When you’re a kid, bullying can be devastating to your self-esteem and cause serious psychological issues. Bullying doesn’t stop with childhood for many. Adult workplace bullying affects employees in all areas of the workforce, and often can be worse than childhood bullying because adults have livelihoods and careers on-the-line, so it’s common for victims to just take the abuse and not say anything, rather than confront the perpetrators. There are not laws directly protecting employees from bullying, but there are laws protecting them from discrimination. Below are some ways to determine if bullying has crossed the threshold into illegal workplace discrimination.
When Bullying Can Become Discrimination
- Work Assignment Discrimination: If you have evidence that you are repeatedly given low-quality work assignments, demotions or lack of promotional opportunities because of your race and sex.
- Physical/verbal abuse: If your co-workers use ethnic slurs to make fun of you, make comments about your sex, physically harm you in any way, or make lewd sexual comments and advances against you.
- Defamation: If co-workers are spreading false rumors about you that damage your public image in a serious way, this could be means for a personal lawsuit.
There are a multitude of employment discrimination laws and they vary state by state. Although a few crude jokes may constitute as bullying, which is not illegal, they can lead to more serious and psychologically damaging illegal workplace discrimination issues.
Contact Los Angeles employment lawyers at the law offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob to see if there has been a violation of workplace laws at your workplace.