When we think about bullying, we immediately think about kids being bullied at school. However, any employment lawyer could tell you that workplace bullying is also a very serious issue. Here are 8 things you should do if you think you are being bullied at work.
1. Make sure your situation qualifies as illegal harassment
Unfortunately, not all workplace bullying and harassment is considered illegal. Teasing and isolated incidents that are not serious are not illegal. However, if your coworkers or your manager are repeatedly making unwelcome comments about your sexual orientation, your race, your religion or your disability, you need to act.
2. Don’t quit your job
It might be tempting to quit your job if your workplace has become a nightmare because of bullying, but you should not do it without first speaking with an employment lawyer. If you quit right away, it will be difficult for you to make a discrimination claim that will be taken seriously.
3. Tell the people bullying you to stop
If your coworkers are always making offensive jokes about you, you should try to let them know that you want them to stop. In some cases, the simple fact of telling bullies how you feel about their actions is enough to make them stop. However, it doesn’t always work out.
4. Write down what happened
If you are not able to confront your bullies, or if you tried in vain to tell them to stop, you should write down everything they are doing or saying against you. Take notes about what happened, when it happened, and who was involved.
5. Notify your employer
You should notify your employer as soon as possible of the unwelcome and offensive conduct you are dealing with. If your employer is the one harassing you, file a complaint to HR or to another person in charge and let them know you can’t tolerate this situation.
6. Make sure your employer is doing something
As soon as your employer is made aware of the bullying, they should take action to make it stop. If you feel like they are not doing anything to resolve the situation, ask them to give you written proof of their actions.
7. Contact an employment lawyer
If your employer fails to resolve the situation, you need to contact an employment lawyer. Your employment lawyer will tell you about your different options, and will be there to represent you and to stand behind your claim. Depending on your situation, your employment lawyer might help you get a monetary compensation.
8. Act as soon as possible
If you are the victim of illegal bullying at work, be sure to act as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the situation with your bullies might get worse, and it might become more difficult for you to file a complaint and to sue your employer for a compensation because of employment law limitations.