While bullying sounds like an issue reserved for the playground, it is a continuing problem in today's workplace. Generally, workplace bullying involves demeaning an employee or undermining and sabotaging his or her work, says Jason Carney, director of human resources at WorkSmart Systems Inc., a professional employer organization in Indianapolis.

"In a lot of ways, work is no different than high school," Carney says. "People feel they need to be in with the 'right crowd,' and they bow to peer pressure of bullying."

If an employer were to allow workplace bullying to continue, it could expect to see lower productivity, higher absenteeism and poor morale, Carney says. Rather than focusing on their work, bullied employees are often too preoccupied with the harassment. In some cases, an employer could even see higher insurance costs as more claims associated with bullying are filed.

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