Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids harassment and discrimination based on a person's race, color, religion, sex and national origin. However, many recent forms of harassment, such as workplace bullying, are not necessarily covered by this landmark law. To address these threats, organizations must update their training and raise awareness.
Bullying, cyber bullying, sexting and discrimination of younger workers these are not necessarily covered by Title VII, but they are the recent and pervasive manifestations of harassment and hostile environments. Alarming stories of workplace bullying, either face-to-face or online, are on the rise, and statistics from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) indicate a frightening scenario:
37 percent of workers have been victims
72 percent of bullies are bosses
60 percent of bullies are men, 40 percent are women
57 percent of victims are women
71 percent of women bully other women
40 percent of victims never report bullying to employers
3 percent of victims take it to court.1
Unlike the conventional types of harassment, these recent forms can be much more devastating because they have a greater prevalence within organizations. Workplace bullying in itself is already four times more common than harassment (based on illegal discrimination), according to the WBI.