Legal Term For Demeaning Behavior?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about belittling:

What do you call an episode or the behavior of a retail store manager yelling and belittling an employee in front of customers and other employees?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Since you’re asking specifically about a retail business, my guess is that you or someone you know has been yelled at in that way. If so, your best approach, if you are filing a grievance or complaint to HR or higher management, is to describe the situation, including the specific words that were used. Trying to describe the episode with terms like “bullying” “demeaning”, “harassing, or whatever, may mean one thing to one person and something else to others. You also should give the complete context of the situation.Although it sounds very rude to yell at an employee in front of customers and other employees, the entire situation would have to be considered. For example, if the yelling went on for several minutes, that would be wrong as well as being embarrassing for everyone, no matter what the circumstances. However, let me give you an example when it might be understandable.

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