Workplace bullying is a problem in many industries across the United States. Even though there are no current workplace bullying laws on the books, most employees are protected by the guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is the federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.
If the workplace bullying is rooted in your sex, race, age, or similar personal characteristics covered by the laws that the EEOC enforces, you should contact a Florida workplace bullying attorney. Take action today by contacting Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
What is Workplace Bullying?
Workplace bullying can be physical or psychological and is a pattern of consistent and hostile behavior that is typically threatening, intimidating, or humiliating. It is also often verbally abusive. The problem is gender-neutral but is often seen where there is a difference between the power of one employee over another, or feelings of inadequacy by the bully.
Employees may also be the victim of work-related bullying via abusive conduct that is a form of sabotage for the purpose of work interference — preventing you from getting your work done appropriately or on time. Overall, it is about control and coercion through harassment and hostility — and it should never be tolerated. If you or someone you love has been the target of behaviors that are considered unlawful under the guidelines of the EEOC, you may have a case.
Signs of Workplace Bullying & Harassment
The signs of workplace bullying are seen both away from your job and at your job. Some of the signs that you may feel or experience away from your job include:
- You are obsessing about work at home and suffering from health consequences such as high blood pressure, sleeplessness, or even nausea before you start your workweek
- You are mostly using any paid time off for “mental health breaks”
- You feel embarrassed or ashamed that you are being controlled by a superior or other person at work
- You start to believe that you did something wrong that makes you believe that you personally provoked the workplace bullying
Some of the signs of workplace bullying that you may experience on the job include:
- You frequently feel agitated and anxious — waiting for something bad to happen
- Your coworkers have been told to stop talking to you or working with you
- You are constantly harassed and rarely left alone to do your job
- Your boss calls surprise meetings targeted to humiliate you
Sometimes work-related bullying can be very overt, or sometimes it can be subtle. When it is happening to you because of your sex, race, religion, disability, or other personal quality that is covered under civil rights laws and employment law, it is important to consult a workplace bullying attorney to take action against your harasser (or harassers).
Examples of harassment and work-related bullying can include:
If you’re wondering what is considered workplace abuse, here are some examples:
- Physical abuse or threatening to abuse
- Verbal abuse including yelling, using profanity, racial slurs or other types of offensive language
- Telling offensive jokes via spoken word or email that target you because of your sex, race, or other personal characteristics
- Constantly criticizing your work or you as a person in a way that is humiliating or threatening
- Constantly changing work deadlines or creating impossible deadlines to set you up to fail
- Belittling you or your opinions in front of your coworkers
Bullying in the workplace is not a one-time incident. It is typically a pattern of behaviors, most often by a person who has power over you, such as a supervisor or manager (but it could be a coworker), that is tantamount to harassment. It can seriously affect your career and your personal life. A workplace bullying attorney leads as an advocate on your behalf to hold the bully responsible for their reprehensible behavior.
How to Report Workplace Bullying
No one deserves to be bullied at work. But it is necessary to know that most workplace bullying will not stop unless action is taken. At Wenzel Fenton Cabassa P.A., our workplace bullying attorneys understand the complexity of tackling this type of harassment and can guide you in the best course of legal action for your particular situation.
It is important to be knowledgeable about your company policies. Review your employer handbook or policy statements that address harassment. Doing so will give you the internal steps in dealing with Human Resources.
Do you belong to a union and have a collective bargaining agreement? If so, you should also go to an appropriate union representative to report workplace bullying.
When you are getting ready to report, it is also important to have any documentation which supports your concerns.
Did the person who is bullying you ever send you threatening emails, memos, texts, or voicemails? Have you personally documented when you have been harassed and what happened?
These types of documentation can be very valuable when it comes to holding the bully responsible. But even if you do not have a lot of documentation, it is still critical to report workplace bullying. First, to make it stop. Then, explore potential legal options that can address the situation —if the bullying is based on your age, sex, religion, disability, or other protected status- and get your career and quality of life back on track.
When to Hire a Bullying and Harassment Attorney
Are you a female employee that has been constantly bullied by a male boss?
Have you been bullied at work and feel like you are trying to get pushed out of the company because of your race? Or religion?
If you are considering suing for bullying at work, these are a few examples of the many situations where you would need a workplace bullying attorney.
Regardless of who you are or who they are — work-related bullying is wrong. If any of the guidelines that the EEOC enforces have been violated by the bully, you should consult an attorney to determine what action should be taken. Your legal rights matter. You matter. No matter what the abusive bully says or does.
Contact a Florida Workplace Bullying Lawyers Today
If you feel that you are the victim of bullying in the workplace or any form of discrimination, contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today to schedule your free, confidential consultation. We have extensive experience and expertise in helping thousands of employees across Florida. You deserve legal help, and we work hard to stop all forms of bullying and discrimination in the workplace — leading the fight for your rights every step of the way.
Locations available in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, and West Palm Beach for your convenience.