Here’s what you need to know about mobbing and workplace harassment

What is mobbing?

An employee can be a target of “mobbing” or (“harassment in the workplace”) when a person or a group of people harasses him or her, producing emotions of fear, terror or low morale. This harassment can induce psychological damage, low-self esteem, diminished sense of dignity and overall deprecation of the employee’s professional life.

Such actions can come from every level in the company’s hierarchy, either top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top, and it can also happen horizontally – when both parties belong to the same hierarchy level, and quite probably, to the same team.

What actions can be considered mobbing?

  • Discrimination: when the employee is not considered for the company’s training courses, promotions, decision-making processes, etc, and his/her teammate’s are.
  • Work overload: when delivery dates are rushed and new tasks get assigned to the employee, and/or when micromanaging is always present.
  • Use of offensive and disrespectful language, verbal aggressions, hurtful comments, work contempt, sanctions or termination threats.
  • Downgrading an employee’s capabilities: when the employee receives orders to execute functions below his paygrade, hurtful, and/or non-comparable to their teammates’.

What to do when being a victim of “mobbing”?

Report it, don’t let it slide, even if at first you don’t think you’re being a victim of harassment. Gather all the information and evidence you can:  emails, documents, outside working hours calls logs, texts, etc. Once you get all the proofs, you can file a complaint all the way to court, because mobbing is punished by law (art. 1731.1 of the spanish Penal Code) with up to two years of jail time.

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