Bullying at the workplace – a burden on health

They will Information is withheld, Colleagues are running you up in meetings in front of the boss, or one of the bosses themselves is actively involved in disavowing you? Then it can be that you are mobbed. Not every action is therefore immediately considered bullying.

Bullying in the workplace does not occur infrequently. Often an individual is belittled and discriminated against

Mobbing at the workplace does not occur rarely. Individuals are often belittled and discriminated against.

How to recognize mobbing, why it can make you sick and how affected employees can behave properly, you will learn in this guidebook.

In short& scarce: bullying in the workplace

Bullying is when a person is repeatedly and long-term excluded, belittled and discriminated against. You can find more info here.

Affected people should get help as soon as possible if they are being bullied at work. For example, they can get support from a psychologist as well as an attorney for labor law.

If it involves defamation, insults or even sexual harassment in the workplace, you can file a criminal complaint.

Bullying in the workplace is not a trivial offense, but exposes those affected to massive pressure, which in the worst case can even lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Free eBook!

ebook on workplace bullying

Download now free of charge our eBook over Mobbing at the job!

In the PDF you will learn:

  • when it is bullying
  • how victims can defend themselves
  • Things to know about bullying in the workplace

What is mobbing anyway?

The theme Grouping as well as the Inclusion or exclusion of certain members is a very old and at the same time highly topical subject in Germany. Especially in the workplace, where many different people are more or less involuntarily thrown together and hierarchies prevail, it therefore often comes to disagreements and, in the worst case, to mobbing. In the office, but also in other businesses and companies is therefore no one is immune from the targeted disparagement of his fellow men.

But what actually counts as bullying? The Term is defined differently, whereby various nuances are in the foreground. The difficulty of narrowing down the topic already shows its complexity. Basically all interpretations agree that it is a harassing behavior towards a person acts. In labor law, mobbing is also described as follows:

  • Discrimination or harassment by other employees or the boss (mobber)
  • the bullied person is on a lower hierarchical level
  • the offending behavior is carried out over a longer period of time and in a targeted manner
  • actions are not justified, but are based on subjective judgments that lack any factual basis

Bullying by the boss

Targeted belittling doesn't have to be exclusively by colleagues. Bullying by superiors is also possible

Targeted disparagement does not have to be exclusively by colleagues. Mobbing by superiors is also possible.

It is not always the colleagues who Approach individuals for personal reasons. It gets particularly bad when the superior becomes a mobber.

This finally has Authority to issue directives and can be Order of meaningless work tasks, who do not comply with the regulations agreed in the employment contract, exert completely different pressure.

Here come especially Existential fears to the fore. If employees are bullied by their boss, this is what is known as a "bullying problem Bossing. Of this are usually insecure people affected – at them supervisors test their power, whereby they themselves do not always feel as sovereign as they appear. Often, they only work on not promoting counterparts or competitors or. to deter.

Bullying at work makes you ill

The constant harassment by colleagues or bullying by superiors on the job is hard on the mind and hits the health – psychically as well as physically. Finally an attack is expected at any time become. Once the working day is over, however, the head does not stop working. Mobbing victims still have to cope with their situation at the end of the day, and especially at night, and the Thought carousel to fight. That wears you down and makes you ill in the long run, never switch them off. In the vast majority of cases, the following symptoms and illnesses therefore appear sooner or later:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Burn-out
  • post-traumatic stress syndrome

Experts point out that the longer the bullying by the employer or employee lasts, as a rule, the mental and physical consequences become more and more evident. It can cause an always similarly proceeding process are observed:

  • 1. Phase: Any conflict that arises that cannot be resolved is dealt with by symptoms of stress accompanied by. Still the mobbing victim tries to approach the mobber.
  • 2. Phase: The harassment expands, leading to the development of Fear and also self-doubt leads.
  • 3. Phase: belittling the sufferer leads him to work even harder and voluntarily do overtime to prove himself. However, due to overloading more and more mistakes. Workplace bullying causes legal action to be taken. So warnings and if necessary. also one Burn-out.
  • 4. PhaseOn the legal consequences the Gemobbte tries likewise to react with legal assistance. There are psychosomatic complaints whose origin a doctor can diagnose only rarely.
  • 5. Phase: It comes to Termination because of bullying. The employee is on sick leave for a longer period of time. Possibly already Depression and if necessary. self-injurious acts manifested.

In view of these massive potential consequences, it is important for those affected to to get help at an early stage. And that both psychologically and legally.

Is mobbing at the workplace punishable by law? Here is what you should do if the worst happens

Not every behavior that should hit you is actually punishable by law. It is also crucial who carries it out. colleague or boss?

The following actions are justiciable not only, but also in the field of work:

  • defamation
  • Assault
  • sexual coercion

The pressure on the victim often becomes so great that he or she decides to resign because of mobbing

The pressure on the victim often becomes so great that he decides to resign because of bullying.

In the above cases filed a criminal complaint become. Mobbing according to labor law may also be in the case of non-punishable behavior act. This is the case if it is classified as Breach of contract can be classified. Here it is not relevant whether colleagues or superiors act as aggressors. If employees disclose important information to the person concerned, the latter can hold the employer responsible and demand a Demand a warning or transfer of the corresponding colleague from the boss.

If you are affected by bullying at work, it is also always advisable to seek advice from specialized agencies. Here you are usually advised:

  • gather evidence of the bullying
  • complain about the behavior in question to the supervisor or appropriate bodies
  • just be very careful with the concept of "bullying"
  • If it is no longer possible to do otherwise also take legal action and contact a lawyer

Other interesting guides


My name Ratej come from Slovenia I have a problem that I can not solve alone.

In 2015 I came to work in Germany as goldschmited gemstone setting company.

Within a year of work, I was satisfied to receive a salary for their work, and I had no problems.

But I had in this year 2016.11.01 to terminate because I could not download more pressure on me.
I had a short health problems but my boss forbade to go to the hospital, he said that I work sick.
He told me that the salaries for the month of October and November, I do not understand, because I went for a day in the hospital for surgery for varicose veins.

When I finished relationship 30/11/2016 work I had seven days.
And thirteen hardworking hours.

And that is not paid either.

Thus, the company, which is headquartered in Germany is obliged to pay two months’ salary, annual leave and 13 hours more work.

Please info on what I can do, and which institution should be able to contact.

Hello Mr. Ratej,
if you are sick, you have the right to go to the doctor to confirm your inability to work. Do not have to appear at work in the time indicated on the medical certificate. For six weeks, you may also demand that the employer continue to pay your wages, without actually having to go to work during this time. Your employer is not obliged to pay overtime. However, he must then provide you with these hours as free time. Please go to an attorney for labor law and ask him what you can do to get your right.
Your team of labor rights.de

Hello I would am23.01.2017 called to the works council there I was told that I should be terminated because I was sick three times in 2016 in March/April because of flu infection 39 fever in September work accident and in November also an accident at work since then I have to wait what happens to me now my nerves are bare is the mobbing because all are afraid of this person

in principle, it is not against the law to resign because of illness or an accident at work. If the situation is serious, in any case, contact a lawyer for labor law. Because it depends very much on the individual case whether such a notice is absolutely legal. A lawyer can check exactly whether this is the case.

Your team of labor rights.de

Hello! My boss hit me on the head from behind in front of all my colleagues. After that he tried to silence his colleagues "they didn’t see anything". On subsequent request for a phone call in the evening and a message, he had gone too far followed nothing. That was on Friday. Am on vacation since Monday and just crying…What am I going to do…

Hello Jenny,
we would recommend that you contact a lawyer for employment law and discuss the possible course of action in this case with him.

Your team of labor rights.de

Hello, I also have a question. My husband has been working in his training company for 32 years, starting with the senior boss. The junior boss then took over the company many years ago. In the meantime, Junior’s son has also joined the company, and is currently doing his apprenticeship there and then his master’s degree. My husband likes working in his job but the relationship between him and his boss is getting more and more difficult. His boss is a choleric man who does not stand behind his troops. Communication between boss and employees has always been difficult. Suggestions for improvement regarding work processes, on which the employees depend for their daily work, are ignored. Mistakes made by the boss himself or others are partly passed on to my husband or to other colleagues. The boss talks bad about his employees in front of the customers and in the village, all of them are sick and make him poor. Since our children are here, many things have become even worse. Already when my husband announced to him after the birth of our second daughter that he would like to go on parental leave for 2 months this time, the reactions were fierce. The wife of the boss said only "Then you can just stay at home". But then both have calmed down again and everything went its way. My husband is then even at the request of the boss stayed a month longer at home, because there was nothing for him to do. After the parental leave then it became even worse. My husband had from the beginning the feeling that they want to get rid of him. Several times the statements came, "then go somewhere else and look for something new" and that, although my husband has never mentioned. that he wants or is looking for other work. We have always seen the advantage of the workplace in the place, which is why we also need only one car. In the meantime, we have heard that his boss has financial problems, he built a new house last year (residential house). Regarding financial problems, the boss has often made remarks like "because of you (his employees) I can’t afford anything anymore, not even my company bus". And that is not all. He also has no understanding of family when my husband z.B. my daughter drives to school and is 5 min later at work, which he of course works on. I also went back to work relatively early with both children, so we have to split up, especially since my relatives come from another state and can’t support my husband’s either. His boss grew up differently, his mother and also his wife were always at home with the children, there were no difficulties. Now it is so that his boss presented him the Friday before last around noon a job advertisement, whereupon he said "you can apply there, then you know what work is". Nothing has happened. Allegedly my husband said to the boss’s son "Shit boss". But this is not the case, my husband will be careful not to say something like that to his son, especially since the son is very similar to his father. I have the feeling that everything is a made thing to get rid of him. My husband then also tried to talk to the boss and tell him that the statement is not correct. With the boss, however, can not be talked to, he just went away. My husband is bullied, by his own boss and has been for years. My husband then went home (about 2 hours before the end of work) and went straight to the doctor on Monday and is currently on sick leave for two weeks. The doctor is fully behind my husband. However, we do not know what to do now. My husband is no longer mentally capable of working there any longer. But he also does not want to resign himself. After all, his boss drove him to where he is now. He has really driven him out of the company. We have many questions now. Because of the long service the AG has to give 7 months notice, right?? Is the statement of the boss from the Friday before last to be considered as a dismissal?? Of course, we will not resign ourselves, nor will we conclude a termination agreement, although the doctor has already said that he will issue him a certificate stating that health reasons are recognized, so that he will not be blocked by the agency. It now looks like his boss wants to get rid of him and wants me to pay for the loss of his job in the form of severance pay in the event of termination (which is unavoidable because my husband can no longer work there). For the loss of income. For that we have to buy a second car so that my husband can go back to work etc. I also have a question, should my husband register as a job seeker as a precaution, even if he is currently on sick leave? I have also already spoken with my supervisor and asked if I can return to work full time at the earliest possible date, at least temporarily. Our costs run yes also further and from my TZ salary and if necessary. Sick pay and later ALG I do not make ends meet. Many greetings

Hello Eva,
because of your husband’s length of service of 32 years, his employer usually has to give seven months’ notice. As a rule, a termination is only effective if it is made in written form. Since we are not allowed to give legal advice, we would recommend you to consult a lawyer for employment law and describe the problem to him. We wish you good luck with the clarification.

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