Have you ever worked with someone who yelled inappropriately, used threats, name called or harassed you and other coworkers? Chances are, you have experienced workplace bullying. These people can ruin work environments, create higher turnover rates and cause unease among workers.
Bullies may tell offensive jokes at another worker’s expense or use positions of authority to belittle and demean others. Although some may consider workplace bullying to be a minor issue, it actually has a correlation with poor career outcomes and major health problems. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, workplace bullying can lead to panic attacks, clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and heart problems.
Under some circumstances, there are legal options for fighting back against workplace bullies. Depending on the situation, workplace bullies might be breaking the law.
When is Workplace Bullying Illegal?
When bullies target workers protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, they might be breaking the law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects workers from discrimination based on their race, color, religion, sex and national origin. In addition, employers may violate the California Fair Employment and Housing Act when they harass protected classes. Finally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers age 40 and older.
If workplace bullies are specifically targeting people based on these aspects, they could be in violation of the law. At this point, workers being targeted by bullies should collect evidence and contact an employment law attorney to discuss legal options.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob can help workers who have been hurt by illegal workplace harassment.