When Workplace Bullying Crosses the Line to Illegal Harassment
What if each day as you enter work, one of your coworkers greets you; and what if each day he greets you with “Good Morning Stupid” or “Good Morning Ding Dong” or “Good Morning <insert derogatory name here>” and as you go about your day, what if you see the same coworker periodically, and he makes it a point to approach you with additional name calling and taunting?
Is your coworker’s behavior illegal? What if it’s several coworkers? Is that illegal?
Many states tried to pass laws against bullying in the workplace but their endeavors were futile. While workplace bullying may be unethical, immoral, mean-spirited and insensitive, to say the least, the act itself is not illegal. And while the employer always has the ability to take matters into their own hands and morally rectify the situation, if the employer does nothing at all, the case is not likely to be remedied since the workplace bully is completely within the realms of his or her constitutional rights?
Not necessarily. While anti-bullying laws may not be in effect in any state, there are certain acts “your” workplace bully may do that may be deemed as illegal. Ask yourself this question:
Are you within the protected class of citizens that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has indicated under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The EEOC recognizes harassment in the workplace as unwelcome conduct based on color, religion, race, sex, pregnancy, national origin, disability, or genetic information. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be offensive, intimidating, or hostile to reasonable people.
If you are within the group of people that Title VII has listed as protected and the workplace bullying interferes with work performance and/or includes any of the following: offensive jokes, name calling, slurs, epithets, threats, intimidation, physical assaults, insults, ridicule, mockery, or put-downs, offensive pictures or objects (this is not an exhaustive list, as there can be other misconduct that has not been mentioned) then, you need to speak with one of our attorneys here at the Derek T. Smith Law Firm.
Workplace bullying may cross the line to illegal workplace harassment very quickly when the conduct of the bully/harasser includes actions that are conducive to violating Title VII.
Here at the Derek T. Smith Law Firm, we would like to let you know that as employment law and sexual harassment attorneys, we care about your situation and your well-being. This means we will fight on your behalf to get you the justice you deserve.
Remember when you are at your job, if the conduct feels uncomfortable, affects your job performance and/or is causing you severe mental distress, you will want to immediately seek the professional advice of an NYC, New Jersey and PA employment law and sexual harassment attorney.
For a FREE Consultation in NY, NJ & Philadelphia call us to schedule with an experienced attorney at the Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC in NY, NJ, PA and D.C. You can reach us online or by calling 877-4NYLAWS. Our employment law attorneys handle cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, and other employment-related lawsuits. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
We are here to serve you. Call us today.