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Questions about Workplace Bullying Laws

Bullying at the workplace can be an uncomfortable experience that not only deeply impacts an employee’s performance at work but also inter-personal relations with colleagues. Every employee has the right to a happy work environment and can take steps to fight bullies at the workplace. If you have questions related to bullying at the workplace, write in to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer, who can provide you with solutions quickly. Listed below are the top questions on bullying at the workplace answered by the Experts.

What can be considered as “bullying” in the workplace?

Many stateshave tried to pass anti-bullying laws but have not been able to do so despite having several supporters behind them. However, if such legislation were to come into place, a few things it would seek to curtail would be: intentionally causing humiliation to an employee; giving an employee the “silent” treatment; isolating an employee physically or socially; offering an employee work of an undesirable nature to punish them; falsely accusing an employee of poor work performance or mistakes that were never committed; creating false rumors about an employee; fabricating lies about an employee during performance evaluation, and getting an employee removed from a certain project or position by creating a baseless campaign about them.

I work in a small office and am being constantly bullied at work. I went to my boss thrice last week to resolve the problem but nothing has happened. Both my health and performance at work have been affected. What are my legal rights in such a situation?

Start addressing your concerns by putting them in writing to your manager. Save a copy of this letter for yourself. If nothing happens, then get in touch with an employment lawyer. The “hostile work environment” that has been created by your organization has had an impact on your health that could be grounds for which you can take legal action against your employer. However, an experienced lawyer can look at your case properly and advise you on what steps to take. You can always ask an Employment Lawyer on JustAnswer for a second opinion or an Expert evaluation of your case.

My wife is the victim of bullying at work. She has had to face criticism of an unwarranted or invalid nature, has been blamed without actual facts, has been given differential treatment as compared to the rest of the workgroup, has been micro-managed and even been physically run into in the office hallways. Is there an Anti-bullying law in place?

While there is no anti-bullying labor law in existence, the case sounds like your wife is working in an organization with a hostile work environment and she may have an action based on that. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a workplace can become hostile and action can be taken against it only if there is clear discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age, sex, national origin, and disability. Now, in order for your wife to take legal action against her employer, she would have to prove that the behavior of the employer falls into an actionable discrimination category as described above. Bullying and rude behavior are not sufficient grounds to do this. If the treatment meted out to her falls into any of the above categories, then it is possible that she may have a case.

I want to make a complaint of bullying but I’m finding it impossible to get a witness to come forward. What should I do?

There is every chance that your co-workers do not want to stand witness because they do want to get caught in the middle of a personal problem and probably just want to play it safe. What you could do is speak to HR and get them to guarantee that any statements made will be treated as “anonymous” and “private”. Then you could ask your co-workers to help by making statements in private with HR. Also, if you feel you are being bullied, you could try and send the bully an e-mail stating that you are concerned by the treatment being given to you. If the bully has a bad temper, he or she will retaliate and reply to your e-mail in a way that could be used against them.

Working with bullies is tough. But there’s no reason why you should put up with it either. Understanding your rights and knowing what legal steps to take can help you lead a happier and worry-free life at work. All you have to do is write in to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer with your questions. You’ll find that it’s one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get answers.
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