Employees have a right to work in an environment where they feel safe and free from intimidation and harassment. Bullying in the workplace is not a new issue, and it can take on various forms from verbal abuse to direct physical confrontation.
As technology progresses, so do the types of problems that employees encounter. Cyberbullying is often overlooked – which should not be the case in a modern working environment. The emotional harm resulting from cyberbullying can decrease productivity and, most importantly, the well-being of employees.
How does cyberbullying manifest itself?
Essentially, any sort of menacing online activity could amount to cyberbullying, For instance, an employee may utilize messaging apps or social media in an attempt to intimidate a coworker. Sending inappropriate data, offensive messages and online threats are just some of the more common forms that workplace cyberbullying can take.
Importantly, cyberbullying is not limited to the conduct of employees. Management may take inappropriate and invasive steps online to place undue pressure on a worker they have singled out for illegitimate reasons.
Employers have a duty to act
Employers have a responsibility to implement adequate measures in countering any form of harassment or discrimination. This expands to inappropriate behavior conducted online.
The nature of the bullying often means that a “paper trail” is left behind, meaning that there is an opportunity to carry out a sensitive and thorough investigation. However, as with any form of harassment, it is not always easy for victims to speak up. Therefore, it is pivotal that employers have effective policies in place that give workers an open route to reporting inappropriate conduct.
Much of your time is spent in the workplace and you should feel secure in this environment. If you have suffered any form of harassment at work, be sure to take note of your legal rights in this area.