Category: Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying: When Does a Worker Have a Case in New Jersey? – Guest Post


Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is common in New Jersey. Different forms of bullying can occur in the workplace and it can be considered harassment. If you have been a victim of workplace bullying, you want to know when you can file a lawsuit and the steps involved in the process:

What is Workplace Harassment?

Harassment that occurs at work is employment discrimination. It is unwelcome conduct based on religion, age, sex, race, disability, national origin, or color. Employers and employees in New Jersey should abide by the discrimination law.

Harassment becomes illegal if the worker is forced to endure another person’s offensive conduct as an employment condition. Also, it’s unlawful if the conduct is egregious enough to create a hostile work environment. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit harassment against people in retaliation for engaging in discrimination investigations, filing a discrimination complaint, or testifying. Also, employers cannot retaliate against a worker who opposes employment practices.

Forms of Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Bullying that happens in the workplace can constitute harassment. It includes the following:

  • Bullying through verbal harassment. This includes offensive jokes, name-calling, epithets, slurs, threats, intimidation, mockery, ridicule, or insults.
  • This includes the same kinds of insults; however, they are done online either through the internal networks of a company or publicly.

Harassment can take place in different situations. The harasser can be a supervisor, a company agent, a non-employee, or a colleague. Victims do not need to be the individuals harassed. They can be anyone impacted by the offensive conduct. Finally, a victim does not need to suffer economic loss to have a harassment case.

Steps Victims Must Take

Employees who are subjected to bullying at work must tell the harasser that their conduct is unwelcome and should stop. Then, they can report the harassment to HR or management.

Employers must investigate bullying complaints thoroughly. They will face liability for harassment by a manager or supervisor that leads to adverse employment action like loss of wages, termination, and demotion. In addition, employers should take responsibility for harassment by non-employees or non-supervisory employees they have control over if they were aware of the incident or should have known about it and did not take appropriate and timely action to correct the conduct.

Seeking Legal Help

Employment lawyers can protect victims of workplace bullying. They will bring their knowledge and insight to build a strong case for victims as well as help them seek maximum settlements.

5 Ways to Handle Workplace Bullying – Guest Post


Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is an unfortunate issue that many employees face. On the whole, it can negatively or severely affect the quality of your work, your well-being, job satisfaction, and even overall productivity. There need to be severe consequences when handling workplace bullying and we’d even highlight the importance of seeking assistance from an employment attorney.

In this article, we’ve discussed the valuable services provided by an employment attorney including expertise in areas such as wage and hour disputes, workplace accidents, wages, and unpaid overtime.

The Impact of Bullying on Employee Well-being and Productivity

The repercussions of workplace bullying extend far beyond the immediate effects of being a target. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, targets of bullying have a 67% chance of losing their job when targeted.

Apart from the severe mental health impacts like heightened stress, anxiety, and depression, bullying can also lead to:

  • Decreased motivation and morale
  • Lack of focus and concentration due to emotional distress
  • Increased absenteeism and turnover
  • Reduced collaboration and team cohesion
  • Lower creativity and problem-solving

This inevitably takes a toll on job performance and overall productivity. Plus, the organization suffers from losing talented employees, recruiting and training costs, and reputational damage.

1.   Recognize the Signs of Workplace Bullying

The first step in bullying is recognizing its signs. This can manifest through verbal abuse, intimidation, humiliation, exclusion, or sabotage. By identifying these behaviors, employees can take action to address the issue promptly. Some common signs of workplace bullying include

  • Excessive monitoring or micromanaging.
  • Unwarranted criticism about work performance.
  • Verbal abuse, insults, and demeaning language.
  • Taking credit for others’ accomplishments.
  • Purposefully excluding, isolating, or ignoring someone.
  • Spreading false rumors or gossip.
  • Making repeated unreasonable demands.
  • Sabotaging work by withholding information.

2.   Document Incidents

Keeping a record of incidents is crucial in building a case against workplace bullying. Document the date, time, location, and description of each occurrence, and include any witnesses. This documentation will provide evidence to support you and help attorneys evaluate the situation.

  • Establish Zero-Tolerance and Implement Training Programs

Set clear guidelines and expectations of acceptable behavior. Lead by example from the top down and conduct anti-bullying and ethics seminars to drive this point home.

Besides this, teaching strategies like bystander intervention to employees and even encouraging it can help to deal with this problem.

  • Encourage Open Communication and Strengthen Team Dynamics

Have multiple reporting channels where employees can voice concerns without fear of retaliation.

Maintain an open-door policy and foster environments of mutual trust and respect through team-building activities. Alongside this, celebrating diversity can help promote a culture of acceptance and religious tolerance.

  • Address Complaints Promptly and Impartially

Document every claim, conduct thorough investigations, and take corrective action. No bullying incident should be dismissed.

3.   Take Action Against Bullying

For Employees Witnessing Bullying

  • Recognize that you have an ethical duty to intervene, whether through distraction, direct appeal, delegation, or reporting.
  • Provide emotional support to targets and encourage them to report the bullying through proper channels.
  • Set an example of respectful conduct within teams and avoid engaging in harmful gossip.

For Employees Facing Bullying

  • Maintain detailed records of incidents, including dates, times, witnesses, and nature of behaviors. Evidence strengthens your case.
  • Seek support from trusted colleagues, mentors, or employee resource groups. You don’t have to tackle this alone.
  • Communicate assertively about how the behaviors make you feel. Stand up for yourself while staying professional, and not aggressive.

4.   Get External Support and Legal Protections

If workplace bullying becomes unmanageable despite internal interventions, consider these things to handle

  • Involving HR and Seeking Legal Protections

Human resource departments are equipped to handle investigations, mediation, disciplinary action, and terminations. HR ensures that the organization complies with all relevant employment laws and regulations related to workplace bullying.

They stay up-to-date with changes in labor laws and make necessary policy adjustments to remain in compliance. In case you did not receive enough support from HR consult employee/labor lawyers regarding rights and statutes like disability, discrimination, harassment, and whistleblower laws that may apply.

In the United States labor laws can vary from state to state. While there are federal labor laws that apply uniformly across the country, individual states have the authority to pass and enforce their own labor laws that supplement or modify federal regulations.

If you are living in California, Los Angeles and you did not receive enough support from your HR department, you can seek legal protection from an employment attorney in Los Angeles

  • Accessing Counseling and Creating Support Groups

Mental health professionals provide support strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem triggered by bullying. Connect with others facing similar workplace challenges to exchange insights and find strength in solidarity.

While daunting, know that in most cases workplace bullying behaviors can be stopped when addressed proactively. The combined efforts of employers, employees, bystanders, and advocacy groups help provide a crucial system of support.

5.   Foster a Culture of Respect and Inclusivity

Ultimately, the most effective way to handle workplace bullying is to stop it before it ever starts. This requires creating organizational cultures founded on:

  • Leadership

Executives and managers must model exemplary behavior. When the top demonstrates ethics and inclusivity, it permeates across all levels.

  • Communication

Open channels give employees safe spaces to voice concerns, share ideas, and bond through mutual understanding.

  • Collaboration

Team-building activities and celebrating diversity enable empathy. Cohesive groups don’t tolerate bullying.

  • Recognition

Rewarding respectful, helpful conduct reinforces positive norms. Progress, not just results, should be acknowledged.

With dedication and vigilance, the collective steps highlighted in this article can help prevent bullying behaviors from taking root while creating safer, more inclusive, and more productive workplaces for all.

Key Takeaways

  • Workplace bullying is a pervasive issue affecting 30% of employees. Left unchecked, targets risk losing jobs.
  • Proactive measures by employers and vigilance among employees are key to prevention. This includes policies, training, open communication, and early intervention.
  • When needed, external resources like HR, legal avenues, counseling, and support groups can provide recourse against unacceptable bullying behaviors.
  • Building cultures of inclusivity, respect, and recognition is the best long-term deterrent, requiring commitment from leadership down.
  • The combined efforts of all stakeholders are required to tackle the crucial priority of maintaining safe, ethical, and harassment-free workplaces. We all gain when environments enable cooperation, growth, and well-being.

Bottom Line

Workplace bullying is a serious concern that affects individuals and organizations alike. Handling such situations requires a combination of awareness, documentation, adherence to company policies, and seeking professional advice. Remember that you have rights, and with the right legal assistance, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your career.

An employment attorney in Los Angeles can play a pivotal role in helping victims of workplace bullying, while also offering guidance on related legal matters such as wrongful termination, wage and hour disputes, workplace accidents, and unpaid wages or overtime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a tough management style and workplace bullying?

While tough managers demand excellence, they don’t undermine employees through harmful personal attacks or humiliation. Bullying is less about high standards and more about power plays, control, and destructively targeting individuals.

What if my supervisor is the one bullying me?

Reporting to HR, executive leadership, ethics hotlines, or labor lawyers provides alternative channels to get help when your direct manager is the bully. Proper escalation is key.

Can bullying lead to legal consequences?

In some cases, yes. Sufficiently severe bullying directly related to protected class status may violate harassment, discrimination, and whistleblower laws. Threats of violence may warrant restraining orders. Consult lawyers to determine rights.