More Employees Claim They’ve Been Bullied At Work

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Bullies are not just found on the schoolyard. A new survey shows 70-percent of adults say they’ve been bullied in the workplace.

Lee Love, a Dallas-based author, can relate to the statistic. She said she worked for an abusive boss for years and also saw her co-workers bullied.

“It was a heavy-set man and we were in a staff meeting,” Love recalled. “He was squirming about and I don’t know if he was trying to get up and go somewhere, but the boss looked at him and said, ‘Stop moving around. You move like a walrus.’”

Lee Love used events from her life to write a novel called “Twitch, Twitch”. The main character is Letitia, a Jamaican woman who experiences fear and intimidation at her job. She’s bullied by a female boss who even accuses her of stealing out of her purse.

“There are individuals who get in their car and every single day they go to work,” said Love. “But sometimes when they get to work, they don’t want to get out of their vehicle because they know what kind of day they are going to have.”

Human resources consultant Paul Bazell works with several companies in North Texas. “Nobody should have to tolerate feeling badly about the place they work,” he said.

According to Bazell, workplace bullying usually happens in the form of verbal abuse. “It could be a manager who feels the need to always put their hands on and re-do whatever it is you’re doing.”

Most people would rather leave a job rather than report bullying. Generally the biggest concern is fear of retaliation, but in this job market, workers may not have the option to leave, and experts say a rough economy gives bullies the upper hand.

“They are using society’s economic situation to really identify someone and target them,” Bazell said.

So what can employees do if they are being bullied? Most experts agree the incidents should be documented with records of dates, times and details of what happened. The employee should then contact the company employee assistance program or explain the problem to human resources.

Lee Love says she solved her problem by “killing her boss with kindness,” or in other words, being so accommodating it was hard for her boss to find fault with anything. But that technique may not work in every situation. Love hopes her book sends a message to managers who are mistreating employees and gives some comfort to workers in a tough situation.

  • Joe Doe

    I am the real victim from Atmos Energy. My boss and PM was bullied at me. My boss terminated me. I will file a lawsuit against the company.

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  • TT Garland

    I work for a grocery store, the name of the store it rhymes with mom and numb, and this type of bullying happens everyday, co-workers call HR and dont hear from them. Instead the Manager usually finds out who called on him, and he ends up cutting their hours or transfering co-workers who call on him or any other managers

  • jane doe


    • Roz

      I would let them be by theirselves, hell leave them with nobody to work with, let them work by their selves and get the work done.

    • Robert Lynn Cooper

      Not printing in CAPS is a start…makes YOU look like the bully.


      • Rod

        does not,makes them look upset.dumb

    • froben grommet

      maybe she just sick you not use punctuation and plural. maybe that why she smoke and no body get told.

      • n moss


  • bob

    well i have worked for bosses that do not appreciate employees and i have worked for myself and seen both ends. so saying that as a boss you don’t hire someone to stand around and chit chat you hire them to WORK and has employee open your mouth and say something! you do not have to sit there and take it! HELLO!

  • cr


    • Dan

      Hire a lawyer, try to get incriminating evidence in writing, start tape-recording meetings with permission of course. HR will listen to a lawyer.

      • MH

        Texas has a one party consent law law. If you are present or get permission from one person that is present we you can not be to record for you, you can record. no need for permission. Look at Texas Wire tapping laws, more specific Texas Penal code 15.02 I am in the process now, Been bullied since 2008 at a fortune 500 logistics company.

    • Ex-Tarrant County bullying victim

      I worked for Tarrant County too & neither HR nor the EAP helped. The mediary guy quit a week for I got to talk to him. Ann Smith was over HR at that time & she was as bad as my boss, even asking me who I was to say anything thing about my boss, asking if I knew how long she’s worked for the County. So the longer you work for a place the more you get to bully people? Just ot be mean? She didn’t have a problem w/ my work, she just wanted to be mean.

      BTW, if someone doing reference checks asks your reference things like, “are (you) the type of person to try to take over someone’s job”, they’re really asking if you’ll lay down while they run over you as they climb up the boss’ butt. They’ll diss & sabotage you at every opportunity & get cozy w/ the boss who will side w/ them because they’ve been working w/ them longer.

      Bosses should never let someone w/ the same job title have access to resumes or do reference checks, esp when that person has already expressed jealously & control issues. If they hire you anyway, they just want to watch the fireworks.

  • FHjr

    on Septtember 30, 2011 I will open up my webpage called the Watchfuleye. My page has been created soley to address administrative bullying. Check out my page, and if you like what you see, you can tuned in to my talk show on DFWiradio where i will disscuss the subject of administrative bullying, and what we plan to do about it, and how we plan to fight back. FIGHT BACK

  • FHjr

    I would like to get in touch with the author who was apart of this story Lee Love to book her as a guest on my show to talk about work place bullying. How can she be reached.

  • tdcj worker

    I can relate to the statistic for being Gay.

    • freeland dave

      That’s OK, I can relate for being White, Christian and straight.

      • MorganGray

        Dave, I agree. Following one of our interminable “sensitivity trainings” where the … um … non-ethnic employees were bullied for over 3 hours, I came up with the following.
        “I am a member of the single most despised class in America today; I am Straight, Male, White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, Conservative, Christian, Pro-Life, Gun-Owner, Republican. Now, tell me I’m wrong.”
        So far, I haven’t had to use that phrase, but my former Department Manager thought it was rather clever.
        I’m still holding that in reserve.

  • derbydoll

    The strong will always bully the weak altho bullying takes many forms. It’s just a job, get a life and get over it.

    • mike

      AAAmen!!! When did we become a country of sissies? Take some ownership of your life and make it what you want. If you don’t like what you do or the environment in which you do it – go find somewhere else to work or start your own company and create your own environment. Quit being babies and expecting someone else to fix everything for you! This is the real world, kids. You need to learn how to deal with it…

    • Eric

      What a simplistic platitude. Peolpe HAVE to work and it is unacceptable for those with the authority to hire and fire to abuse that piower by bullying people who need the job to pay their bills and feed their family. People aren’t bullied becuase they are personally weak or because of some other moral failing, they are bullied because they lack power and they lack options to go elsewhere. To learn more about why people are targeted, please look here:

      • Rick Brad

        Yea but -The difference here is plain old harrassment versus sexual harassment. In sexual harrassment, it always comes down to how the victim feels about certain actions. If bullying is solely judged by how the victim “feels”, then there is no hope for business. As a boss, I can tell you that just about anytime I correct an action or behavior, people “feel” bullied. Unfortunately it is my business and I want it run the way I know it will work best. My staff actually put up a fight (ongoing) for the “right” to leave their dirty dishes in the sink that people try to use all day. When I start layoffs due to this crummy economy, guess who will be first.

  • BigBoa

    Don’t kid yourself. WHO pays the HR salary? Management. And THAT is who they work for. When they want to get rid of you due to age, disability, etc, they work HAND in HAND. The mighty Boa PROVED his manager was outright lying during a meeting. All the HR manager would sit there and say? “Well, that’s just one example”…. There is a LOT more to it, but seriously. HR is NOT on your side.

    • SmallMongoose

      Did the “mighty boa” get fired?

  • Ft Lauderdale Dad

    only the weak get bullied….and bullies only understand force

    as a kid…the best way to deal w/ a bully is to punch him/her in the throat & kick them when they fall

    any adult that lets another adult bully them at work or anywhere else is a wuss

    • Eric

      Meanwhile, back here in civilization those who respond with force are liklely to be slapped with restraining orders and assault charges which is great conversation fodder for your next job interview; Truly brilliant!

      • n moss

        He said that was what they did as kids. No one expects you to assault someone just standup for yourself for goodness sakes. Iwas basically the smallest kid in my class until my senior year and I NEVER allowed myself to be bullied. My father taught me to stand up for myself and over come fear if necessary in order to never let someone bully me. if you let someone walk over you then you will never getup out of the dirt.N

    • Bubba

      ^^^^ Bully that needs his butt kicked.

    • HardWorkIsHard

      And they also shoot other dads to death at their six-year old’s hockey game.
      -Note to self, don’t move to Ft. Lauderdale, unless I plan to get punched in throat, and kicked when I fall after triggering the irrational anger of “Ft Lauderdale Dad”

    • MorganGray

      So what is the solution, then? Should I throw a punch into the jaw of the manager who uses racial threats to bully me and other employees who are of another ethnic background?
      That, in the real world is called “assault and battery” and last time I looked, it is illegal. You lose your job and go to jail for that sort of thing.

  • SW Tester

    I worked for a very small software firm, for a boss that took a dislike to me the first day he met me. Unfortunately, his wife was the only person in the HR Department, so saying something to her would have gone right back to him. A no-win situation….

    • Still In MO

      That is not bullying. That is a personality conflict.

  • mrburns

    So please define workplace bullying for me, because “It could be a manager who feels the need to always put their hands on and re-do whatever it is you’re doing.” is not bullying, it’s micro-management (or maybe your product sucks?). Annoying yes, but bullying? C’mon. You nancies want to feel all warm and fuzzy about going to work. It’s called WORK people. Get over your petty complaints and go do what you get paid to do. Call me when somebody wipes their armpit on your head, puts a booger in your sandwich, intentionally runs into you in the hallway or steals your lunch money. Jeez what a bunch of pansies.

    • wish I knew years ago

      mrburns ~ your comment reeks of cold hearted ignorance. Workplace Bullying is psychological violence, leading to serious physical and mental health conditions, most commonly anxiety, depression and PTSD. You should become a little more compassionate (if thats possible) and especially a little more educated on the subject!!

      Early Signs of Bullying ~ You know you’ve been bullied at work when….

      •You feel like throwing up the night before the start of your work week
      •Your frustrated family demands that you to stop obsessing about work at home
      •Your doctor asks what could be causing your skyrocketing blood pressure and recent health problems, and tells you to change jobs
      •You feel too ashamed of being controlled by another person at work to tell your spouse or partner
      •All your paid time off is used for “mental health breaks” from the misery
      •Days off are spent exhausted and lifeless, your desire to do anything is gone
      •Your favorite activities and fun with family are no longer appealing or enjoyable
      •You begin to believe that you provoked the workplace cruelty

      Definition of Workplace Bullying

      Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

      ■Verbal abuse
      ■Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
      ■Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done

      Learn more at WBI Research
      Work Shouldn’t Hurt!

      • Bob

        I worked for a company where a manager pulled a 6 inch hunting knife out on me and when upper management was anonymously told about this, they sent corporate lawyers to the plant to tell all the engineers to be careful what they put in emails because they don’t want to get sued. welcome to corporate america.

      • Mr. Kelly

        I think what Mrburns is trying to say is the story might have been a little more relavent if they had used more examples of actual bullying, rather than the person being bad at their job. Or called someone a name that could very well have been that person’s nick name or a name he gave himself. (My asian friend Adam calls himself “Charley”, my fat friend Fred calls himself “Bus”, etc.) This woman was clearly so close minded that if this was the case, she would never have caught on. She was looking for bullying, rather than trying not to (Disprove). As a person that isn’t looking for racism under every leaf, bullying under every comment, and over all a person that understands upper midwest culture. There are many instances that this woman would think is bullying, but the person she thought was being bullied didn’t think so. I’d bet money on that.

        No one is saying there isn’t bullying at work, but even in your examples. Very few if any of them have anything at all to do with actual bullying. I have severe anxiety. Yes, I do sometimes throw up at the thought of a work presentation I have to put on later that day. That is not bullying. My frustrated family demands I stop obsessing about work. I work hard, and put a lot into what I do. That is not my company bullying me. I don’t have high blood pressure, but to assume high blood pressure is a result of bullying. Possible sure, but more than likely high blood pressure is caused by something other than bullying. Just because you get offended, intimidated, or humiliated at work. Doesn’t mean anyone bullied you. It may mean you naturally just get intimidated at the thought of something, or humiliated when people realize you made a mistake. Or you are the type of person that looks for reasons to get offended, or reasons that other people might get offended. I know a lot of people that get offended if you simply disagree with them. Usually, no 100% of the time they are those that call themselves progressive, but that’s for another story.

        I could go down the list. But the point is very few if any of your examples necesarily has anything to do with bullying at all. They are more than likely biproducts of personal issues, a stressful job, or being bad at your job.

        So to go back to Mrburns point. If this is how we are suposed define the early signs of bullying. Wow, just wow. This is what I think Mrburns is lambasting, that there are people like you that believe what you just posted. It’s that rather than show examples of actual bullying, you post how the bullying might make you feel. Feelings that are completely normal to feel when there is zero bullying going on.
        And then to write a story, or post links to other websites that share this twisted view on bullying does a great disservice to people that are actually bullied. As well as those who are not, but you made them believe they are. Therefor they had to find an innocent manager to blame because they throw up before work. It can ruin peoples lives to be accused of such a thing. People such as Mrburns and myself see people like you trying to make everyone a victum, and creating actual victums in the process as the problem.
        The whole circle makes people who are actually bullied afraid to come forward.
        So please, next time show us examples of actual bullying.

  • Richard Henkle

    A new survey shows that 70% of adults are cry-babies. Next week: A new survey shows that 70% of adults are bullied on internet comment threads, and cry about this also.

    • so true


    • Responding to Idiots

      And new survey shows Richard Henkle is an idiot.

    • richb313

      Spoken like a true Bully

    • Bah, it's all tripe

      Dead on. Bunch of cry-babies in this country. You get told to do your work in the fashion you were trained to do it. After the 50th time being corrected, you get your a$$ jumped and think you’re being bullied. I see it all the time. The supervisor rides their a$$ until they either conform, get fired or quit. Work place bullying is freaking rare, but you wussies have broadened the definition so much that it includes everything that makes you “FEEL” bad.

  • Lee Goodboe

    If you want to see bullying etc…… Try the US Postal Service, Politics rule and if you get in the way they will take you dow. Mail carriers have at times shot groups of people or themselves in a attept to escape the hostile work enviroment.

  • Rbt M.

    Worked with an over-sized first-time-in-white-shirt-and-tie micro-manager who stood behind me stealthy for 10+ years commenting on my every movement. Cancer and two brain tumors later, I still prefer freedom from that.

  • bdk

    I came from the mortgage industry and we were ALL bullied by mgmt. So much so that when I interviewed with other companies I asked how they dealt with performance if ppl didnt hit their mark. Many said they would look to see where improvement could be made or identify what the problem is.. In the mortgage industry it was always YOUR fault and ppl’s jobs were threatened all the time whether you were a loan officer for a small company or worked as a B2B rep for a large well known bank/ lender.

    I had one client who had a “4 or the door policy” (close 4 deals or you are out) with their LO’s, others were pushed to sell certain products and the list goes on. Yet we, former mtg employees, all continue to pay the price and are stereotyped, blackballed from getting work which snowballs into massive employments gaps where now we cant get work b/c of where and who we worked for but also b/c we are unemployed!!

    • Mr. Kelly

      Let me get this straight. You think it’s bullying if you don’t perform as well as other employees and you get let go for it?

      So if you hire me to turn 4 bolts a day. Something most people can do without problem. And I can’t do it, why again should I feel like i’m bullied if you fire me? You didn’t hire me to turn 3 bolts a day. I’m not doing the job I was hired to do. I would expect to get fired. What that has to do with bullying I have no idea.

      Of course it’s your fault if you can’t do the job. My lord, remind me never to hire you. If the question you ask in your interview is what I would do if you don’t do what I hire you to do.

  • Boss Man

    Waaaahhh! Quit browsing the web and get to work!

    • freeland dave

      So Boss Man, if you are working what are you doing here browsing on the web?

      Me? I’m retired so what I do with my days are my business.

  • Boss Man

    P.S. Waaaaah!

    • richb313

      Boss Man it appears this article was written especially for you. Seek professional help before one of your emplyees grows a pair and deals with you in ways that will make you really cry. Adults, unlike children, have additional pressures and fae less options when dealing with people like you. Ever heard of the term going postal?

      BTW, the easiest way to identify bullies is a complete lack of empathy.

  • Michael Bingham

    I can see sissies and they are called the New American Generation. Grow a sack or go join a commune and hide from the world.

    • Jonathan

      Who’s the sissy? The old school types who say “Sweep it under the rug”? You must long for the days when you could fire the secretary if she didn’t want to “go along” with your career advancment plan.

      Or people who stand up to bullies and give it back to them with both barrels. Sorry, but I don’t get your logic. Stop pussing out just because you’re scared of your boss. Why don’t you grow a sack? Or go join a commune where everyone can do anything they want to anyone with no fear of retaliiation.

      All you need is a proper perspective about what a bully REALLY is.

      • GatesBrown

        The sissies are the ones that are too stupid to move on and become successful somewhere else.. Success is always your best revenge. Nobody is going to hire you if you have a track record of trying to keep a job that doesn’t want you.

        Success is your best revenge.

      • Jonathan

        No, Gates Brown, the sissies are the ones who roll over and die because they don’t stand up for themselves. So, they compensate for their spinelessness by doing what YOU do, which is quit, give up and go to the next greener pasture.

        All this other BS about track records and jobs that don’t want you is just some kind of sophistry you are using to explain why you don’t have a backbone. When someone F’s with me at work, I make them pay for it. To the hilt. I’m not going anywhere. They are.

        Heck, I should probably do my own blog, because I’m good at thrashing bullies. And I love helping other people at work do it too.

    • Quit crying

      Amen brother! Let me give my age away and quote an old saying “Sticks and stones will beak my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Go ahead parents, use that one at the house, IT WORKS!

  • Irishscot2

    Had a CFO/COO that thought he was he be all to end all. Ran rampant over the entire company, tolerated by the CEO. He and I finally came to a point where he threatened my job as I was stopping at the head office on the way to Asia. Told me he could fire me whenever he wanted. Looked him straight in the eye and said he was nothing but the schoolyard bully – he had better do it NOW if he could, if not, I would take him out.

    One year later I did. Nothing but a bully, can’t stand the type.

  • Miriam

    According to the HR consultant, bullying “…could be a manager who feels the need to always put their hands on and re-do whatever it is you’re doing.” That’s not bullying – that’s somebody being just a bit (or maybe alot) OCD! But in a world where everybody’s encouraged to think he’s the center of the universe, all it takes is somebody not doing something to specifically lift a person up, to make that person feel put down. How about if everybody quits whining, grows up, and gets on with life? Sheesh!

    • richb313

      Miriam, what really concerns me about these comments is the complete lack of empathy shown by many of the posters. I worked offshore and at sea. I never had a problem with bullies but they were everywhere. Biullies use thier position to make life unbearable for people they just do not like. They have no empathy and boast to everyone how much fun it is to do this. Offshore was not for the weak but even the strong have no options when on the recieving end. Blackballed is a reality.

      Today offshore it is improving because management has found out that workers are more productive when the dictatorial methods of the bully are not rewarded. Bullies have no respect for anyone other than themselves and have zero empathy. It is the haven of sociapaths.

      I have seen the results, too many times, of this type of bullying. Usually when the helicopter lands and when in the parking lot. Fights break out, police get involved and it is always the recipient of bullying that goes to jail and has thier life ruined.

  • Eric

    Those who are blaming the victims here fail to grasp that employees who are bullied have no choices in the present eceonomy. If you confront the bully, you get fired and other employers always identify with employers and don’t want to hear about what really happened at the last job. People can only endure being bullied for so long and the lack of options only makes it worse. It’s especially bad in the vaunted “small businesses” that happen to be run by bullies where your only choice is to cope or quit.

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