06 May When There are Bullies in the Workplace: How Do You Deal with It?
Understanding What Bullying Is
There is always that one person that rubs you the wrong way. It is especially difficult when that person is your boss or your manager and is the one to give you orders about what to do that day on the job. But is that person really a bully or is it just a personality defect that gets in the way while giving orders?
A recent case in the news leaves questions about why a person was shot to death by a new worker. Kevin L. Todd, who had just been on the job for seven days, allegedly shot a co-worker in the back, claiming he was being bullied by other workers. He left the premises but was later found and arrested. Other workers at Precision Drawn Metals say that Todd’s claims are not true. For now, the details are unclear except that one employee is now dead.
We might think of bullying when we were kids, and one dominant child seeks social power by saying or doing things to another child intended to hurt that child, both physically and emotionally. It can also be done to a group of children, face to face, or even online in social media groups. Parents must step in and take action to alleviate the repercussions of such actions.
In the adult world, bullying can still happen even when we think we have all grown up and are past such behavior. But bullying still happens from time to time, even when on the job, and this behavior can create a very toxic workplace situation.
When the Boss is a Bully to You
This is a difficult situation and the one reason a boss might bully you is that they see you like the new “kid on the block” who must be whipped into shape. That approach rarely works well and can end up being a lawsuit against the employer. You, as the one being bullied, must have evidence of such behavior to prove your case in court and win a settlement. If a boss calls you ugly names without justification, note what witnesses are around and the circumstances of what happened, time of day, who was there, and what the boss said.
Keep a journal and note everything that happens. But do not let your boss see you are doing this. Or anyone else, for that matter. If the employer has CCTV or some other method of workplace surveillance, the time and date will become important if you want to retrieve copies of the videos. Find out if copies are kept or if the videos are erased after each day or each week.
If the boss, or if the bully is a coworker, injures you during an argument, you can claim workers’ compensation. Aside from that, you can also file a lawsuit and include your evidence of the previous bullying to support your injury on the job. The evidence shows there is a history of abusive behavior.
Your physical injuries on the job qualify you to receive workers’ compensation benefits while you are recovering. If you are in such a situation, call an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to find out more about your situation. Your attorney may also recommend another type of attorney to call (personal injury) for a case that goes to the court regarding the bullying side of the situation.
Evidence is Everything
Almost any kind of case that goes to court or to mediation, works off collected evidence. Avoid one where it is only based on “he said, she said.” Get the evidence. Get witness statements from other coworkers regarding what they saw and heard of your event, and who may also be bullied by the boss.
Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 480-300-7273.