Workplace Bullying Solicitors
We at Tracey Solicitors have a dedicated team of Solicitors. We have acted extensively in cases involving bullying at work. If you are the victim of such abuse at work you can speak to an experienced Workplace Solicitors in total confidence in order to advise you.
WHAT IS BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE?
Bullying is defined as repeated, inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining an individual’s right to dignity at work. It is conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment and in some cases can lead to physical and/or psychological injury.
It is important to recognise the signs of bullying in the workplace and also understand that in some cases that a once-off incident as described above may not be considered bullying.
It can be a very grey area between what some people see as ‘slagging’ or ‘banter’. It can differ to what may be acceptable in the given line of a workplace. However, repeated and unwelcome behaviour can be offensive and can be deemed to be bullying and harassment.
If you are suffering such abuse you must notify your employer of your complaints. This is so the employer has an opportunity to try and rectify the matter. If you are suffering psychologically from the abuse you should contact your doctor for medical assistance
Bullying in the workplace is a common query that we receive at Tracey Solicitors. The most common questions are related to what is an employee to do if they are been harassed or bullied.
TYPES OF BULLYING AT WORK
The primary types of bullying in the workplace are:
- targeting someone for special negative treatment
- manipulation of an individual‘s reputation,
- social exclusion or isolation at work
- intimidation in the workplace
- aggressive or obscene language at work
- repeated requests with impossible work deadline or tasks.
If you are being bullied in your workplace, your first port of call should be to refer to your grievance procedure in your contract of employment. Your employer is obliged to furnish to you a contract of employment under the Terms of Employment Act 1994 at the commencement of employment.
The purpose of the grievance procedure is for the employee to address the difficulties they are having with another employee to the employer. The employer is obliged to carry out an investigation to try and resolve the issue. If the grievance is with the employer, there is usually provision for the complaint to be made to another member of staff.
MAKING A COMPLAINT
Under most grievance procedures there are two ways to make a complaint, that is “informal” and “formal”. Our advice on how to deal with bullying in the workplace would always advise that if you are to make a complaint that you would do so “formally”.
The formal complaint procedure normally requires the employee to write out the complaint. In this case, that you are being bullied at work by a co-worker and send it to the employer. The employer is then under a duty to carry out a full investigation in order to resolve the matter so that the bullying ceases.
If you are being bullied in the workplace, if you do not take positive action, the bullying may continue.
What many people do not consider is that most employees who experience bullying in the workplace may suffer from extreme stress. This is due to the bullying and may require assistance from their Doctor.
Employers have a duty of care to all employees, to ensure they are both mentally and physically safe at work. They’re responsible for a persons health not to be adversely affected by work. This duty of care means employers must behave and react reasonably in relation to such matters.
Sometimes the bullying becomes unbearable and you are forced to leave your job. If this is the case, you may be entitled to claim that you were “constructively dismissed”. This means that you left your job voluntarily. However, in reality, you were forced to do so because of the way that you were being treated.
An employee should seek advice from a Solicitor to consider whether a constructive dismissal scenario may exist before leaving their job.
It is important to note that if an employee leaves a job and would like to pursue a claim for a constructive dismissal against the employer, the appropriate place to lodge the claim against the employer is the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the employee must lodge their claim within six months of the date that they leave their job.
PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES *
If an employee has suffered a psychological injury or work-related stress from being bullied in the workplace, the employee can consider a claim against the employer for stress.
Personal injury * cases against employers with psychological injuries suffered in the workplace are pursued through the Courts.
These cases can be hard to win. This is because the employee has to show that the employer failed to deal with the “formal complaint”. In failing to do so, the employer breached the duty of care to the employee. This is due to the failure to keep the employee mentally and physically safe at work.
In order for an employee to succeed in their action against the employer and prove they were bullied at work, the employee must produce evidence from other employees to verify the bullying and harassment that occurred and also strong medical evidence from their GP or Psychologist.
If an employee is experiencing bullying in the workplace it is important that the employee keeps a record or diary of the bullying and the employer’s actions to resolve the issue.
For a confidential chat please feel free to call Tracey Solicitors on 01 649 9900 and or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your case alternatively you can complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss.