When a person in power at work abuses that power over a less powerful employee, the next sequence of events often follows like a playbook. Most workplace abuse — generally rooted in an insecure boss feeling threatened by a competent, ethical subordinate — involves undermining confidence and performance by isolating and putting the target down. Abuse of power generally takes the form of verbal abuse or sabotage but can involve any form of physical, mental, social, or financial mistreatment. When it escalates to group or organizational abuse, it becomes mobbing. Abuse at work has a discriminatory impact as it is experienced more often by women, non-white workers, workers over 40, workers with disabilities, and workers in the LGBTQ community — or anyone "othered" by those in power.
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