This is part three of a three part series on bullying, and anti-bullying initiatives. In this article, we will look at corporate bullying and the correct actions one should take.
In the past several years, there have been many reports of workplace bullying. Our law firm, LaBovick Law Group, is handling several large bullying personal injury cases, both in the workplace and in the schools. It seems that the cliché “once a bully, always a bully” holds true, and that bullying can transcend from the schoolyard to the workplace.
As adults, we feel as though we must handle these types of problems on our own. We believe that our maturity will be able to withstand the bullying and there is no sense in getting others involved. However, workplace bullying is a Human Resources problem that needs to be brought to the attention of the employer. If the employer is unaware of the bullying problem and it results in some form of injury, there may be no legal recourse against the employer for the damages that the bullying has caused. Therefore, it is important that the victim notify Human Resources of the bullying when it commences so that a file may be created in addressing the situation.
The victim should notify the appropriate authorities within the corporate infrastructure in writing and keep a copy of the correspondence. If the problem does not cease within Human Resources, the victim should take the matter up the corporate ladder until it is satisfactorily addressed. With the written correspondence, the employer is on notice of the potential problem that may cause the company legal issues down the road. The employer is more likely to respond quickly and in a manner to resolve the conflict to the satisfaction of the victim.
As an adult, if you find yourself being bullied, you should address the problem immediately within the company and seek counseling if you feel it is necessary to overcome any emotional stress that the bullying has caused. As has been reported on several occasions across the country, employees have allowed themselves to be bullied to the point where they have felt helpless and have committed suicide. While these cases are rare, they could have been avoided had the employee addressed these issues directly with the employer in an appropriate form and had sought professional help for the emotional trauma that was caused. In rare instances, the employee may simply have to find employment elsewhere. However, no respectable corporation would allow bullying to take place within the scope of its business and risk an unnecessary lawsuit if it can be avoided by other means.
As our world becomes more complex and information becomes more available, we are all being made aware that old problems such as bullying are still around and will be for years to come. Whether you are a parent or an employee, you can nip the problem in the bud by protecting yourself and the ones you care about in the aforementioned ways.