We just received a book entitled “Bullying, Violence, Harassment, Discrimination and Stress,” by Ellen Pinkos Cobb, Esq. (2012), and even after a cursory review it seems like an extremely valuable resource.  The author has reviewed all of the topics listed in the title, and after defining her terms in a careful legal way, has compared the workplace laws of dozens of countries.

We also recommend a 2011 interview with the author which we found online at International HR Forum, from which the following quotes were taken:  

“In the United States, workplace bullying has been found to be four times more prevalent than sexual harassment.  At the Work, Stress, and Health 2011 conference in May, bullying expert Staale Einarsen of Norway described the workplace bullying field as “exploding.”

Workplace bullying is now being generally acknowledged as a global issue, affecting all countries, professions, and workers.  A recent Monster Global Poll bears this out. The poll, conducted in early May, 2011, surveyed workers worldwide, and posed the question, “Have you ever been bullied at work?”

The 16,517 responses received indicated the following: 64% answered that they had been bullied, either physically hurt, driven to tears, or had their work performance affected; 36% replied that this had never happened to them; and 16% answered that they had seen it happen to others.

The prevalence of bullying is a global phenomenon: 83% of European respondents reported that they had been physically or emotionally bullied; 65% in the Americas; and 55% in Asia.

Workplaces in which bullying is allowed to occur undermine the pursuit of a business’ growth and profitability and may lead to a detrimental impact on the corporate image with the public at large.

Specifically, the costs of workplace bullying include time and production lost due to factors which include employees’ preoccupation with negative circumstances, and resulting costs to the company’s overhead, loss of skill and experience when a worker leaves due to being bullied, lowered employee morale, medical and insurance costs, and harm to a company’s reputation.

Occupational health and safety laws have long dealt with physical risks, and now psychological risks are beginning to be treated similarly.  In today’s workplaces, the approach by management to should emphasize both physical and psychological health.”