MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In this economy people are doing what they have to do to keep their jobs even if it means being subjected to “workplace bullying.”
Thirty-five percent of all companies have workplace bullying which can leave workers suffering from depression and companies suffering financial loss.
Wiping tears from her eyes, Carla Parmejano recounts how she was treated while working at a restaurant where she was bullied by the owners and her coworkers.
“You know, I think we’re here, and we’re not perfect and we’re here to help, and to get something like this, it’s really frustrating,” Parmejano said.
Parmejano was hired to work in the front but was relegated to cleaning in the back, where she was constantly made to feel left out, causing her to suffer from anxiety and depression.
“I’m not the only one and not the only person who’s been through this and I’m not going to be the last one,” Parmejano said.
Workplace bullying, according to psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober, is a very real problem that’s enduring and occurs over time, and even one that can be compared to domestic violence.
“Berating employees in front of other employees, hiring people who have conflicts with other people, all these are things that create a difficult working environment for everyone,” he said.
Psychological and emotional abuse isn’t the only concern when it comes to workplace bullying; it’s the financial interest the company should also consider.
“It’s not just morally wrong, it’s economically foolish,” he said.
The economic loss to a company caused by workplace bullying is up to forty percent, if the employee decides to quit rather than staying and continue getting bullied.
Many options for employees who are being harassed can be considered, including the Workplace Bullying Organization’s suggestions, which include taking time off to heal, advising Human Resources and launching a counterattack by researching state and federal laws.
Employees can take legal action twenty-five percent of the time, especially if they are in a protected class being singled out because of race, sex or age.
Parmejano never took any legal action but she did quit her job when she was finally able to get another, but thinking of the way she was treated forever changed her.
“The first week I worked there [my coworkers] almost destroyed my life,” Parmejano said. “Destroyed what I had in me.”