In short, no, you should never be forced to resign because of workplace bullying, discrimination or any other form of harassment. However, every situation is different, and you should always do what’s best for your physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
In order to help you make the correct decision, we’ve worked through some of the complexities of workplace bullying in the following article. Note, however, that this is a very complex subject, which means that we certainly haven’t covered everything in detail.
Similarly, remember to seek professional help if you’re suffering from poor mental or physical health as a result of bullying.
What Is Workplace Bullying?
In general, there’s actually no clear definition of what constitutes workplace bullying. However, it’s very easy to develop a logical definition. Bullying can be thought of as:
“Any actions or behaviour, intentional or not, that is offensive, malicious, insulting or intimidating, along with abuses of power designed to humiliate, injure or undermine the victim”.
As you can imagine, this can take a multitude of forms. Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- Verbal abuse, especially if it’s regular.
- Physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse.
- Excessive supervision and/or criticism.
- Blocking promotion without a valid reason.
- Exclusion from social activities or important work meetings.
If you’re suffering from anything like this, it’s not okay.
What Can I Do if I’m Being Bullied?
It’s important to realise when you’re being bullied so you can take the appropriate steps to deal with it. If you don’t, the chances are that you will end up suffering from any one of a number of mental illnesses. If you’re being bullied at work, you should:
- Make sure your supervisors and/or employers are aware of it.
- Speak with other employees if you think they could be suffering similarly.
- Seeking legal action if your employee can’t/is unable to resolve the problem.
It’s also extremely important to make sure you build a strong support network so you don’t suffer unnecessarily. Begin by confiding in a close friend or family member, liaise with your colleagues and consider seeking professional medical and/or legal advice where required.
Is it Ever Okay to Resign Because of Bullying?
In a nutshell, you generally shouldn’t resign because of bullying, because then the perpetrator wins and will feel like they can continue to get away with it. In saying that, though, every situation is different, which means you need to weigh up the pros and cons of your exact position.
For example, you may choose to resign if your mental health is suffering significantly. And that’s absolutely okay.
Workplace bullying comes in a wide range of forms, but it’s never okay. It doesn’t matter if you’re being bullied because of your race, appearance, religion or the socks you wear to work – you shouldn’t ever just sit back and accept it.
In most cases, the best thing to do is to take action to stop the bullying. Usually, the most rewarding course of action is to stick it out and ensure proper disciplinary action is taken. However, there’s nothing wrong with resigning if you honestly feel like it’s the best option for your specific situation.