Examples of Bullying Behavior

Remember: A single act does not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.


Language or behavior that frightens, humiliates, belittles or degrades the recipient or target may be part of a pattern of workplace bullying. For example:

  • Persistent or egregious use of abusive, insulting, or offensive language
  • Aggressive yelling or shouting
  • Unwarranted physical contact or threatening gestures
  • Making repeated negative comments about a person’s appearance, lifestyle, family, or culture
  • Regularly inappropriately teasing or making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes
  • Circulating inappropriate or embarrassing photos or videos via email or social media

Behavior that undermines a person’s work performance, working relationships, or perceived value in the workplace may also be part of a pattern of bullying. For example:

  • Unnecessarily interrupting or disrupting someone’s work; inappropriately interfering with a person’s personal property or work equipment
  • Repeatedly discounting a person’s statements in group meetings; unfavorably comparing one person to others
  • Blaming a person for problems they did not cause
  • Taking credit for another’s contributions
  • Spreading misinformation or malicious rumors
  • Purposefully inappropriately excluding, isolating, or marginalizing a person from normal work activities

When the bully is a supervisor, the pattern may also include:

  • Assigning tasks that are beyond a person’s skill level
  • Establishing unrealistic timelines, or frequently changing deadlines
  • Denying access to information, consultation, or resources
  • Excessively monitoring an employee’s work
  • Giving feedback in an insincere or disrespectful manner
  • Repeatedly reminding someone of past errors or mistakes
  • Inconsistently following or enforcing rules, to the detriment of an employee
  • Ignoring an employee, or isolating them from others
  • Denying equal access to earned time off