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Workplace Bullying Vs. Harassment

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2017 | Harassment

While some employers may treat bullying and harassment as the same conduct, it is actually not the same thing. They are both illegal and problematic behaviors with key differences. It is important you learn about them and how to handle this negative conduct with the help of an experienced California workplace harassment attorney.

Employers should implement bullying and harassment policies and employees should be able to report an incident when it occurs. Even when victims don’t want to report the incident, employers should investigate what happened and prevent future occurrences.

What Is Bullying?

Workplace bullying is unwelcomed behavior that creates an unsafe environment for a worker or group of workers. Bullying is related to health and safety issues. Employers are required to prevent this negative behavior and provide a safe working environment for their employees. Employers who fail to prevent these situations at work can be investigated and prosecuted. If you have been bullied at work you can file a complaint with the Fair Work Commission to investigate your case, if the behavior persists.

What is Harassment?

Workplace harassment is also unwanted behavior that hurts or embarrasses someone on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, and so on. Harassment laws are basically anti-discrimination laws designed to protect workers from any type of harassment in the workplace. These laws are different from bullying or health and safety laws. You can file a lawsuit against your employer with the help of a California workplace harassment lawyer.

What Qualifies As Workplace Harassment?

If you have been harassed at work, which means someone is making you feel uncomfortable or makes negative comments about you, your employer should take the necessary steps to correct the situation. More than two harassment incidents qualify as workplace harassment. Some common examples of harassment at work include:

  • Jokes or negative comments about you.
  • Offensive materials, email, or phone calls.
  • Unwanted sexual advances.
  • Discriminatory statements.

Any workplace harassment situation is wrong and you may qualify to receive compensation for enduring this maltreatment. There is also harassment against human rights, which includes discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, ethnic background, nationality, and religious beliefs. Other areas such as mental disability and gender are also protected by harassment laws.

Filing A Harassment Claim

If you or a loved one has become a victim of harassment at work, you must file a claim with the EEOC and make sure that the type of harassment qualifies as misconduct. There are many false claims of harassment out there. Depending on your circumstances and how long you have waited to file your claim, you may face some opposition from your employer. We can help you figure out if you have a legitimate case. Don’t delay and call us today to schedule a free case assessment with one of our talented employment law attorneys.