What Can You Do When Your Manager Is Abusing Employees?

by Sherrie Scott; Updated September 26, 2017
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A manager can abuse an employee in many ways. Abuse can come in the form of violence, bullying, harassment, verbal intimidation or any behavior that creates a hostile work environment. A manager can also abuse an employee in more subtle ways through unfair treatment or undermining a worker's input or opinions. Employees who witness unjust behavior from a manager toward coworkers can report the behavior to the employee relations department within the organization or, in severe cases, contact the state labor department or equal employment office.

Document Incidents

If you witness your manager abusing employees, you can document the incident by keeping a thorough diary that details the nature of the occurrence. Documentation should include dates and times, what was said and who was involved or present during the incident. Also maintain additional documentation, such as emails, audit reports or performance reviews that may contain information about the abuse. Documenting the incidents will help you recall specifics about the behavior when you report it to an authority figure.

Contact Human Resources

You can contact the employee relations or human resources department and report the incident if you witness managerial abuse. Reporting incidents to human resources will allow you to remain anonymous if you desire. Human resources is responsible for conflict management as well as implementing and enforcing workplace anti-harassment policies. The department will investigate the incident by speaking with the involved parties and interviewing witnesses. If the department concludes that the manager is in violation of company policy, they will take appropriate action to correct the behavior, which may include terminating the manager.

Department of Labor

The state department of labor is a valuable resource for guidance on how to deal with abuse in the workplace. Many labor departments have employee assistance programs that help workers address sensitive issues. These programs also help employees' resolve conflicts and concerns that affect job performance.

Equal Employment Office

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a government agency that regulates employment and anti-harassment laws. The commission has local offices in each state that assist employees who are victims of abuse, harassment or discrimination. As a witness of abuse, you can file a complaint against your employer with the EEOC. Once you file the complaint, the EEOC will request mediation between you and the employer or conduct an investigation. If the commission decides the employer is in violation of the law, they will try to reach a settlement with the employer. A settlement typically involves the employer's agreement to correct the abusive behavior by placing the manager on a performance management plan, moving the manager to a different department or terminating the manager.

About the Author

Sherrie Scott is a freelance writer in Las Vegas with articles appearing on various websites. She studied political science at Arizona State University and her education has inspired her to write with integrity and seek precision in all that she does.

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