Kalavity

    Bullying is a control and abuse issue that is facilitated from the tops of organizations where the responsibility to manage and create a safe and fair workplace resides. Most bullies (are responsible to) know what they are doing is wrong and hurtful to their targets. I believe bullying is a form of corruption – misuse of entrusted power and resources – and should be criminalized depending on the severity of loss and exposure to psychological and physical violence. Enterprises who bully are not going to help a target become strong enough to fight back if the can help it, because they could later be implicated! HR is usually a misused-arm in corrupt organizations that can impact future employment opportunities of bully targets and will protect the bully and enterprise from liability.

  2. Valerie A. Bonds

    I and my colleagues have multiple stories of work place bullying during public service.
    When wil we be able to testify before the Massachusetts Senate ?

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