Work is not always fun, but it is a necessary evil we must endure to maintain our standard of living. What employees should never endure is abuse of any form in their workplace. Emotional abuse is a common phenomenon that affects many employees. It is not as blatant as physical abuse so it can be more challenging to detect and report. However, it can be even more damaging.
Emotional abuse leads to long-term mental and physical health issues because it induces stress and depression. You should know when it is happening to you so you can put a stop to it immediately.
Signs you are experiencing emotional abuse in the workplace
Emotional abuse is when someone attempts to manipulate your perception of yourself and how others feel about you. You start to feel shame and self-doubt. You might even feel like going to work or the thought of work gives you anxiety. Here are some examples of emotional abuse in the workplace:
- When someone spreads rumors about you
- When someone belittles you or your work
- When someone intentionally singles you out to humiliate or embarrass you
- People in the office deliberately withhold relevant information from you
- Your employer, manager or supervisor gives you more work than other co-workers
- Your employer, manager or supervisor denies you career development opportunities that they offer other employees
- Your employer, manager or supervisor takes credit for your work and achievements
- You feel unreasonable pressure from your employer, manager or supervisor
- Your employer, manager or supervisor assigns you demeaning tasks
Understanding the abuse and learning where the abuse comes from can allow you to realize who to hold accountable. You should not have to tolerate emotional abuse.
Can you sue your employer because of emotional abuse?
Employees have the right to a safe working environment free from hazards and hostility, but Ohio laws are not so accommodating to employees. You would have to be a member of a protected class to bring a harassment claim to court. Although when the emotional abuse becomes severe and pervasive enough that you fear your safety in the workplace and cannot do your job well, it may warrant an employment lawsuit.
Emotional abuse is a byproduct of bias and prejudice. You need to stand up for yourself and your mental health.