Mobbing is a more intense form of bullying. It is more intense in that it is collective bullying, or bullying by numerous colleagues, superiors, and, in some cases, even subordinates of the victim of the bullying.
The bullying may take the form of intimidation, gossip, or may even amount to harassment as it is defined under the law. Typically, the ultimate goal of those doing the mobbing is to remove the victim from the workplace.
While there are many examples of bullying/mobbing, here is an incomplete list of some common examples:
- Rumors and Gossip: used to both discredit the victim and to make the workplace uncomfortable for them.
- Collectively creating deliberately embarrassing, humiliating situations targeting the victim.
- Innuendo: mobbers create a harassing atmosphere to make the workplace so uncomfortable that the victim must remove themselves.
- Isolation: when the victim becomes so isolated that they cannot communicate with their coworkers, and even fear them, the workplace becomes intolerable to them.
- This may include a refusal to provide job assistance to the victim.
- Harassment or discrimination, as legally defined.
Yes. The first repercussions the mobbers are likely to experience are internal investigations by the employer, to include meeting with superiors and human resources. There may be other internal disciplinary procedures to be followed. Possibly, those procedures and policies will be rewritten to be more effective, in the future, for preventing workplace bullying and for giving victims recourse.
Beyond this, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit against their bullies. A lawsuit might require the parties to reimburse the victim for losses. This might include costs such as lost wages, costs of therapy, and legal fee costs. Also, if the victim had resigned or was wrongfully terminated, a legal claim might allow them to be returned to their previous work position before the harassment occurred.
Since a lawsuit will most likely be directed to the employers, any employees who were party to the mobbing will most likely face serious repercussions like termination. This type of termination would not be considered wrongful, as mobbing will almost always be expressly banned in employee handbooks.
If you believe you have been the victim of workplace mobbing, you may want to contact a local workplace lawyer to discuss the situation to see whether there is any recourse, and to determine whether harassment or discrimination was involved. This will particularly be the case if you have already been terminated wrongfully from the job at which you were bullied. A lawyer can file suit for you if necessary.