New Jersey Workplace Bullying Lawyers
According to a study performed by CareerBuilder, nearly one-third of American workers have been bullied on the job. What’s even worse is that roughly 20% of the workforce has actually left a job because of workplace bullying. If you have been bullied at work, what’s the line between teasing and actual illegal harassment? If you have been harassed at work, and your employer did nothing to stop it, you may be entitled to compensation.
Let the law firm of Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. help guide you through the legal process if you have been harassed on the job. We can help you define the line between bullying and harassment.
The definition of workplace bullying
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to bullying. What is completely acceptable to one individual may be morally reprehensible to another. Our New Jersey employment lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman recognize every situation is different, and we work to formulate an individualized solution to your problem.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, workplace bullying includes abusive behavior which:
- Threatens or intimidates another person
- Is verbally abusive to a colleague
- Prevents or interferes which a co-worker or subordinate’s work performance
Generally, bullying on the job is a pattern of misbehavior, not a one-off incident. Bullies may escalate their behavior over time. If you believe you have been the subject of harassment, report the conduct to a Human Resources representative right away.
Examples of workplace bullying
Some specific situations which may be considered bullying at work include:
- Being the subject of gossip
- Being purposely excluded from meetings or projects
- Being falsely accused of mistakes
- Being harassed due to sex, race, physical appearance, or other characteristic
- Being unfairly criticized
- Being sent belittling or cruel emails
- Being attacked for personal appearance
The spectrum is very broad in cases of workplace bullying. Only an attorney can tell you if the behavior is actually illegal.
Bullying and the Law Against Discrimination
“Bullying” at work is technically not illegal. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Law does not apply to situations involving just adults. However, under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), you may have a claim for workplace harassment if the bullying you endured was based on a protected trait. This mean you were bullied due to your:
- National origin
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Marital status
- Domestic partnership or civil union status
- Affectional or sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait
- Genetic information
- Liability for military service
- Mental or physical disability
- Perceived disability
- AIDS and HIV status
To be legally actionable in New Jersey and New York, workplace harassment also has to be “severe” or “pervasive.” So, unless a one-time incident was particularly egregious, generally the harassment must have occurred over a period of time.
Under the law, a hostile work environment is one that threatens or intimidates a person and interferes with their work. It is created by abusive behavior towards an employee or group of employees. If you have been subjected to a hostile work environment due to bullying, talk to an NJ employment lawyer to learn about your rights.
Contact our New Jersey workplace bullying lawyers today
If a co-worker’s inappropriate behavior is drastically affecting your professional and personal life, contact Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. right away. Our New Jersey harassment attorneys are waiting to take your call. Speak with a lawyer right away by dialing (908) 561-5577 or contact us online.