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Abuse of authority is the unfair use of one's power to interfere with an employee's work and performance in the form of humiliation, intimidation or threat. It does not include professional duties, such as appraisals, counseling or usual managerial responsibilities.
Employees need to distinguish between the various forms of abuse of power in the workplace. According to the Gender and Diversity program's website, supervisors can abuse their power through their speech, including making criticisms about employees’ physical appearance, work skills and intellect. The tone of a supervisor's voice--for example, a supervisor raising her voice at an employee or using foul language--can constitute emotional abuse. Ignoring employees and threatening employees with paycheck reductions or loss of a promotion are abusive. So are physical forms of abuse, including touching, hitting and slapping.
Last login: Thursday, May 9, 2013