2021 WBI Study: Pollster, Zogby Analytics

CLARKSTON, Wash. /Massachusetts Newswire – National News/ — Respondents in the new national scientific poll by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) reported a rise in prevalence to 30% of adult Americans who directly experienced “repeated mistreatment: abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse.” This is the WBI definition of workplace bullying.

The prior WBI survey bullying rate was 19% in Feb. 2017. After exactly four years, in Feb. 2021, the rate had risen 57%.

By coincidence, the 2017 and 2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Surveys bracketed the Trump term. The comparison “gives us an estimate of the effect of his bellicose, bullying presidency on society and the American workplace,” says Gary Namie, PhD, WBI Director and social psychologist. “Misconduct at the top had consequences.”

Remote work is touted as the new way we work. However, interpersonal bullying is easier from a distance. Employed remote workers reported more bullying (43%) than the national respondent sample (30%). Abuse occurs primarily in virtual meetings.

When the number of witnesses to bullying are added to those bullied, 49% of Americans are affected. That translates to 79.3 million employed Americans touched by bullying — directly and indirectly. Also, when American employers are told about the bullying, survey respondents faulted them for ineffective reactions (in 60% of cases) — encouragement, denial, rationalization, defense of abuse, and discounting.

“Our workplaces simply are not working for people,” says a concerned Teresa A. Daniel, JD, PhD, and Dean/Professor of Human Resource Leadership at Sullivan University. “It is unconscionable that nearly half of all American employees are miserable at work due to abusive bosses and toxic cultures.”

David C. Yamada, J.D., Professor of Law at Suffolk University is author of anti-bullying legislation introduced in 30 states, the Healthy Workplace Bill. WBI survey respondents supported (90%) a new law to extend employee protections beyond existing nondiscrimination laws. Yamada says his bill “protects all workers from targeted, health-impairing bullying on the job.”

Complete results at:

About the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI):

WBI is dedicated to the eradication of workplace bullying through research, books, education for the public, employers, unions and professionals, and legislative advocacy, since 1997. Learn more at:

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