Workplace Bullying: Is It Illegal?

During the last decade, anti-bullying measures have grown in popularity throughout our children's schools. While this is undoubtedly a positive development, it begs the question - "What is being done to prevent workplace bullying?" In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has not been passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state.

That said, workplace bullying is illegal when it violates federal or state laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment. These laws protect employees from harassment based on protected characteristics, such as race, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. If a workplace bully is targeting an employee based on a protected characteristic, that could qualify as illegal harassment. The employee would have a hostile work environment claim, if the unwelcome conduct is severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would find it to be offensive, hostile, or abusive.

An experienced employment attorney can assess the facts of your case and determine whether you have viable legal claims against your employer.

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Bradley E. Byrne Jr. is an Associate Attorney in Humble Law's Birmingham office. He represents employees whose rights have been violated. He can be reached via email at brad@humble.law or by phone at 205-358-3100.

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