South Jersey Discrimination Lawyers: Discrimination vs BullyingApril 20, 2017
In the workplace, discrimination and bullying can go hand-in-hand. Bullying happens when you are verbally abused at work, you are threatened or humiliated, or your work is sabotaged. South Jersey discrimination lawyers can help determine if your situation is bullying, discrimination or both. It is important to distinguish between the two as different laws will apply to each of these circumstances.
Bullying at the workplace creates a hostile work environment for all those involved, especially the victim. At times, the bullying can transform into discrimination. Workplace discrimination occurs when you can identify that you are being harassed or singled out as a result of a protected category such as race, gender, color, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, familial status or any other legally protected category. When you feel as though you are being verbally abused at work and you cannot pinpoint the reason to a protected category, or others in your protected category are not being bullied, then you are likely dealing with a bully and not a person who singles out people because of what is legally defined as discrimination.
Whether you are experiencing this pervasive negative behavior at work due to discrimination or bullying, the bottom line is that it should not be tolerated. Bullying is most often likened to domestic violence. The bully is someone who seeks to gain power and to instill fear in his or her victims. Bullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal demoralization that can jeopardize your health and your career. It is a non-physical form of violence which usually results in emotional harm.
Some workplaces can promote bullying. For example, when employees are pitted against each other where only one person is rewarded, this can foster bullying. Additionally, if only limited opportunities are available, this can also create a competitive culture. If bullies are frequently rewarded, and not reprimanded in the workplace, this also perpetuates the problem.
An Action Plan Can Help Those Dealing with Workplace Bullying
- Step One – Do not confront the bully, especially if you feel physically threatened. Remain calm and avoid getting emotional while you are at work.
- Step Two – Report the abuse to your supervisor or human resources manager. Put the complaint in writing and provide specific details about what occurred, where, when, and who was involved.
- Step Three – Contact a legal professional to review any legal options available to you and to assist you in reviewing your company’s policies concerning behavior in the workplace.
- Step Four – Coordinate with your legal and human resources professionals to confront the problem. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on the situation. A letter to the employer may be appropriate. It may also be appropriate to use the company complaint policy or your legal professional may suggest legal action immediately.
South Jersey Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Advocate for Victims of Workplace Bullying
Discrimination and bullying can happen in any workplace. If you know someone who feels as though it is difficult to get through the workday without constant negative comments or harassment at work, they could be a victim of bullying or discriminatory behavior. Call the experienced South Jersey discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. at or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Our dedicated employment attorneys will review the case and help formulate the best action plan.