Although StopBullying.gov defines bullying as inappropriate and unwanted aggression between school children, bullying isn’t something limited to the elementary school playground. Bullying can and does happen in the workplace. Depending on the nature of that bullying, you might have legal options for dealing with issues that aren’t handled by your employer.
Sadly, bullying in the workplace doesn’t always qualify under the law as harassment or discrimination. If the bullying is of a sexual nature, then it is likely a form of sexual harassment. If you are being bullied by others because of your race, age or other protected factors — and your employer doesn’t provide any assistance or is part of the bullying — then discrimination could be at play.
Standing up against bullying is as important for adults as it is for children, but you have to be able to recognize bullying before you can take steps to put a stop to it. In the workplace, bullying often takes on the same forms as it does on the playground. One form of bullying is isolation. The victim is purposefully left out of interactions, projects or social plans. This can actually be detrimental to your career, especially if your supervisor regularly alienates you from key projects.
Other signs of bullying might include name calling, threats, intimidating body language, rude language or gestures and even physical contact. If you believe you are being bullied in the workplace, don’t be afraid to take action. If you believe bullying is crossing a legal line into discrimination or harassment, then don’t be afraid to work with an employment law professional to understand your options.
Source: Stop Bullying, “Bullying Definition,” accessed July 29, 2016