‘My boss is a bully and I don’t know how to handle it anymore. She’s aggressive and yells at me and it’s really affecting my morale and productivity. What can I do?’
Caroline, PA, 29
I feel for you – this is not an easy situation. The most important thing is for you to know your rights and the steps you can take to ensure that your workplace is a positive and safe environment.
Start by talking with someone who you trust (either at work or outside of work) to help you determine if what you are experiencing is actually bullying. Getting another perspective will help you be more objective. A definition of bullying behaviours (and what you can do if you’re being bullied) can be found at WorkSafe Victoria.
How to manage a difficult boss
What to do if you’re being bullied
Bullying is serious, and it’s not something that should be allowed to continue. Remember – it’s not you that’s the problem, it’s the bully!
From 1 January 2014, the Fair Work Act will be amended to give employees the opportunity to take their workplace-bullying claims directly to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) instead of using only their employers' internal processes. Under the new amendment, the FWC must deal with the claim within 14 days. You can read more about the government inquiry into workplace bullying.
Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice.