What is workplace bullying?
‘Bullying’ means persistent and repeated negative or unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or employees by one or more people that creates a risk to health and safety. Examples of bullying include:
- teasing and taunting;
- humiliating and belittling comments;
- excluding someone from work-related events;
- gossiping about a person;
- spreading rumours about a person;
- unreasonable work expectations and demands;
- aggressive behaviour;
- practical jokes; and
- pressuring a person to behave inappropriately.
What is not workplace bullying?
Reasonable management action, including disciplinary action carried out reasonably is not bullying. Your employer or supervisor can take management action in the workplace including:
- directing and controlling the way work is performed;
- performance management processes;
- taking disciplinary action when required;
- maintaining workplace goals and standards; and
- making decisions about poor performance of employees.
However, if these actions are carried out unreasonably, they may still constitute bullying.
What are my options if I have been bullied?
There are a number of options that may be available if you are experiencing bullying in the workplace. These include: having a solicitor write to your employer, various types of applications to the Fair Work Commission, applications to State industrial bodies, and an application to the Australian Human Rights Commission, amongst others. Determining the best option depends on the specific circumstances of the bullying behaviour.
If you believe that you have been bullied and would like to discuss your options, please feel free to get in touch.
MORGAN COUZENS LEGAL