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In Fond Memory of a California Healthy Workplace Advocate 7/16/14
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59 California Cities Proclaim Freedom from Workplace Bullies 2012
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Level Playing Field
  Join us for our Next Meeting
   Saturday, April 29th, 2017
             3pm to 6pm

Join us to share information about how to address bullying in the
workplace. The issues we discuss include the latest examples in the
media, how to confront denial about bullying, and how we organize
our lobbying efforts for legislation to provide legal remedies for
employers and targets.  Email if you have questions or need

California Healthy Workplace Advocates

What is Workplace Bullying?

Deliberate, repeated, health harming mis-treatment of a person by one or more workers that takes the form of verbal abuse, conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; sabotage that interferes with the normal flow of work to be accomplished; or some combination of the three.

Bullies interfere with legitimate business interests; it’s an issue of power and control. Often blame is transferred back to the target, “blaming the victim”.

We need a law similar to current sexual harassment laws to correct and prevent workplace bullying. By compelling employers to put policies and procedures in place to correct and prevent this behavior, employers will also be protected.


  • 1 in 6 people are targets of workplace bullying
  • Workplace bullying is 2-3 times more common than protected status harassment

 Why:  Moral or ethical person

  • Talented, popular or are the “go-to” person that other employees seek for assistance
  • Have the right combination of education and experience that threatens a workplace bully
  • You have a vulnerability that can be taken advantage of (new house, new baby, recently divorced, new to town)
Types of actions workplace bullies utilize:
  • Stealing credit for work done by the target or others
  • Threatening a target with retaliation if they file a complaint with the employer, state agency or attorney
  • Subjecting  a person to health endangering tasks following a return from a disability rehabilitation
  • Assigning tasks beyond the scope of a persons job
  • Abusing the employee appraisal process by lying about their performance
  • Making impossible demands for resources, meetings and duties
  • Using the silent treatment to deny access to resources necessary for the person to do their job

 Employer costs:

  • Health Care costs!!! 
  • Absenteeism
  • Lost Productivity
  • Increased premiums for disability and workers compensation insurance
  • Poor morale
  • Turn over
  • Talent flight (Millenials, Baby Boomer retirements)
  • Bad reputation as a poor place to work
  • Litigation

Health Issues:

  • Migraines and tension Headaches
  • Depression, anxiety, PTSD
  • Adult Diabetes
  • Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Sleeplessness, extreme stress

Types of Bullies:

  • The poor manager
  • Situational bullies – economic downturn
  • Narcissists and Sociopaths
  • Companies who believe it’s a just way to do business
  • Others…

Narcissists (as detailed by the Book “Why is it always about you” Sandy Hotchkiss

  • -Self Absorbed- they think they are better or superior to other people and look down on all others
  • -Charming, alluring, funny, intense eye contact
  • -Arrogance- seen as bossy, subjective, judgemental and power hungry, they need to keep people from seeing through their false self and the cowardly and vulnerable person within
  • -Envy- The see something in another person that they lack and want – this is one of the reasons people become targets of narcissistic bullies
  • Entitlement- Because they feel they are superior to everyone else, the narcissist sees resources and people as tools to be exploited for their own needs and purposes
  • Exploitation- (conscious), the narcissist does not have the capability to recognize emotion in others so they do not understand how their actions impair the health and well-being of others.
  • Boundaries – Narcissists do not recognize that people have are individuals that are separate from themselves.  By not recognizing boundaries they see others to serve their needs or be excluded if they do not
  • Know your vulnerabilities!  Narcissists are skilled at detecting and ruthlessly exploiting your weak spots. Your best defense is to understand what these spots are, and to be extremely wary of anyone who zeroes in on them.
  • One way to try and distance yourself from such (establish and enforce boundaries

Thirteen rules for dealing with sociopaths (from Martha Stout’s book) relevant for narcissists as well

  • Sociopaths rarely look like Charles Manson, they look like us (soccer mom’s and dad’s)
  • Trust your instincts – If something doesn’t add up, question it, document it and be somewhat on guard with that person until you know for sure where the person stands on the issue of consciousness
  • Rules of three – (quoting Martha Stout)
  • “one lie, broken promise or neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding”
  • Two may involve  a serous mistake
  • Three  and you’re dealing with a liar
  • Leaving/Ending the relationship is easier now than later
  • Get feedback from others who have a similar relationship with the person to get their thoughts on their actions and integrity
  • People who are sociopaths have been practicing this behaviour their entire life.  You cannot beat them at their own game, the issue at heart is to protect yourself from the individual
  • Trust and Respect is earned, not given and must be renewed on a regular basis”
  • Repeated bad behaviour and seeking pity is a very good sign you are in the midst of a sociopath
  • “Living well is the best revenge”  (Quote from the book)
  • “You cannot negotiate with a narcissist or sociopath…You can only move on with your life the way you want to live it and overcome the trauma you experienced.  To do otherwise is to let the narcissist or sociopath win your life and have control over it.   

 Seek Help

  • Support groups
  • Psychologist who is familiar with workplace bullying (sociopaths, narcissists)
  • Do not blame yourself; it is the narcissist/sociopath who is (broken) the problem, stop internalizing the situation as a fault of who you are.
  • Narcissists/sociopaths have long history of victims/targets, you might be able to find others who have been involved with them for comfort and recognition that it is they, not you who is the problem
  • Double-take- narcissists/sociopaths will make claims they are suffering and that targets are to blame for their problems.  Being that you will likely be reactionary from the trauma, it is easy for them to get the employer and HR to believe their version of the story


“The Bully at Work”  Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie

“Bully-Free Workplace” Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie

“Bully In Sight – The Late Tim Field


The Sociopath Next Door - Martha Stout

Why is it all about you?  - Sandy Hotchkiss

The Mission of Healthy Workplace Advocates Is to Raise Public Awareness and compel our State to Correct and  Prevent Abusive Work Environment Through Legislation 

Next Meeting
Saturday, April 29th, 2017
3pm to 6pm