What are the dangers of officially reporting bullying under your firm’s policy, especially as we head into a recession?

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Retaliation

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Just always remember: HR is there to protect
the company, not you.

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Particularly if the person you’re reporting is senior to you, a rainmaker, or is well connected within or outside of the firm. If you’re reporting a “nobody” subordinate (like you’re a senior reporting a freshly hired not well connected junior) you’re probably fine unless what you’re reporting also shows wrongdoing on the firm’s part. Sad it’s this way, but that’s the reality. HR is not your friend

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So, there is actual bullying from known bullies. Doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to. So, someone throwing a stapler at you because you had a typo in the ancillary document. That’s bullying. It’s also assault with an office supply.

I would report it.

Then, there’s, “I made a $1 billion mistake and someone raised their voice at me,” which also gets reported as bullying. There? You quickly become someone no one wants to work with. And it’s not retaliation. It’s because it’s not worth working with you; the risk or headache of being the next reported person just ain’t worth it - even though they know they would be cleared.

And these people who repeatedly report (on different people) totally normal behavior? Just like bullies, they exist too. Actually, in my mind it is a form of bullying. Technically, you could get reported in return. A false or exaggerated report is a no, no. Does it happen? I have never heard of it at a firm because most people subject to a false report just want it to go away. But i have definitely seen it happen working with companies, so I am sure it happens at firms too.

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From a partner or other associates?

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