More than half of workplace bullying targets don’t move onto equal or better paying jobs. And yet workplace bullying is perfectly legal.


When workplace bullying happens, it’s not just the organization that suffers a financial blow. It’s also the workplace bullying target. In a 2011 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) poll, more than half of respondents who lost a job from workplace bullying said there either wasn’t a next job or they took a pay cut.

“To the 53 percent who suffered economic setback, we emphasize the benefit to personal health and sanity of leaving the toxic workplace. You were too good for that place anyway,” says WBI.

“The saddest fact is that over one-quarter of bullied targets were not able to replace their lost job. We know that bullying comes uninvited. No one asked to be intimidated or humiliated. Since the most veteran, competent workers are targeted, it is safe to assume that they once loved their jobs very much. They simply wanted to be left alone to do the work for which they were getting paid. But bullying displaced them and put them on the street involuntarily, regardless of whether they were fired or had to quit to preserve their health. This is the tragedy of workplace bullying,” adds WBI.

These statistics don’t even take into account the potential net loss to a target when he or she has added health expenses.

The light at the end of the tunnel
Though the majority suffered financially from workplace bullying, of those who did get another job, nearly 40 percent earned more money in the next job. “If you move along quickly enough without suffering severe health harm, you will have a new life. Getting out can be positive,” says WBI.


One comment

  1. toriiannbottomley

    In the present day economy and given the composite profile of the target (woman over 50) you spoke of in your last article, it is this over 50 group that has the hardest time. In a youth obsessed culture, even while 50 is the new 40, there is still a lot of discrimination – this person will not be tech savvy, is the main belief, also less energy…. This compounds the mental anguish of the target. As you point out, they have less money. More of their time and limited resources are spent on securing food, clothing and shelter rather than recovering from their psychological injuries. This same age group stays on for other reasons, namely their retirement packages. “I’m trying to survive. I only have 3 more years until I can retire.” This is something I often heard while employed by the school system (who are not recipients of Social Security, rather a pension). If they do find employment, they are usually underemployed… and the cycle repeats itself. If a person is of an age that they are not concerned with retirement…(I did not think about it until I was 40 ) and find themselves being targeted, I would say, “Run don’t walk!” because I believe there is a window where targets can find competitive new employment and use the bullying experience as a lesson.

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