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Abusive Workplace Bullying Affects 48% of Americans While Employer Reactions Lag

Results of scientific 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey shows epidemic prevalence, women bearing the brunt of the bullying, employers failing to protect the bullied, and nearly unanimous support for creating a new law.

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) defined workplace bullying as "abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse" in its 2014 national survey. Key results: 27% of all adult Americans have directly experienced it, 21% have witnessed it, 56% of perpetrators are bosses, 68% of perpetrators are men, and 60% of targets (recipients) are women.

Since WBI introduced workplace bullying to the country in 1997 public awareness has risen to 72% according to the new survey. Similarly positive is that the percentage of bullies who are bosses has declined over the years.

Employers do little to stop workplace bullying. The majority (72%) reacted to complaints in inappropriate ways: 25% did not investigate, 31% either discounted it as not serious or considered it routine, 11% defended bullies, and 5% actively encouraged the abuse.

In cases where bullying ended, targets lost their jobs 61% of the time — either terminated, forced to quit (constructively discharged), or voluntarily quit.

"Unfortunately the victims of this serious health-harming abuse are the ones asked to stop it," says WBI director Dr. Gary Namie, "If there were a law as in Canada and other industrialized nations, employers would have to protect workers."

According to the survey an overwhelming majority of Americans (93%) supported enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment at work. Only 1% strongly opposed such a measure.

Complete results can be downloaded at: http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/wbi-2014-us-survey/

WBI commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the survey of a national representative sample of all adult Americans (MOE ± 3.2%). Major funding from OnLock Digital Authentication LLC.

WBI is the first and only U.S. organization dedicated to the eradication of workplace bullying that combines help for individuals, research, books, public education, training for professionals-unions-employers, legislative advocacy, and consulting solutions for organizations. workplacebullying.org

Contact: Gary Namie, PhD, Workplace Bullying Institute, 360-656-6630

SOURCE The Workplace Bullying Institute

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