CareerBuilder, a Chicago-based human resources company, said the percentage of people who felt victimized in the workplace jumped from 27 percent in 2011 to 35 percent this year. Almost half, 48 percent, of those who said they were bullied identified bosses as the culprits, 45 percent said co-workers, 31 percent customers and 26 percent by higher-level supervisors.
Sixteen percent of those surveyed said the bullying caused them health problems, and 17 percent ended up deciding to quit.
Those surveyed described various types of conduct, including 42 percent who said they were wrongly accused of making mistakes and 39 percent who said they were ignored. Other complaints included being left out of meetings, criticized in front of other employees and being gossiped about.
"How workers define bullying can vary considerably, but it is often tied to patterns of unfair treatment," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Bullying can have a significant impact on both individual and company performance. It's important to cite specific incidents when addressing the situation with the bully or a company authority and keep focused on finding a resolution."
The survey of 3,800 people was conducted by Harris Interactive from May 4 to June 14.