Is The Boss A Jerk Or Just A Bully?

Bullying is never OK, whether it’s in the schoolyard, in the office, at home, or on social media.

Yes, we’re calling out the online cowards, too.

Bullying can come in many forms, based partly on the forum in which the bullying is taking place. Most bullying can be walked away from, but one type of bullying is problematic.

In a workplace, having a boss that is a bully can be difficult because you can seem stuck, according to a sexual harassment attorney in Nassau County. You could just take the bullying and keep your mouth shut because you need the job to make a living. On the other hand, you could stand up and demand respect, but that could also mean being discriminated against in the workplace, or fired in retaliation.

There is a fine line, though. There are bosses who are jerks, and that isn’t illegal (unfortunately). But then there are jerks who cross over the line and become bullies, which is illegal according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The federal legislation not only created OSHA – the regulatory body for workplace safety – but it also spells out workplace bullying and violence.

There are some specific actions or behaviors that are listed as violent or bullying behavior, all of which subjects the individual and/or the company to fines. This even includes retaliation or discrimination against an employee who happens to blow the whistle with OSHA about any behaviors that fall under the auspices of the OSH Act.

Let’s take a look at a few of these actions, and you can determine if your bos is just being an obnoxious jerk, or is he actually bullying you?

  • Boss is taking credit for good things, but blames you or co-workers for any failures.
  • Boss compromises your success by being “too busy” to give feedback or to sign off on anything.
  • Your work station gets moved further and further away from your supervisor, and you find yourself being kept ut of meetings you would usually attend, or your boss schedules meetings at times he or she knows that you’re not available.
  • A coworker is given leeway by your boss to insult you, criticize your work or generally put you down.
  • You get home so tired at night and on weekends that you don’t feel like doing the things you like to do.
  • You may have great job performance reviews, but you hear nothing but criticism from your boss.
  • You look forward to the weekend, but then dread the start of the week.

If you experience most of these at work (not just some), and especially on a regular basis, then it’s likely not just that your boss is a jerk, but that he or she may be a bully or a harasser. And that should get the attention of the feds, as well as state labor authorities. If your company knows about this behavior and does nothing about it, then you may need to look into legal remedies while you update your resume – because no job is worth putting up with this for very long, no matter how fat the paycheck.

It’s a matter of dignity.