When is Bullying at Work Illegal?

Bullying has been a hot-button topic in recent years, particularly school bullying, which has resulted in a number of tragic student suicides.  But long after leaving high school behind, many face bullying as adults, including bullying in the workplace, cyberbullying, and domestic violence.

anti-bullying in the workplaceBullying in the workplace can give rise to legal claims.  Workplace bullies tend to latch on to perceived weaknesses in their victims and often harass their victims based on a protected category, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or disability.  While not always the case, there are often legal claims you can bring against bullies.  If you encounter bullying in the workplace based on a legally protected category, then you might have a claim for unlawful hostile work environment harassment.  Outside of the workplace, cyberbullies often spread lies about their victims on the internet, leading to potential lawsuits for defamation.  In personal relationships, when domestic violence breaks out, the bully can be sued for assault and battery.  In any case, if a bully is wreaking havoc on your life, you should consult an employment attorney right away to discuss both legal and practical options for bringing an end to bulling in the workplace.

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