Most people think they know how they would react to a scenario involving victimization or injustice. We tell our children to stand up to bullies, and we know extrinsically that it is not ok for other people to violate our rights.
This month has been designated National Bullying Prevention Awareness month. While much of the media coverage of this event has centered on the behavior of children and schools, an increasing number of adults are suffering from bullying as a form of employment discrimination. As a result, the lessons being advanced by advocates of this month's campaign can apply to the workplace as well as the schoolyard.
When injustice occurs, it can be difficult to know how to respond. Especially when one is a bystander, it can be confusing to know how or when to step in and whether an active response or silence will truly influence the outcome of the situation.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion on the subject of workplace bullying. This type of harassment is estimated to negatively affect the lives of millions of Americans annually, though many are under the incorrect assumption that there is nothing to be done about this problem when it arises.
Experts have determined that workplace bullying may result in significant psychological and physical stress. In general, this kind of harassment is characterized as a matter of workplace safety and as a potential health hazard. Unacceptably, experts have estimated that roughly 14 million Americans suffer from workplace bullying each year.
The prevalence of discrimination in the workplace may lead employees to conceal personal characteristics that could become targets of discrimination. However, the behaviors embraced by those workers most concerned about being discriminated against may be inspiring higher rates of race, religion and national origin discrimination, among others, rather than lowering them.
Fans of the now-defunct TV series "Seinfeld" may remember a much-loved episode where Jerry's dentist converts to Judaism. After only a few conversations with him, Jerry begins to suspect that the man converted "just for the jokes." That is, so he could make jokes about Jewish people without being called anti-Semitic or insensitive.
While women have made a lot of progress in their fight for workplace equality, there are still a number of traditionally male-dominated professions where female employees are often viewed as unwelcome intruders.
Most Florida residents work in fairly boring office environments. Conversation is usually polite, inoffensive and non-political, and not much employee interaction happens outside work.
Age discrimination in the workplace can sometimes be difficult to prove. When an older employee is terminated, demoted or denied advancement, the company often claims it is because the employee's work performance has deteriorated with age.