Office Bullies Turn To Cyber Attacks
CHARLOTTE, NC- A growing number of office bullies are going online to slam co-workers.
From office e-mails to social media, a new study by AVG Technologies reports one in 10 adults admit being bullied by someone they work with.
Cyber bullying can turn violent quickly.
"The person posted on their Facebook page that they were going to cut the other person's throat at work the next day," said Deanna Arnold, president of Employer's Advantage, LLC.
Arnold is a human resources expert who says in that situation, a co-worker saw the post and reported it to management. Arnold says keeping quiet about online threats is not an option.
"They need to report it because the employer has an obligation to create a workplace that's safe and harassment free for all employees," said Arnold.
So, whether posts are made at work or at home - if someone reports the online bullying- experts say it's the employer's obligation to investigate. It's treated the same as a harassment claim.
That's because experts say the online attacks can affect what happens in the office. From low morale, to low productivity and even more absences.
"Derogatory language, demeaning language about people they think no one knows they're talking about," said Michael Bridges, a Cornelius resident.
"Rather than face-to-face or behind your back at work, now everyone's on the computer all the time, on their i-phone all the time. It's just easier," said Barbara King, a Huntersville resident.
As more cyber attacks are reported by colleagues, companies are cracking down.
"They don't want it to escalate to something that could be more violent," said Arnold.
Which is why many companies are protecting employees by adding cyber bullying to their harassment policies. In many cases they are zero tolerance.
A recent survey by a-v-g technologies found 11 percent of people reported a co-worker uploaded embarrassing photos or videos to of them to social-media sites.