Cyber-Bullying and the Workplace
Social media has become a popular platform for bullying and harassment to occur. Unfortunately, the truth is that cyber-bullying is easier than traditional bullying. People who cyber-bully have anonymity, being able to hide their face.
To make problems worse, Facebook posts and Tweets are permanent and can reach a wide audience causing big drama. What does all this have to do with your workplace? Cyber-bullying among your employees can result to a Title VII claim against your business if they aren’t dealt with. It can wreak havoc in your workplace and disturb the working atmosphere.
Bullying does not exist only on playgrounds and schools. It carries well over to adulthood and is present in the workplace. About thirty-five percent of adults in the United States reported for workplace bullying. This is a staggering number — about 54 million workers.
Tips to Prevent Cyber-Bullying
- The first step is to recognize the situation. Cyber-bullying is online harassment. It is critical that you do not associate or respond to the person. Engaging with a bully will only make matters worse.
- Make a copy of all the threatening messages and photos the bully sends. The easiest way to do this is to take a screenshot of the webpage at where the issue is occurring.
- Contact and notify the website operator of that page via phone and email. Explain that you are filing a police report with your local police department and insist that the content be taken down immediately.
- Not all police departments have “internet crime divisions” so unless the person has threatened your life, they may not be able to get involved.
Although these tips are for the individual, your company can use these guidelines to help individuals that are victims of cyber-bullying. In the end, the lawsuit may fall on you for not taking actions and creating a safe working environment for your employees.