Labor mobbing at work. Complete Acting Guide 【2024】

We spend a large part of our adult lives at work, so it stands to reason that this daily activity would be carried out in the best possible way. But this is not always the case, in recent years the cases of mobbing have increased.


Labor mobbing at work

What is labor mobbing? Meaning and definition

It is a situation in which a worker or a group of them carry out actions of psychological violence whose purpose is harassment of the victim, causing feelings such as fear or discouragement to arise in her and directly affecting her self-esteem.


What is labor mobbing? Features

To be able to talk about harassment, it is necessary that the conduct is continuous over time and not a mere isolated event.

Mobbing -

The behaviors can be very varied. The most common are those related to insults and spreading rumors about the victim. Only in a few cases is the harassment exercised physically.

The common characteristics that we find in many cases of workplace bullying are:

  • Limiting the communication of the victim.
  • Limiting your social contact.
  • Discredit of the victim in front of the colleagues.
  • Discrediting her professional capacity. 
  • Health compromise, especially at a psychological level (episodes of stress, anxiety, etc.).

What does the law say about workplace harassment?</strong >

The increase in cases of this type makes us understand that it is not something isolated but a real problem.

So much so that the Penal Code already includes this type of conduct. Since 2010, article 173.1 of this regulation penalizes those who, in the context of a labor or official relationship, carry out other hostile or humiliating acts that constitute serious harassment against the victim.

The jurisprudence has qualified the legal provision establishing the four requirements that must be met in order to speak of mobbing:

  • That there is harassment. That is, a persecution or psychological violence directed against a person.
  • That the psychological violence is intense or serious.
  • That the behavior is maintained over time.
  • That its purpose is to physically or morally harm the worker and thus marginalize them from their work environment.

The law establishes the figure of the employer or manager as guarantor of the safety and health of workers. This implies that if knowing the situation of harassment does not do anything against it, the employer can also be responsible.

The prison sentence imposed in these cases can range from six months to two years.


How is the profile of the aggressor?

SueThese are people with very accentuated narcissistic traits. The need for admiration and intolerance of criticism are very present characteristics in the profile of the worker who harasses another.

It is also common for them to be people with little empathy and little or no tolerance for frustration.


How is the profile of the victim?

It is very difficult to establish the profile of the victim in cases of workplace bullying, there are many reasons why the harasser can focus his attention on a certain person. The most common are:

  • Physical appearance.
  • Social success.
  • Intelligence.
  • Charisma.
  • Good reputation in the company.

Any of these qualities can arouse envy and professional jealousy that lead the aggressor to initiate the harassment.

Complete guide to mobbing


Causes of bullying at work

As always when we talk about any type of harassment, there is no justification for mobbing.

What is clear is that workplace bullying often has little or nothing to do with the victim's job performance. In most cases it is the interpersonal relationships between workers that give rise to the problem.


Consequences of workplace bullying

For the victim, the bullying situation can have consequences in the short, medium and even long term. The damage to self-esteem and the fears that arise from a situation of this type can take years to disappear. Hence, in most cases, it is best for the victim to put themselves in the hands of psychology professionals to help them overcome the trauma.


Mobbing: how to survive psychological and moral harassment at work

To be able to face a situation of this type, one must emotionally detach from situations, and this requires great mental strength that often the victim does not have. Therefore, the intervention of a professional may be necessary.

The first step is to detect the problem and be able to deal with it. That is, recognizing oneself as a victim.

Mobbing -

Once the problem is somatized, it is easier for the victim to understand certain feelings and behaviors that she is developing: feelings of sadness, anger, lack of concentration.

Being aware of what is happening is the first big step in taking control and starting to take action to resolve the issue.


Psychological harassment at work work

One of the biggest problems with workplace bullying is that it is not always easy to detect it, not even for the victim himself.

Some of the signs that indicate that we are in the presence of a possible case of psychological harassment are the following:

  • Continuous displays of disapproval of a certain person.
  • They give him nicknames.
  • Spreading rumors.
  • Assignment of tasks without any relevance.
  • Do not speak to that person or deny even the greeting.

All these behaviors end up triggering social isolation. In many cases, the victim is not really aware of what is happening to her until she reaches this point.


Physical alterations

When there is a situation of mobbing, the first effects that manifest are on a physical level. It is normal for the victim to begin to suffer from health problems that may seem minor but are closely linked to the stressful situation she is experiencing.


The most common physical reactions are the appearance of continuous headaches and migraines, stomach problems, blood pressure disturbances, skin reactions, low back pain and even contractures.


Psychological disorders

Depending on the degree of harassment and the mental strength of the victim, the effects can be more or less noticeable.

A bullying situation can lead to insomnia, depression, anxiety and stress. In the most serious cases, phobias and traumas can appear .

What is clear is that any bullying situation entails consequences for the victim, so it is common for the victim to end up having to take leave from work.

But also, if the situation is known by other colleagues, it can also affect them, even if they are not victims. In other words, in the end it is not an individual problem, but something that can seriously affect the competitiveness of the company.

Workplace bullying at work

How prevent bullying from boss or coworkers?

There is no doubt that in the face of such a serious problem it is necessary to take measures and, as always, prevention is better than cure.

The company is primarily responsible for preventing this type of situation from occurring. For this, it is advisable to give good training to workers at all levels on the behaviors that are not allowed. In this way, the aim is to raise awareness of the seriousness of mobbing.

Also, it's always a good idea to try to create a enjoyable work environment. This reduces stress levels and helps there be fewer misunderstandings and healthier relationships between employees.

If there is good communication at all levels harassing behaviors can be prevented or, if they arise, stopped as soon as possible. If workers are aware and there is fluid communication between management and employees, anyone who sees something suspicious can report it.

Lastly, the worker who is the victim can also prevent the harassment from escalating. The best thing to do is to report the situation as soon as possible so that management can take the measures deemed appropriate against the harasser.


What to do and how to act in a case of mobbing inwork

The first thing you have to do to combat workplace mobbing is get evidence. As we will see later, spy image and/or audio recording devices can help you in this homework.

Secondly, review your company's Collective Agreement in case there is any action protocol in the event of workplace harassment. If so, follow their instructions. This is a very useful means to defend yourself against workplace harassment

In companies where there is a Health and Safety Committee you can go to it to help you deal with mobbing. If there is not, you can communicate it directly to the representatives of the workers in the company. If there are none, go directly to the company address.

You have many tools at your disposal to detect and overcome workplace bullying.

Where to report job-mobbing

Workplace bullying occurs in all kinds of groups, even among civil servants. In any case, the first step is to always report it to the company or public body for which you work. It does not matter if it is a case of workplace bullying between colleagues or between people with different hierarchical levels.

It makes sense for the employer to take action against the harasser. But if this does not happen, you can report the harassment to the Labor Inspectorate. An inspection will be carried out and the measures that must be adopted will be determined.

If none of the above works, you could consider starting a judicial process that declares the criminal responsibility of the subject who has harassed you and also the < strong>civil liability and consequent compensation.


Dismissed due to workplace harassment

While the situation is resolved, you may be on medical leave if it has affected you physically or psychologically.

The Supreme Court has classified this type of leave as professional contingencies, understanding that it is a situation directly related to work.

mobbing pregnant

Another alternative is to request the voluntary termination of your employment contract, having the right to be compensated as if it were an unfair dismissal and to collect unemployment benefit.


How demonstrate mobbing at work?

If the problem has already arisen, try to tackle it as soon as possible. It is recommended that the affected worker consult with the workers' representatives and, through them, report his situation to his hierarchical superior or to the management of the company.

The problem is that for the victim to be taken into account it is normal for them to be required to provide some proof, and often this is difficult to obtain. The same thing happens when trying to test bullying or the mistreatment of the elderly in nursing homes.

Luckily, technology can be a big help in proving it. If you are going through this situation, this is what you have to do if you get mobbed at work: get evidence for demomit workplace bullying. Later we will see how to do it.


Bullying at work

Psychological harassment at work is a much more frequent situation than we think, and much more serious than those who adopt this type of behavior think.

Belittling a person, not valuing their work and even isolating them socially can cause serious psychological damage. Damage that, in many cases, can last over time and even become trauma if specialized help is not received.

Labor mobbing - Harassment at work

Hence the importance of acting as soon as possible if we detect that we are being a victim of conduct of this type or even if we are not the victim but we are witnesses how a bully acts against another partner.


Can I use spy cameras and recorders as evidence in court if I am being mobbed?

For an audio recording to be admitted as evidence, the person recording it must be an active part of the conversation recorded. In cases of mobbing, the recorded conversation is usually between the victim and the harasser, so this does not usually cause any major problems.

In the case of video recordings, it can be a little more complicated, since the camera could have captured images of other people who have nothing to do with the conflict.

However, thejurisprudence is in favor of considering the recordings and audios presented in a mobbing process as valid evidence. This is because in many cases they are the only means of proof available to the victim.

The important thing in these cases is that when recording the image or audio the rights of third parties have not been violated.


< strong>Spy recorders to defend against workplace harassment

The harasser often acts sneakily, making sure that no one but their victim knows what is going on.

This leaves the employee who is bullied at work completely helpless, since there will never be any witnesses and no way to prove that the threats, insults or coercion are real. A good alternative to obtaining evidence that can be used to denounce the situation is to make audio recordings of what is happening.

Today there are very small and discreet voice recorders that go completely unnoticed. Something as simple as a recorder built into a pen can become a fundamental element in proving the victim's accusations against her harasser.


Hidden cameras to detect workplace mobbing

In many cases a simple audio recording would suffice, but there are situations where a video may also be useful. Just as there are spy recorders, there are also spy cameras that are easily installed and whose presence is not perceived by others.

Types of labor mobbing

You might think that a situation of bullying at work only occurs between superiors and subordinates, but this is not the case. Reality shows that there are different types of workplace bullying. The most common are the following:

Mobbing ascending

In a situation of this type, it is the hierarchical superior who is attacked by one or more of his subordinates.

It can occur with respect to a boss who has already been in the company for a long time, but more often than not, it occurs with people who have just assumed a position of responsibility (whether or not they are new to the company). Hence, this behavior is often defined as a "rejection of the new boss".


Horizontal mobbing

Here the bully and the victim have the same hierarchical rank. Many times the cause is an enmity, although behind it there may also be other factors such as trying to end the competition when it comes to getting a promotion.

Harassment at work


Mobbing down

Also known as bossing, it occurs when an employee is harassed by another who has a higher hierarchical level than him. It has been shown that in many cases what is behind this conduct is  trying to get the harassed worker to leave the company voluntarily  and thus the company does not have to pay severance pay.


Difference between mobbing and bullying at work

Actually they are two sides of the same coin. Mobbing is used to refer to harassment in the workplace, while the term bullying refers to harassment but within the school environment. Since the behaviors are similar, although they occur in different areas, in the end concepts have been mixed and the term workplace bullying has emerged, which is nothing more than another way of calling mobbing or workplace harassment.


Mobbing or harassment at work

At this point we are going to briefly review this concept:

  • The term refers to psychological or moral harassment (in some cases even physical) that occurs within an employment relationship.
  • It can occur between people of the same hierarchical level, from subordinates to their superiors and vice versa.
  • There is usually more than one harasser, or the same harasser has the connivance of other colleagues to remain unpunished.
  • There is no specific reason for bullying to occur, although the victim is usually someone who arouses envy.
  • It ends up generating problems of stress, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, job desertion and multiple psychological problems.

Business at work mobbing from the psychological perspective

The term originated in the 1990s in Northern Europe, although this type of workplace bullying may have been around forever. Today mobbing is considered areal problem that affects the victims on a psychological level. In fact, the vast majority of them require specialized help to overcome what they have experienced.

Problems such as a lack of self-esteem or mistrust in others can lead the victim to become socially isolated inside and outside of work. In the most serious cases, it even generates an inability to return to the labor market.


Mobbing is a serious situation, but it has a solution

You have already seen that even if it is a major problem, there are always ways out for it. Our recommendation is that if you are being harassed, act as soon as possible. Remember that in no case is a situation of this type your fault. You are the victim and it is you who the law protects, do not hesitate to report what is happening.