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Houston office bullies can infringe on employee rights

The bully isn't just the stuff of childhood memories; he or she is alive and well in corporate offices around Houston and the rest of Texas. In fact, the schoolyard bully may never have changed beyond getting older. In an era where companies are concerned about employee rights, this is an issue that needs to be noticed. After all, any infringement of employee rights can lead to lawsuits, bad publicity and more. Bullies don't count on people speaking up, though, and that's where an opportunity lies for them to lose their power.

For those at the receiving end of office bullying behavior, it's essential to call attention to the bully sooner rather than later. By waiting, a person basically gives the bully permission to keep attacking victims. From a human resources department perspective, it's best to lodge complaints against bullies early in the experience for the strongest results, if a violation of employee rights claim is made later down the road.

Why don't more victims of company bullies speak up? For one, they may be afraid of retaliation. This can come from their bully and/or their employer. They can also be embarrassed; admitting to being bullied when you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s or older can be seen as an acknowledgement of powerlessness.

The answer to all this corporate bullying is to push back against the bully and, if warranted, the employer. When a Texas business doesn't respond to claims of bullying behavior, many decide to pursue an employee rights claim. Taking a stand not only protects the person who has been at the receiving end, but it also saves future victims from being taken advantage of physically, verbally, emotionally or financially.

Source: Houston Business Journal, How to protect your business from workplace bullying, Wanda Holloway and Mark Temple, Nov. 27, 2013

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