Battling bullies in the workplace

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: So, we talked a lot about bullying on this program. It's something I know a lot about because Greg is always kicking me in the hallway. That just happens to us kids.

There is growing push, though, to end this kind of antagonizing behavior at work. According to one report, more than a third of Americans have been bullied at work and eight states are now considering anti- bullying legislation, other states may follow suit.

Why are you laughing, Greg?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Because I ignore bullies especially when they constantly talk about their dog.

What a great problem to have in America. Having a workplace bully means you are at work, you have a job. That's a good thing. I think a lot of people would like to have this problem.

The real bullies is coercive government that tries to take money out of your pocket. What is a bully? It's somebody that wants something from you, even though it has enough.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: What's a definition of a workplace bully as opposed to schoolyard bully, of this people of?

PERINO: Basically, it's like mean girls that grow up. It's that kind of personality.

That's the thing I was wondering, is about, I could understand how this could really cause stress and insomnia -- all the things we don't want at work. But are we trying to legislate away something that is human nature?


ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Legislate away, legislate away.

PERINO: So, like, how can we put legislate workplace bullying rules? Like at this company, there are rules against bullying.

GUTFELD: Which you violate.

BOLLING: Right. In other words, so, somebody blows a whistle.

Someone gets caught bullying, the government comes down and says we're going to come find a company --


PERINO: I guess. That's what the government is doing.

BOLLING: That wasn't taken care.

There -- I'm guessing that's where we're headed. You and me, Dana --

PERINO: You can imagine that it would open up for a lot of possible lawsuits, probably most of them frivolous.

But what if you are the bully, though, and you don't realize it, Bob?


BECKEL: Why did you direct that question to me?

PERINO: No, not because, not cool.

BECKEL: I used to be anti-bullying guy even back in high school. But I think that there's, look, there are people --

PERINO: I should be clear. I'm not saying that you're a bully. I'm just wondering that people not even realize that they are considered bullies at work.

BECKEL: Well, I mean, I assume when you have a boss (INAUDIBLE) when they have sexual harassment against them and there's men trying to move up the ladder and they're bullying them into not getting a good job. I mean, that I would seem to me would be the definition of bullying.


PERINO: What do you think?

TANTAROS: I think this is very serious issue. I think this is causing a lot of people stress. I think particularly what Bob referenced to male-female scenario or even female-male scenario.

But the reason why we need these laws is because you could have a company manual but there is no recourse for action in a company manual.

Companies can say, well, we pledge to have these policies, but there's no force and effect with them. You actually need the legislation.

So, you can be an employee and break the harassment law but there is no recourse unless you break the state law.

BOLLING: You are saying -- you are lumping sexual harassment in with bullying.

TANTAROS: I'm not. I think there's two completely different areas.

One, there is a lot of harassment laws already on the books.


TANTAROS: This is something very different from that.

BOLLING: Why though?

PERINO: How do you define it?

BOLLING: Aren't we just going to make --

TANTAROS: Because a lot of bullying doesn't have to be sexual.

BOLLING: But what if don't like someone, though. I have to be nice to them or they're going to say they're bullied.

TANTAROS: You don't have to be nice to them but they are talking about threatening emails. I mean, I've heard of cases where females bully other females. It's completely non-sexual, doesn't follow under the jurisdiction of sexual harassment. And I honestly think these frivolous lawsuits thing, I think it's a lot of propaganda coming from the Chamber of Commerce.

GUTFELD: All I know is one of the greatest business icons on the planet who recently passed away, Steve Jobs, was not a nice person and I think I'd rather work with not a nice person that creates a great business and makes a great life for me. I think I can live with that.

BECKEL: You bully me all the time.

BOLLING: Am I going to get sued --


BOLLING: See, that's my point. You have to be able to disagree with somebody. You can't worry about --

GUTFELD: You know what the problem is? Bully is a catch phrase now.

People are taking the word bully and attaching to everything.

BOLLING: Right, exactly.

GUTFELD: There's going to be plane bully. There's going to be school bully. Every -- bully is now the phrase that you attach to everything like addiction, you know, Internet addiction became that.

TANTAROS: The really bad cases, there will be plenty of evidence.

They will be prosecuted. The frivolous ones will not. They are not going to get settled because they are frivolous.

PERINO: Well, I would say, last word, is like at school, if you see it at work, you should say something and try to help before it gets to this point where we need laws and lawsuits.

GUTFELD: By the way, a lot of lawsuits do go forward are still frivolous. People still get millions.

PERINO: We've got to go. We'll talk about "The Bible."

TANTAROS: No, they actually don't. They spend years in court. No lawyer is going to work for free to work his butt off to try to get a settlement.

GUTFELD: You see some of these settlements?

TANTAROS: Insurance companies are paying, Greg. That's the big myth today. They sit on their money. They spend more money to fight this than to settle it because they don't want the precedent. It's the biggest hoax what's happening in our courts today.

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