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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 Harassed 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) 8329 9500

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 by phone and email. Please contact our experienced accredited specialist personal injury lawyers to find out how we can help.

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05:18 13 Jul 24
Outstanding service and commitment to my case was delivered from the first point of contact right until the end of my successful case.Highest recommendations to the team at Garling and Co. Matthew... got me an excellent result and was available and informative throughout the entire foreign process of legal proceedings. He was wonderful and so was his team.If i could rate higher than 5 stars i would!read more
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07:12 02 Jul 24
Matthew Garling and all of the team were extremely professional and supportive throughout what was a very long and arduous CTP battle. I am happy with the result and feel that their fees were fair... and well deserved.read more
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I worked with Garling & Co for 3+ years, the team has been incredible and I could not have been happier with Kerry's support and the results produced!I highly recommend choosing them as your... representatives!!read more
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07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
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05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
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21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
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20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
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00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
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03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more

Bullying and Harassment FAQs

1. What is the difference between workplace bullying and harassment?

Workplace bullying involves repeated, unreasonable actions or behaviours towards another person, while workplace harassment involves unwelcome conduct that is based on a person’s protected characteristic.

2. What are the effects of workplace bullying and harassment?

Workplace bullying and harassment can lead to mental and physical health.

3. What are some common forms of workplace bullying?

Some common forms of workplace bullying include verbal abuse, exclusion, intimidation, and undermining.

4. How can employees cope with workplace bullying and harassment?

Employees who experience workplace bullying and harassment should speak up and report the behaviour to their employer or HR department. They can also seek support from friends, family, a GP or a counsellor.

5. What can employers do to prevent workplace bullying and harassment?

Employers can prevent workplace bullying and harassment by establishing clear policies, providing regular training and education, creating a supportive culture, and encouraging reporting. It is also important for employers to take swift and appropriate action when incidents of bullying and harassment are reported.

6. What do I do if injured at Work due to bullying and harassment?

Employees who sustain psychological injuries at work due to bullying and harassment can make a workers compensation claim. You need to consult your GP and obtain a Certificate of Capacity which sets out the injury and fitness for work, including what treatment may be required.

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Find out more about Workers Compensation

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