The percentage of workplace bullying cases involving bully protection. (It’s gross.)

Stressed business woman

Workplace bullies rarely face consequences for their bullying behaviors. More often than not, targets get dismissed, discounted, or flat-out ignored, which of course sides with the bully. Top-level executives most often support higher level managers over non-supervisory workers, leaving workplace bullying targets completely unprotected.

“Protective support prevents punishment for bullies and blocks accountability. Of course over time, protecting bullies sustains a workplace culture that is bullying-prone and unsafe for prospective targets. Protection ensures that bullying continues with impunity,” says the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) in their 2013 poll.

The percentage of workplace bullying cases involving bully protection
In nearly 94 percent of workplace bullying cases, polled targets and witnesses said the bully had protection against punishment: either a higher-ranking manager, an executive or owner, HR, or a supervisor.

WBI calls the higher ranking supporters “executive sponsors.” They shield bullies from accountability and override or interfere with honest investigations.

“A supervisor was credited as the source of support in 12 percent of cases, suggesting that that was the proportion of cases involving worker-on-worker bullying. The supervisor took sides, aiding and abetting one of the two actors, and it wasn’t the target,” adds WBI.



  1. Laura

    This is so typical.

    After making a written request for a disability accomodation, I was demoted, given a 30% pay cut and now face commute times of up to 2 hours. I was bullied out of my job and one of the bullies was promoted to MY job.

    This has cost me not only income, but set back my PTSD therapy by at least 6 months. I filed a charge with the EEOC and received a letter of right to sue within 90 days, December 9th is day 90.

    Because my charge was “untimely,” I can’t find a lawyer to represent me since there were no “findings” from the EEOC due to no investigation. They all want an easy win case.

    The bullies win despite everything and I carry the cost. Not only in lost wages, a job I was perfectly able to do and enjoyed, but now have the added burden of trying to find a new job.

    Anyone out there looking for a blogger on workplace bullying or how to put the burden on the employer and better protect the bullied?

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