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Can Employers Be Held Responsible for Bullying?

Many schools across the country as well as several states have enacted legislation that makes bullying in the schools a crime. However, bullying in the workplace is just as common. While several states have attempted to enact anti-workplace bullying legislation, none have been successful. So what does this mean for employees, and who can be held accountable if you end up the victim of workplace bullying?

How Bullying is Defined

In the workplace, bullying is defined as name calling, threats, demeaning behavior, shunning and otherwise hostile behavior. Currently, this type of behavior is only illegal when the behavior centers around a protected status, such as bullying related to a disability, sex, religion, national origin, creed, color or another protected status.

What You Can Do

If you're being bullied at work, you need to make sure your supervisor or HR department knows. Engage with your employers' employee assistance program or dispute resolution policies. Keep detailed records of the behavior that's threatening you and your interactions with the individual. Make notes about the corporate culture and if it promotes cooperation or hostile behavior.

If your employer doesn't respond to your complaints promptly, keep following up and keep records of your attempts and contact an employment attorney.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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