What does mobbing mean?

Mobbing is a phenomenon that may occur at the workplace. It is defined as the long-term, repeated mistreatment of an employee, including harassment, threats, name-calling and ridicule. 

Typical examples of mobbing are blackmailing an employee with dismissal, unjustified criticism, public humiliation, allocating too many responsibilities in comparison with other workers or not assigning any tasks to perform, isolating an employee from coworkers, excluding an employee from the team. 

Both employers and colleagues can be responsible for mobbing. 

Note: Mobbing is prohibited in Poland and the employer has a duty to prevent it!

What to do in mobbing situations?

Mobbing often takes place because the persecutors – mobbers - feel they will go unpunished because their victims remain silent.

People who are victims of mobbing at work should:

  • talk about it with as many people as possible;
  • talk about their situation with other employees, trade unions, family members, lawyers;
  • discuss possible solutions to the problem in the presence of another person;
  • record information about the location and time of all incidents;
  • not meet the mobber/s alone;
  • communicate with the mobber in writing (e.g. by email or by sending registered mail);
  • turn to trade unions or associations helping victims of mobbing (addresses and telephone numbers can be found in the section "Getting Help").


What can be done when faced with mobbing?

Victims of mobbing have a right to sue for damages, but must provide evidence of its occurance. It is therefore important to collect the evidence before – record the events, collect documents, inform others about what is happening.

Before any legal action is taken, it is best to consult with a lawyer. In Poland there are several organizations providing free legal services to victims of mobbing (their addresses and telephone numbers can be found in the section "Getting Help").