As anti-bullying efforts are becoming more widespread in schools, many adults are realizing that they’ve been victimized by workplace bullying. Teasing, name-calling, and threats often go unreported because workers are afraid of reprisal from managers. Moreover, a complainant may discover the bullying they’ve experienced isn’t illegal. Read on to learn how Personal Injury Attorneys in Lancaster can help one who has faced bullying in the workplace.
An Explanation of Workplace Bullying
By definition, workplace bullying is conduct such as humiliation, threats, sabotage and intimidation. As in schools, bullying often begins when one person taunts another and enlists others to help. The bully can be a customer, fellow employee, vendor, or manager.
When Bullying is Illegal
As of now, neither state or federal law expressly prohibits bullying in the workplace. Multiple jurisdictions have considered enactment of legislation, but no laws have been passed. However, that does not mean bullying is always legal. It can be against the law when it occurs in violation of state or federal laws against workplace harassment and discrimination. If a bully targets a person based on their race, sex, disability, national origin, or age, it could be considered harassment in violation of the law.
If There’s Bullying in the Workplace
If a person is bullied on the job, they should consider filing a complaint with the human relations department. Even if the perpetrator’s conduct isn’t against the law, it’s in the company’s best interests to stop it. Bullying can negatively affect workers’ productivity and morale while providing no benefits to the company.
A victimized employee should document the treatment they’ve experienced, including times, dates, the things said and the names of witnesses. Workers should keep a record of the effects of the workplace bullying including stress, absences, and medical issues. Such documentation can help the company investigate and stop the issues.
Hiring an Attorney
If a company does not address a worker’s concerns, they should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. When one faces illegal harassment, they only have as little as 180 days to file a legal complaint. The worker must file a complaint through the company before they can sue, and missing a deadline can mean that they person loses any legal recourse. Contact us to find out how Personal Injury Attorneys in Lancaster can help workers negotiate with companies and take steps to protect workers’ rights.