Stop Workplace Bullying!
By Darwin F. Johnson on December 2nd, 2016 in Atlanta Workers Comp, injury prevention, Macon Workers Comp, Savannah Worker's Comp, Workers Compensation
As a work injury lawyer in Atlanta, It’s true that the vast majority of cases to come across my desk are related to physical injuries. But that doesn’t mean emotional offenses—like bullying—don’t happen at various workplaces across Georgia.
While no state has passed official legislation making “workplace bullying” illegal, many of the offenses that fall under its umbrella are crimes in and of themselves. No one should be made to feel small at work. Whether it’s through humiliation, sabotage, threats, abusive language or otherwise. You shouldn’t have to put up with any of that!
More About Bullying
Again, there are no laws against bullying in the workplace per se, but many instances of bullying are also harassment. And harassment is certainly an illegal and actionable offense.
An Example: It’s technically not against the law for your coworker to say, “Hey you know something? You’re the dumbest person at this office!” but it’s probably against company policy. You can’t sue him or her for saying that in general, as awful as it is. However, if such a comment is made in the context of race, gender, creed, etc., then it is likely harassment, and thus, illegal. For example, if he or she says: “You know women are all pretty dumb, but you’re the dumbest one I’ve met!” then you are experiencing harassment.
How to Handle Workplace Bullying
- If you are continually bullied or harassed at work, the first thing you should do is file a complaint with HR.
- Document everything related to the incidents as they play out. The more thorough you are, the better. I recommend keeping a log.
- Your company doesn’t want bullying to happen, so they should take care of the situation, but if they don’t, then it’s time to call a lawyer.
- If you have to resort to calling an attorney, he or she will help you file a formal complaint and determine a course of legal action.
The biggest issue with bullying in the workplace is that it doesn’t subside at 5 p.m. when it’s time to go home. The side effects and emotional tolls will stay with you and impact your personal life. If you’re being bullied at work, I know how hard it can be to stay strong, but as long as you take the right steps toward stopping it, your issue will cease in no time.
As Atlanta’s workman’s comp lawyer, I’m here to help you. If you’re being harassed, call me and we’ll go over your case.