Workplace bullying: A quick view from Baltimore


I’m writing from Baltimore, where this evening I had the privilege of serving as the guest speaker at the monthly dinner meeting of the Maryland chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. LERA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization devoted to public education and research about work and workplaces. My topic was “How to Respond to Workplace Bullying,” and it gave me a chance to share some of my work and to engage in a very thoughtful Q&A with those who attended.

Most of the attendees are practitioners in this field, including attorneys, arbitrators, mediators, and labor relations specialists for companies, government agencies, and unions. What struck me during the various questions, comments, and side chats is that this topic continues to become mainstreamed among employee relations stakeholders. The turnout for this event was very strong, and the information I shared appeared to resonate with the attendees.

I enjoyed meeting such a sharp group of fellow employee relations colleagues. Many thanks to Maryland arbitrator Ezio Borchini, president of the state’s LERA chapter, for issuing this invitation and for being such a welcoming host. Oh, I should add that the Maryland LERA meetings are held at a wonderful restaurant in Baltimore’s Little Italy, La Tavola, so we all got a fine meal as part of the deal.

16 responses

  1. David, You crushed at recital on Tuesday night Went to dinner afterwards, and then Gave a speech in Baltimore today!? You are certainly getting it done! Best regards to you and your sidekick: BEN ! Peter SP Gimber

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Thank you for your excellent work, as always. From the UK, I recently (two weeks’ ago) heard an employment lawyer at a ship crewing conference state, in her main presentation, that victimisation is an issue that’s growing, both on ships and on shore. I never thought I would hear that said in a public talk. Workplace bullying is common in the UK as well, but there is no concerted effort that I know of to tackle it. WHAT is most worrying, and I don’t know if you address this, is SUBTLE bullying, as it is so hard to gather evidence for. It seems to be recognised more and more in relation to sexual harassment. But not in regards to racial harassment. I would like to know if you have heard of this. Mind you, the terms used for different races that are included in conversations in subtle ways will not always be the same in the US as in the UK.

  3. David,
    I have just resumed following your very important work. So happy that you presented in Maryland. I survived a horrific workplace bullying/mobbing here in Maryland. With the combined help and support of an attorney, psychologist and psychiatrist.

    Had I not gained knowledge and understanding of what was happening to me early on, I would have tried to deal with the “sick” workplace environment alone. Despite a somewhat successful escape, I continue to suffer from what can best ever described as PTSD. Keep up the great work. Therapist and mental health professionals also need exposure to you and others in this field, so they learn how to properly approach those wounded by this ” psychological violence.


  4. Was defamation and wrongful termination discussed? It is often an outcome of workplace bullying. Yet, often left out of the discussion.

    • In the U.S., much racially-based bullying falls under anti-discrimination laws covering racial harassment, so it actually gets a fair share of attention here, though perhaps under a different label.

      • Thankfully, there has been several sizable jury awards written about in local media for nurses defamation and wrongful termination lawsuits. I have lobbied for a long time to get nursing professional organizations to bring discussion of out in the open. There needs to be a national database of these types of lawsuits that we can refer to to make our case. They see it as a fly on the wall. Not the elephant in the room that it is.

  5. David,
    It is great it was discusses, but what are the strategies to protect oneself from bullying?
    Of corse there are a variety of forms of bullying somebody and there isn’t one strategy working for each individual that is a victim, but there should be some general advice that can be followed.
    Based on an interesting book, 1 in 4 individuals presents psychopathic behavior and some are hidden in places where you don’t have the money for a (good) lawyer to expose them and their schemes. Then what?

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