Workplace bullying is defined as an ongoing, unreasonable behavior directed towards an employee or group of employees, creating a risk to health and safety. This behavior may be perpetrated by a single individual or a group and can manifest in various forms, including physical, verbal, social, or psychological abuse..

Forms of Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying can take many forms, ranging from overtly aggressive behavior to more subtle forms of psychological manipulation. Some common examples include:

  • Unjustified criticism or complaints.
  • Threats of demotion or dismissal without valid reason.
  • Exclusion from workplace activities or decisions.
  • Imposition of impossible tasks or unreasonable deadlines.
  • Withholding of necessary information or resources for performing tasks.
  • Verbal abuse or physical assault.

Rights and Responsibilities of Employees

Employees have a right to a safe work environment free from bullying. If bullying occurs, employees should document incidents, inform their supervisor or manager, and, if necessary, lodge a formal complaint. Employees also have the right to seek advice and assistance from unions, legal representatives, or relevant state and territory health and safety bodies.

In this case

Naomi’s sales manager made rude remarks to her that Naomi felt were designed to embarrass her. He asked her personal questions and teased her when she looked uncomfortable.

Her manager was careful not to act in this way in front of other people that outranked him, and he rarely intimidated her when others were around. The company had no formal procedure in place for managing this type of complaint, so Naomi sought expert advice.

National anti-bullying laws meant Naomi was protected and could apply for an order for the bullying to stop. A settlement was negotiated and Naomi was awarded damages by the company, and they were required to adopt clear policies.

Do you think you have been bullied at work? Do you have an order from the Commission that is not being followed? Workclaims Australia can help.

Workclaims Australia can also represent you in the Australian Human Rights Commission if you have been discriminated against in the workplace on the grounds of age, sex, race or any other prohibited reason.

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