Bullying and harassment in the workplace

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Everyone has heard of the terms bullying and harassment where a number of them have experienced either or both of them. It is not unusual for individuals to consider bullying and harassment to be almost one and the same but there exist a difference between these two terms. While bullying refers to persistence of unwelcomed behavior mostly characterized as malicious, insulting, intimidating or offensive behavior used to injure, humiliate or denigrate the recipient, harassment on the other hand refers to unwanted actions that affect the dignity of individuals especially in the workplace (Keashly, Trott &MacLean 1994). Bullying usually incorporates discrimination on the basis of competence while harassment is usually connected with sex, prejudice as well as discrimination itself.

Every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. Bullying and harassment are behaviors’ that have been observed to be quite common in workplace settings and should therefore not be tolerated (Roland & Christopher 2005). These two vices may be by a person against another or incorporate groups of individuals.


Bullying and harassment in the workplace are considered serious issues which require employers to be responsible for taking responsible steps in preventing such vice (Keashly, et al. 1994). Some of the actions that may constitute bullying in the workplace include ridiculing or demeaning an individual where they are picked on or set up to fail, victimisation, making threats or comments about job security without foundation as well as deliberate undermining of a competent employee by overloading and constant criticism (Needham 2003). On the other hand, harassment in the workplace mainly constitutes unwelcome sexual advances which may be in the form of standing too close, display of offensive materials or asking for sexual favours, spreading malicious lies and rumours or insulting an individual by behavior and word as...
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