The odds of being on the receiving end of verbal abuse in the workplace have been increasing. A report by the U.S. Workforce Bullying Institute in 2010 showed that 35 percent of the workers involved in their study said that they had experienced abuse during the performance of their job.
Verbal abuse is the most common type of abuse. It is something that becomes especially challenging for anyone when it is perpetrated by a supervisor, co-worker or anyone else on the job. It is the responsibility of business owners to recognize signs of verbal abuse in the workplace and handle it as quickly as possible. Knowing what to look for can be difficult since often an abuser is popular and charming when he or she is not being abusive.
When a business owner fails to control a verbal abuser in the company, it could cost the business a great deal of money. OSHA could hold the company financially responsible for failing to provide a healthy and safe workplace for the employees. Any employee who claims to be verbally abused could file a legal claim that states that he or she is unable to effectively perform at work due to the ongoing abuse.
The abused employee’s first line of defense should be to report the abuse to human resources, a supervisor or the business owner. If that does not bring about relief, the employee could retain an attorney to take the case to court. When an employee feels that their only remaining line of defense is filing a court case for verbal abuse, an employment law attorney could help by explaining the procedure and preparing the complaint.
Source: Houston Chronicle , “Worker’s Rights in the Workplace Regarding Verbal Abuse“, Dana Sparks, November 22, 2014