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Workplace Bullying & Harassment Lawyers

An employer has a duty of care to ensure your workplace is safe and this includes being free from bullying and harassment from co-workers or supervisors.

Employers are required by law to have in place policy and procedures to deal with workplace bullying. If you believe you are the victim of bullying in the workplace, you should refer to these policies and procedures to see what steps you can take to report the issue.

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It is important to understand what you can do to minimise the negative impact and stop the bullying as soon as possible.

If your workplace does not have any policy or procedure in place to deal with workplace bullying, if you can, discuss your concerns with the human resources department or another co-worker or supervisor.

What Is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying is defined by Fair Work Australia as follows –

A worker is bullied at work if –

  • A person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards them or a group of workers
  • The behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Unreasonable behaviour includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.  Whether a behaviour is unreasonable can depend on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances.

Examples of bullying include –

  • Behaving aggressively
  • Teasing or practical jokes
  • Pressuring someone to behave inappropriately
  • Excluding someone from work-related events or
  • Unreasonable work demands

What Is Workplace Harassment?

Workplace harassment is a form of bullying and is any form of repeated offensive behaviour fuelled by sexual advances, racially provoked instances, or in relation to an employee’s disability. Examples of harassment provided by the Fair Work include:

  • Telling insult jokes about particular racial groups
  • Sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails or text messages.
  • Making derogatory comments or taunts about a person’s disability.

What Should I Do If I Am Being Bullied or Harrassed At Work?

You should report the bullying behaviour to your employer if you feel safe to do so.

If you are a target of workplace bullying and harassment, you should make a note of the nature and type of the bullying behaviour and if there are witnesses, make a note of the names and contact details of those witnesses.

If you are struggling to cope with the hurtful behaviour, make sure you talk to friends and relatives and seek professional help from your doctor or a psychologist. Bullying in the workplace can lead to serious injury if not acted on early.

If you are not coping and need to take some time off work, you need to consult your general practitioner and obtain a WorkCover Certificate of Capacity which certifies you unfit for work. This certificate is handed to your employer and the workers compensation insurer is notified of a claim.

You may be referred for counselling with a psychologist for treatment.

If because of workplace bullying, you are unfit for work you may need to speak to an expert worker’s compensation lawyer to understand your right to compensation.

If your employer fails in their duty of care and consequently you sustain a psychological injury, you may be able to purse a claim in negligence against your employer, this is known as a work injury damages claim.

If you need assistance with your workplace bullying and harassment claim, please do not hesitate to contact our accredited lawyers as follows;

  1. Complete our FREE case assessment form HERE
  2. Email us at info@garlingandco.com.au
  3. Give us a call on (02) 8518 1120

Would you like assistance with your claim?

Complete our free, no obligation confidential case assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Alternatively, we are available to talk through phone and email. Please contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers to find out how we can help.

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