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2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey Report

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Abstract and Figures

This is the fifth national (stratified random sample by Zogby Analytics) study of abusive workplace conduct (workplace bullying) in the U.S.. conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). Prevalence is 30% of adult Americans; 39% as reported by employed Americans. 79.3 million American workers are "affected" (those directly bullied + witnesses). Remarkably 4% admitted being perpetrators. Those doing remote work are bullied at a 43% rate. The majority of perpetrators are men (69%); women perpetrators choose women targets disproportionately. Disrespectful, bullying public discourse adversely affects workplace culture, according to 53% of Americans. Organizational factors explain nearly half of all workplace toxicity as opposed to dispositional factors related to the bullied target and perpetrator. Support for a law prohibiting abusive conduct (none exist in the U.S. in 2021) garnered 90% support from the public.
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Gary Namie, PhD
Director
workplacebullying.org
F   GFM 
2021 WBI
U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey
e Fih National Scientic WBI Study
Zogby Analytics, Pollster
The
Complete
Report
2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey
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. National Prevalence
. The Affected U.S. Workforce
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. Gender of Perpetrators  Targets
. Race  the bullying Experience
. Roles of Targeted People
. Rank of Perpetrators
. Employer Reactions to Bullying
. What Stopped the Bullying
. Support for a New Law
. Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
Table of Contents
. Remote Work  Bullying
. Explaining Toxic  Abusive Workplaces
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Workplace bullying is repeated mistreatment and a form of “abusive conduct.” We asked respondents to consider only the most
serious forms of bullying. Bullying is a non-physical form of workplace violence. Our principal concern is the national prevalence
of abusive conduct. e Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the interactive survey
on January 23-25. eir methodology is described in a separate chapter of this report. e national representative sample of adult
Americans included 1,215 respondents.
For the 2021 Survey, respondents were permied to choose more than one response, if logical. at is, they could declare that they
historically have been subjected to mistreatment and are currently being bullied. However, if they report no personal experience
with bullying, they were prohibited from choosing either of the being bullied responses.
In this report, the exact wording of each Survey items begins with Question: . e respondents’ answer choices are the phrases
without italics in all Tables. Subtotals comprised of sets of response categories are italicized.
Question: At work, what has been your personal experience with the following types of repeated mistreatment: abusive conduct that
is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse?
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.  National Prevalence
Adult Americans: 30% suer abusive conduct at work,
another 19% witness it,
49% are aected by it, and
66% are aware that workplace bullying happens
e Bullied
Nearly one-third of adult Americans (30%) said they
directly experienced abusive conduct at work. is
prevalence is similar to the UK prevalence in prior
studies.
Witnesses
Witnesses experience bullying vicariously, indirectly.
Research of witnesses found that the severity of
emotional injuries were similar in severity to injuries
suered by bullied individuals. It is potentially
traumatizing to watch colleagues humiliated and
intimidated. However, there are multiple explanations
for the unwillingness of witnesses to help their bullied
colleagues.
Aected Americans
We dene those “aected” by bullying to be those with direct or vicarious experiences with it. In the national sample of Adults, the
sum of those bullied (30%) and witnessing it (19%) totals to 49% of Americans.
About Bullies
For WBI’s 24 years, we never could answer the question about the prevalence of predators. Bullies do not make themselves available
to be studied, nor do they have to since no U.S. law compels them to be publicly outed. ere are limited studies of bullies in
other countries where legal violations regarding workplace bullying identify individual perpetrators. However, there still is no
credible evidence regarding the prevalence of bullies. In this 2021 Survey, for the rst time, the self-report by some individuals as
perpetrators rose above an innitesimally small percentage. In the national sample of Adults, 50 people (4.1%) admied being
bullies.
In a subsequent Table we extrapolate the above percentages of each bullying experience group to the American civilian labor force
when the Survey was administered. e self-declared percentage of bullies represents approximately 6.6 million individuals. us,
it is possible that the 6.6 million are responsible for bullying 48 million targeted workers. It is pure speculation that the ratio of 7.36
targets to bullies could represent the number of targets assailed by an average bully.
Believers
Respondents were asked to declare if they personally believe bullying happens despite not having any experiences with it. e
second response option was to agree that others can be mistreated at work and their perceptions are credible. ese two groups of
no-experience respondents do not deny it, they are “believers.” In the national sample of Adults, they represent 23% of Americans.
Believers will need to be draed to support their bullied colleagues if the culture of organizations are to change from bullying-prone
to cultures of psychological safety. Believers are appalled that abuse is so normalized and accepted in the contemporary American
workplace.
Aware Americans
e percentage of adult Americans aware that abusive conduct/workplace bullying happens at work is the sum of those with direct
and vicarious experiences, the self-declared bullies, plus those with no experience but who believe it happens. e sum of the
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Figure 1
“aware” groups is 66%. at means two-thirds of adult Americans are familiar with workplace bullying -- ranging from a painfully
intimate immersion to a supercial recognition of the term without knowing many details.
At the Workplace Bullying Institute, we claim partial credit for this high level of public awareness. Our work began in 1997 with the
steadfast commitment to raising public awareness. e myriad of our activities and programs has helped drive that awareness.
Unaware
e nal group to discuss is the one that baes us most. ese are respondents who claim no experience with workplace bullying
and do not profess to have an opinion about it. ey do not care. We surmise that this 34% of Americans deny its existence. ey are
the fellow workers likely to turn away when asked to help. Similarly, they are the most likely to blame targeted individuals for their
fate. It is noteworthy that about one-third of Americans reliably deny science, cling to conspiracy theories, support authoritarians,
eschew vaccines for themselves and their children, and, in general, represent the distrustful contrarians among us.
In fact, among Republican respondents to the Survey, 46% claimed an unawareness. By contrast, only 30% of Democratic
respondents were unaware. A similar paern emerged when ideologies were compared. Of Conservatives, 44% denied bullying
exists whereas 29% of Liberals did so.
With respect to political ideology as shown in Table 2, respondents who described themselves as Liberal were 1.5 times more likely
than Conservatives and twice as likely as Moderates to be bullied. Similarly, Liberals were also more likely to witness it. And the
highest rate of self-reported admission that the respondent was a bully was by Liberals.
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Table 2
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Zogby Analytics provided the nationally representative sample of respondents enabling WBI to extrapolate results to the population
of all Adult Americans. We refer to that sample of 1,215 respondents as the Adults sample. In addition, Zogby created a subset of
787 respondents all of whom were Employed or temporarily unemployed. ose data enable us to compare those employed with
the larger sample that included retired and unemployed individuals. We will include only analyses in this Report where dierences
between the Adults and Employed samples were present.
Here are the prevalence percentages for respondents in the Employed sample. e Question is the same as for Adults.
Major noteworthy dierences between Adults and Employed:
• the bullying prevalence jumps to 39% (vs. 30%)
• employed people see more bullies, 6% vs. 4%
• the proportion of the unaware drops by 1/3
e respondents in the Employed sample are closer to the
workplace. eir perceptions about workplace bullying may
be more trustworthy than the perceptions of outsiders. How-
ever, the size of the sample casts doubt on the certainty of
drawing conclusions from the ndings.
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Employed Americans: 39% suer abusive conduct at work,
another 22% witness it, 61% are aected by it, and
73% are aware that workplace bullying happens
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Table 3
Figure 2
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Table 4
. The Affected U.S. Workforce
e 2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey was conducted in January 2021. e most recent prior U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics estimate of the U.S. civilian labor force was in December 2020, approximately 160,537,000 workers. By applying the
prevalence proportions from our national sample of Adults (Table 1 in Chapter 1), we were able to estimate the equivalent number
of working Americans that correspond to each bullying experience category. e results appear below.
Workers who have been directly bullied number 48.6 million; witnesses number another 30.6 million. e sum suggests that
79.3 million workers have been aected (bullied + witnesses). Below is a graphical depiction of that number by combining the
population of the dozen states shaded in red (actually totalling 79.4 million). Remarkably, 4% of the Adults sample declared
themselves perpetrators. Assuming an underreporting, 6.6 million is a conservative estimate of the number of bullies operating in
organizations. e number of Americans aware that workplace bullying exists nearly doubles the number of people who deny it.
Figure 3
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e coronavirus pandemic adversely impacts global health and economies in most nations, including the U.S. On-site work ceased
for millions of workers. For those deemed “essential” employees, work continued despite the raging virus, puing them at risk of
infection, hospitalization, or death. Professional white collar workers were fortunate to be able to continue work away from their
employers’ locations. Telework and telecommunicated workers are not new. However, COVID compelled reliance on remote work
on an unprecedented scale. We asked respondents in the Employed sample (n=787), the subset of the larger Adults national sample,
a series of four questions to determine if remote work was related to bullying.
In this report, the exact wording of each Survey items begins with Question: . e respondents’ answer choices are the phrases
without italics in all Tables. Subtotals comprised of sets of response categories are italicized.
Question: Do you work remotely from home?
Table 5
. Remote Work  Bullying
Nearly half of Employed workers in the survey do work remotely.
e bullying experience of remote workers was qualitatively dierent from that of hybrid employees whose job mixes remote with
on-site work and employees who do no remote work. By combining the results of Table 5 with Table 1 (the principal bullying
prevalence statistics), we see remote workers bullied at a 43% rate. See Table 6. Recall that the national Adults rate was 30% and the
Employed respondents’ rate was 39%.
e percentage of remote workers aected by bullying (bullied + witnessed) was 61.5%. e national rate was 49%, while the rate
for the Employed sample respondents was 61%.
e most self-reported bullies came from the group of hybrid workers, with remote workers reporting the second highest
percentage.
Table 6
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Half of the respondents reported experiencing or witnessing
mistreatment during online meetings. e majority, 70%, of
the online mistreatment happened publicly in front of others.
is is equivalent to being berated at group meetings in which
perpetrators magnify humiliation by performing with an
audience of the target’s coworkers. Instead of siing around a
conference table, it happens on computer (or phone or tablet)
screens in real time with facial expressions made prominent by
the technology.
Mistreatment by emails was done on a much smaller scale.
Perhaps fear of leaving a paper trail mitigated bullying for some
perpetrators.
Figure 4
Question: Have you personally experienced or witnessed severe mistreatment during remote work?
Table 7
Question: In your opinion has COVID-19 aected how much workers mistreat one another?
Table 8
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Question: Do you worry about your safety at work, either on-site or remotely?
COVID inicted a great deal of misery. According to one-quarter of respondents in our 2021 survey, it increased harmful bullying.
See Table 8. However, for most respondents (41%), the pandemic did not change their workplaces. For readers hoping that from
misery comes the opportunity for a decrease in bullying, only 6% of respondents agreed.
e corporation Salesforce declared the death of America’s 9-to-5 work routine. It predicts a very dierent post-pandemic landscape
in which workers will be hybrids -- on-site for a day or two, the remainder of the work week performed remotely.
Some of the ndings from this survey suggest that organizations understand that a major negative consequence of increasing the
amount of work done remotely is the likelihood of abusive conduct will rise commensurately. It is predictable. Employers cannot
say they could not have anticipated the rise of workplace aggression. ey should take steps to prevent and correct its inevitable
occurrence.
Finally, we asked respondents about perceived workplace safety. e survey was administered one year from the beginning of the
COVID pandemic in the U.S. And its mitigation has been spoy nationwide.
Workplace bullying is many things. It is sub-lethal, non-physical violence at work. It is emotional abuse causing emotional injury. It
is status-blind harassment, but unlike its discriminatory cousin, it is not yet illegal in the U.S. It jeopardizes its targets’ psychological
safety. And it compromises targets’ health and well-being through the involuntary onset of a host of stress-related diseases that can
kill.
Workplace bullying or abusive workplace conduct ts well into the occupational health niche. Bullying poses a health hazard for its
recipients. So we asked respondents about their perceived safety at work in light of bullying and the COVID pandemic. See Table 9.
Table 9
e majority of respondents said they felt safe at work (55%). But nearly one-quarter felt inadequately protected from contracting
COVID at work. And additional 14% were concerned about bullying. If we extrapolate the 37% to the work force of 160,567,000 (as
we did in Chapter 2 Table 4), the workers with concerns for their safety could number approximately 59 million.
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. Gender of Perpetrators  Targets
Table 10
Figure 5
Question: At work, think of the perpetrator and person targeted for repeated mistreatment. What was the gender of each?
Figure 6
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67% of bullies are men
51% of bullied targets are men
women bullies choose women targets 65% of the time
e majority of bullies are men (67%, See Table 10). Male perpetrators seem to prefer targeting women (58%) more than other men
(42%). Women bullies were less “equitable” when choosing their targets for bullying. Women bullied women in 65% of cases. [In
past WBI national Surveys, the woman-on-woman bullying percentages were similarly disproportionately high.]
When considering all four combinations of gender pairs, the two most frequent were both when the perpetrator was male (See
Figure 6). Men bullied by men comprised the largest group (40%), followed by women bullied by men (28%), women bullied by
women (21%), and the rarest of all, men bullied by women (11%).
Men were targets in 51% of cases (See Figure 6); women were targeted in 49% of cases.
Same gender pairs represented 60% of situations described by Adult respondents (Table 10). ose cases prove practically dicult
for bullied individuals to solicit employer support or legal representation to resolve. e civil rights nondiscrimination laws which
compel employer policies that prohibit harassment and discrimination technically apply to same gender cases. In other words,
a woman may claim sexual harassment by another woman coworker or boss. But it is extraordinarily dicult to prove that the
underlying animus for mistreatment was the other person’s gender. Given that diculty, HR compliance ocers routinely discourage
same-gender complaints, for both men and women. Likewise, it is nearly impossible to nd an aorney willing to take a same-gender
harassment case.
us, bullying cases, the majority of which can be same-gender, tend to fall outside the protections aorded both by federal and state
laws as well as employer anti-harassment policies. e U.S. remains the sole western industrialized nation to not have laws or health
and safety regulations addressing bullying in addition to status-based harassment. Some progressive employers and unions have
created policies and collective bargaining agreement provisions to protect employees and members from abusive conduct.
An additional analysis crossed the respondents’ gender with the range of experiences with bullying. See Table 11. Male survey
respondents were directly bullied at twice the rate (39%) that female survey respondents reported.
As we said in the discussion of results found in Table 1 in Chapter 1, individuals admied to being perpetrators (bullies) themselves
at a higher rate than in previous WBI national surveys. In 2021, the overall national rate was 4%. Table 11 reveals that 6% of men
declared themselves bullies; while 2% of women said they were bullies.
e other major gender dierence among respondents was the lack of awareness by women about workplace bullying more than
double the unawareness of men.
Table 11
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Table 12
. Race  the Bullying Experience
e pollster Zogby Analytics provided data on four racial groups: Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians. e sample of Adult
Americans was 60% White, 19% Hispanic, 14% Black and 6% Asians. Table 12 shows how people of dierent races experienced
workplace bullying dierently. e rate of being directly bullied (current + past) was highest for Hispanics at 35%. e national
rate of 30% (see Table 1 in Chapter 1) was matched by Whites. Blacks had a lower rate (26.3%) and Asians had a much lower rate
(11.7%).
In order of the highest to lowest rates of being aected by bullying (bullied + witnessed): Hispanics at 53.8%, Whites at 47%, Blacks
at 45%, and Asians at 32%
Hispanics also admied to being perpetrators/bullies, 6%, more than the other groups.
Figure 7
Hispanics were the group most aware of the workplace bullying phenomenon (80%, see Figure 7) by virtue of their high rate of
being bullied, witnessing it, and having over one-quarter of the respondents believing it happens. Asian respondents are interesting
because the rates of witnessing and believing are comparable to all the other groups but the reported rate of bullying (12%) is less
than half the rate of Blacks. One possible inference is that, for Asians, a cultural stigma accompanies admission that one is bullied
while it is acceptable to claim to witness it happening to others (who may be from a dierent racial group) and to believe in its
existence.
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Table 13
. Rank of Perpetrators
Unshaded rows in Table 13 are the response choices seen by survey respondents. e rst three shaded rows are the values used
in Figure 8. Bosses remain the most frequent perpetrators across all WBI national surveys begun in 2007. ere is truth to the
alliteration -- Bully Bosses. Bullying originates with peers in about 1 in 5 cases. Subordinates, lower in rank but not in self-perceived
power, bully “up the ladder” in 14% of cases.
We also asked respondents if the principal perpetrator worked alone or as part of a group. Many readers will recognize this as a way
to distinguish Mobbing (with its requisite multiple perpetrators) from Bullying (by a single instigator). In fact, every lone instigator
soon acquires support from others, either explicitly through commands or requests or implicitly as coworkers align with the
aggressor. Workplace bullying is rarely a solo act. Respondents said they saw a lone person (72%). But they did not see the others.
Figure 8
Question: What was rank of the principal perpetrator(s)?
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Table 14
. Roles of Targeted People
Unshaded rows in Table 14 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults national sample. ere were two categories
of positions that were not management and three levels of management positions. One myth about workplace bullying is that
managers do all the bullying and non-supervisory workers are their only targets.
Our 2021 results show that employees who are not management comprise the majority of bullied targets (52%), but managers are
also bullied (40% of all targets), especially mid-level managers (18%). Bullying thrives in hierarchical organizations. Managers have
bosses, too.
Freedom from bullying is one of the perquisites of being on top of the hierarchy. Of individuals targeted for bullying, only 6% are at
the very top. Contractors are rarely bullied (2% of all targets), according to the Adults sample respondents. Without the constraints
of an employee, contractors are free to escape bullying workplaces. A key component of targethood is the bullied employee’s limited
ability to ee harmful work environments without nancial consequences.
e distribution of roles for the Adults sample respondents was not provided.
Figure 9
Question: What was the role of the targeted person?
Targets
52%
Not
Management
40%
Managers
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Question: What was the role of the targeted person?
Table 15
Figure 10
Remember that the pollster provided data from the national Adults sample and a subset of Employed respondents. It is noteworthy
that Employed sample responses to this question generated dierent results than the Adults detailed on the previous page.
Targets
46%
Managers
45%
Not
Management
Respondents from the Employed sample reported that managers were more frequently targeted for bullying (46%), again with
mid-level managers experiencing the most bullying (22% of all targets) than were employees not in management. Non-supervisory
employees were targets in 29% of cases.
e distribution of roles for the Employed sample respondents was not provided. We can only hope that the numbers of managers
and non-managers in the sample approximated the real world distribution, with fewer managers than others.
e results shown here suggest that managers are equally likely to be bullied as others. erefore, we can reasonably expect
advocates to end abusive conduct at work to come from the ranks of management. At the very least, managers could be less
adversarial to bullied complainants since they ostensibly understand the experience themselves.
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Table 16
. Explaining Toxic  Abusive Workplaces
Unshaded rows in Table 16 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults national sample. e most frequently chosen
factor (24%) to explain workplace toxicity was the personality of the perpetrator. e U.S. is a culture that reveres individuals. e
correspondence bias leads us to associate bad behavior with an underlying bad character. With this reasoning, bullies are defective
people. is belief convinces employers to reexively send identied oenders to “anger management” to get “xed.” Unfortunately,
the likelihood of redirecting an adult personality is low. ere can be no change without changing the context of their performance,
the work environment.
e U.S. is a society that blames victims for their fate. Respondents in this survey did not make the aributional error. Only 15%
of respondents faulted targets. Nevertheless, when the coworkers’ tendency toward inaction is added to the personality factors for
targets and perpetrators, 52% of the factors are classied as internal to individuals. at is, in slightly over half the cases, respondents
preferred a dispositional explanation.
Figure 11
Question: Which factor best explains why a workplace becomes toxic and abusive?
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e recognition of organizational factors accounted for the other half (48%) of the explanations. Management’s history of
responding appropriately, or more likely inappropriately, to past complaints about abuse, bullying, or mistreatment was the most
signicant (21%) component. Employees notice. Retaliation and HR’s record of failing to resolve bullying situations convince many
prospective complainants to remain silent. en, the organization loses its chance to correct the current bullying and to prevent it in
the future with policy changes.
It is noteworthy that respondents in this 2021 survey were cognizant of the role organizational culture, described via the three
factors in the response options, plays in enabling and failing to stop workplace bullying. Solutions require an increased awareness
of organizational determination of individuals’ conduct with a simultaneous decrease in aention to irreversible individual
personalities.
A related survey question explored the potential eect of an important set of events that occurred outside the workplace.
Question: In your opinion has the display of bullying, disrespect and intolerance of the opinions of others by politicians and public
gures aected workplaces?
Table 17
Figure 12
Unshaded rows in Table 17 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults national sample. ere was a preference
(58%) for believing that actors in the public sphere did adversely aect the American workplace. e two methods described in this
question were disruption by encouragement of aggression (33%) and granting permission to ignore rules (25%). A strong minority
(42%) of respondents disagreed. ey concluded that employers had guardrails to prevent deviant behavior from taking over (21%)
or that what politicians do is irrelevant to the workplace. is question posited that a factor external to organizational life
might inuence the internal workplace culture.
We asked this question at a time that coincided with the end of a
tumultuous single presidential term of Donald Trump.
Research on school bullying showed an increase in aggressive
behaviors throughout Trump’s tenure. It was undeniable that he
modeled bullying, abusive interpersonal behavior.
An argument can be made that workplace cultures are inextricably
embedded in the national culture where organizations call
home. e 58% of respondents seem to have acknowledged this
immersion.
When public discourse returns to a moderate degree of civility, if
it ever does again, we will ask the question to explore if public and
political comity positively aects workplace cultures.
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Table 18
. Employer Reactions to Bullying
Unshaded rows in Table 18 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults and Employed samples. Employers do
not like complaints. Few organizations see complaints as opportunities to improve and complainants as internal consultants. Most
loathe complaints because they expose weaknesses or individuals whose misconduct reects on their bosses. Hence the outcomes
depicted in Chapter 10 What Stopped the Bullying.
e rst ve reactions are considered negative. ey sustain and justify unconscionable abusive misconduct. e nal three reaction
options are positive. ey enable the organization to prevent and correct workplace bullying.
Respondents in the Employed sample believed employers showed a higher rate of negative reactions than the larger Adults sample.
the Employed chose actual encouragement (reinforcement) of bullying as the most common reaction. Respondents in the Adults
sample said denial was the most common negative reaction.
Figure 13
Question: What do you believe is the most common reaction to complaints of mistreatment (when it is not illegal discrimination)
by American employers?
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Both groups, the Adults and the Employed, praised employers for taking some positive steps in response to bullying complaints. e
most common positive reaction was to claim a zero tolerance for bullying.
Unfortunately, adopting zero tolerance in an organization with a history of bullying is doomed to be ineective. Individuals have
to unlearn behaviors practiced and rewarded for years. at requires some training, coaching, and an engaged management that
fully understands the nuances of workplace bullying. Oenders should be given a chance to try, fail, and do it right the next time.
Learning requires patience. e bludgeon of zero tolerance crushes employee morale and could lead to the ight of the most
talented employees.
e responses to this question suggest that (1) American employers are starting to try to do the right thing, and (2) they need to
beer understand workplace bullying and its subtlety.
Figure 14
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Table 19
. What Stopped the Bullying
Unshaded rows in Table 19 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults national sample. For 12% of respondents,
the bullying was ongoing. e remaining proportions were calculated based on the number of respondents for whom the bullying
had stopped.
Figure 15
Question: inking about the worst case of repeated mistreatment at work, what stopped the abusive mistreatment?
Targeted employees
have a 67% chance
of losing the jobs
they loved for
no legitimate
reason
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We have asked this question in various forms over the years.
Remarkably, the share of negative outcomes is starting to rise for perpetrators. e 2021 rate of 23% has risen from 2% in 2003
to 11% in 2010 to its current level. Of course, the perpetrator rate of quiing (3%) is one-seventh the rate of targets (23%). But
progress toward accountability is being made.
It is also admirable that some employers are taking positive action to eliminate bullying.
However, the price to stop bullying is still paid overwhelmingly by targets themselves. rough no fault of their own, they have a
67% risk of losing a job they once loved. Not only are targets terminated (12%), constructively discharged (17%) (which is made
to look like a voluntary quit), convinced to quit to save their mental and physical health, but 15% of them transfer. We consider a
transfer a negative outcome. ough it preserves income, it most likely is work that diers signicantly from the responsibilities
held before the bullying. It is oen ostracizing by virtue of physical or social isolation. Tasks are oen beliling and demeaning. A
paycheck alone does not oset the losses endured by a transfer. Furthermore, the transferred bullied employee is greeted by the new
boss with the admonition to not act as she or he did in the last position. e bully’s defamation precedes the transfer.
It is unconscionable that employers compel victims to suer job loss in addition to months or years of unremiing episodes of
abuse.
Color
TM
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Table 20
. Support for a New Law
Unshaded rows in Table 20 were response options for survey respondents in the Adults national sample.
WBI through its network of volunteer Coordinators across the U.S. has been lobbying for the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace
Bill (HWB) for 18 years as of the date of this survey. In the 31 states and two territories in which HWB has been introduced, pro-
business lobbying groups, including SHRM, the HR trade association, have opposed our legislation. In each jurisdiction, opponents
argue that the HWB is not necessary. ey claim that current civil rights laws oer sucient deterrence and employee protections.
Not true. Research by D. Yamada nds that current laws are inadequate (also see the same-gender discussion in Chapter 4).
We built a question within the question. We asked the American public about the adequacy of current employment law. e result is
that only 9% of respondents agree with the Not Needed business lobby argument.
We scores the level of support and opposition for a new law, by excluding the Not Needed responses. Based on that truncated
sample, we calculated the percentages shown in Table 20. Support for a new law, explicitly described as additional to
nondiscrimination laws, is certainly overwhelming (90%).
Figure 16
Question: Do you support or oppose enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated, harmful, abusive
mistreatment in addition to current laws against discrimination and harassment?
90% Support
a New Law
that Extends
Protections
Beyond Existing
Nondiscrimination
Laws
Color
TM
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Table 21
We have always believed the HWB to be non-partisan legislation. e bill gives employers liability exemption as an incentive to do
the right thing and take steps to prevent and correct abusive workplace conduct (the term “workplace bullying” does not appear in
the bill). Aentive lawmakers, regardless of party aliation, should see value for their business constituents.
In fact, HWB has enjoyed bipartisan support. In New York State, its inaugural sponsor was Republican. Everyone should be able
to agree that stopping abuse at work is a noble goal. Abuse at work is the sole form of abuse in America that still has not been made
taboo. Worse yet, it is too oen encouraged (see Chapter 9) and normalized (see its prevalence in Chapter 1).
One of the demographic variables provided by our pollster was the self-declared political ideology of survey respondents. Table 21
shows that support for a new law is strong across the Conservative to Liberal continuum. Only Conservatives show a double-digit
belief that current law is adequate.
Color
TM
An alternative analysis.
We treated the Not Needed response choice as a question separate from the other responses. It is possible to simply include the
option as a h option in a single list. Using the slightly larger sample size, the level of support dips slightly to 82% (Strongly
support, .5532; Somewhat support, .2644) with opposition remaining at 10% (Somewhat oppose, .0658; Strongly oppose, .0297)
and the Not Needed proportion at .0866.
Color
TM
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. Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Adults
1/23/21 – 1/25/21
Zogby Analytics was commissioned by Workplace Bullying Institute to conduct an online survey of 1,215 adults
in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate
in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access
the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration gures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex
weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables
may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.
Based on a condence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1,215 is +/- 2.8 percentage points. is means that
all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times
out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity
of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make esti-
mations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
##
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984,
Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic
decisions.
e rm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and nancial services institutions,
insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural or-
ganizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby’s dedication and commitment
to excellence and accuracy are reected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis
and consultation.
Zogby Analytics
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Utica, NY 13501
www.zogbyanalytics.com
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