Employers should provide a safe working environment for all employees. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Bullying at work is a big problem in the state of Florida and across the United States. It happens across industries and at all levels.
But what is bullying at work – and is it legal?
Not all activities that may be considered bullying constitutes illegal behavior.
What is Bullying at Work?
Bullying at work can include a variety of behaviors. Generally, it does not include physical violence but encompasses emotional and psychological abuse. The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) defines workplace bullying as “a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, [and] the job you once loved.”
Some of the specifics of what can occur when a person is a victim of bullying at work include:
- Actions aimed at a person that are intended to humiliate, intimidate, or threaten
- Actions that are specifically targeted to interfere with the person’s ability to perform the duties of their job
- Consistent patterns of verbal abuse
The indications of bullying at work are quite diverse. To further understand if you may have been the target of workplace bullying, it is important to discuss common situations associated with it.
Do you feel constantly agitated at work or feel ill or nauseated on the way to your job? Have you had other health problems, including stress-related issues? Are you upset at an inability to control what happens to you at work?
If so, you may be dealing with a hostile work environment and/or workplace discrimination. An employment and labor law attorney is an expert in employee rights and bullying at work. They fight for the right for people to have a safe workplace.
When is Bullying at Work Illegal?
As mentioned above, not all behaviors that people may consider bullying at work are illegal. There are federal and state laws that are in place to hold employers accountable for varying types of abusive behaviors if employees were specifically targeted due to:
- National Origin
- Worker’s Compensation Claim Filing
If you are currently experiencing bullying at work, know that you do not deserve it. You may have a case of a hostile work environment or workplace discrimination against your employer, and it is advisable to consult with an employment and labor law attorney.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a division of the federal government’s Department of Labor, administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. These federal laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The state of Florida also protects workers from workplace discrimination. The Florida Civil Human Rights Act of 1992 (FCRA) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.
Bullying at work can have devastating, long-lasting consequences to your career, your health, and your personal and family life. If what you have gone through equates to illegal behavior, you have a legal right to hold your employer accountable. You may be qualified to receive monetary damages for enduring bullying at work and deserve a safe workplace in a career that you love.
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. Stands Up to Bullies and Fights Hard for Employee Rights
As dedicated employee rights attorneys, Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. knows how to stand up to bullies. We take the lead for employees that have had to deal with bullying at work and ensure your voice is heard in the fight for a safe workplace.
Have your civil rights been violated? Have you been bullied because of your race, sex, age, or another protected class? If you have had to deal with abusive behavior and a hostile work environment due to bullying, know you do not have to go through this alone. We act as your legal advocate and are aggressive in holding employers accountable for illegal behavior that impacts employees and their families.
Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today to set up a free consultation today. We have offices across Florida in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Sarasota, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and West Palm Beach.
You do not have to put up with bullying at work any longer. We are here to help.
* Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., is a contingency law firm. We are paid only if we obtain compensation for you. This means, “No win, no pay!” When you meet with an employment lawyer, there is no risk or obligation.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.