What is workplace bullying? It looks a lot like the type of bullying behaviors children sometimes experience at school or on the playground. Examples of bullying include the following.
- Threatening behavior
- Verbal abuse
And many others
Fortunately, most people outgrow the urge to bully other people when they become adults. Other times, these people may continue these behaviors in the workplace. Is bullying a form of workplace discrimination? Technically, the answer is no. There exist no state or federal laws making it illegal to be a bully. This means victims cannot seek a remedy based solely on workplace bullying.
Our attorneys want you to know that there may be other ways to put an end to your problem. When bullies target those protected under the law from workplace discrimination, it might be possible to hold your employer responsible. Of course, this depends on whether the bullying overlaps with discrimination.
For example, say that your immediate supervisor makes fun of you because you are disabled. Mocking does not always equal discrimination, so you have little legal recourse to solve this problem. However, if your supervisor also lies about your performance on employee evaluations or blocks your efforts to seek a promotion, you may qualify for a legal remedy.
We know how difficult it is to separate legal, albeit unpleasant, workplace behaviors from those that are not legal. To help you identify both bullying and discrimination, consider speaking with an attorney about your situation to find an effective solution that protects your rights. We invite you to continue reading more about these and other employment law issues in our blog and elsewhere on our website.