Harassment and bullying can happen anywhere, and the workplace isn’t spared. Victims may feel like they’re all alone and that there’s nowhere to turn. But the truth is, that’s not the case, and there certainly is help available.
In this article, we’ll discuss taking legal actions when it comes to matters involving employment law—specifically when you’re at the receiving end of some harassment or bullying. We’ll talk about what you need to do before taking any legal action and how to get started if you decide that’s the route you want to take.
But First, What is Considered Harassment or Bullying?
There are a few key things to remember. First, harassment is any unwelcome conduct often based on race, color, age, religion, gender, or genetic information. Harassment can include anything from telling offensive jokes and name-calling to physical assault or threats.
Bullying refers to repeated incidents of aggression. Not all bullying, though, is illegal. For example, if your boss yells at you once in a while, it’s not against the law. But if the behavior is severe and/or consistent enough that it creates a hostile work environment, that’s when it becomes illegal.
When Do You Take Legal Action?
If possible, try to resolve the issue informally (i.e., telling the bully to stop). If you’re not comfortable doing this or if it doesn’t work, you can also talk to a supervisor or the HR department. They can help resolve the issue internally without involving lawyers or going to court.
Sometimes, however, informal methods can’t cut it—that’s when you may need to take legal action.
First, consult with an experienced attorney. They can help assess your situation and determine whether or not you have a case. They can also advise you on the best course of action to take and help you navigate the legal process.
If you decide to take legal action, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- It’s important to document everything that has happened. This includes dates, times, witnesses, and any other relevant information. This will be helpful later on if you decide to file a complaint or lawsuit.
- There are time limits for taking legal action, so don’t wait too long before consulting with an attorney.
- Again, don’t forget that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you through this process as well as organizations that can help investigate your claim. You may also join support groups in your area.
If you experience any form of harassment or bullying, always keep in mind that you have options. It’s best to consult with an attorney to discuss your situation and take action if necessary.
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