Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

May 23, 2013

Put a stop to workplace bullying.

Q&A 

Q: Our employee picks on co-workers, but it’s not harassment because it’s not based on a protected class. Should we be stepping in to stop her bullying?

A: Bullying can be hard to spot and even harder to stop because it can take many different forms: excluding or ignoring co-workers, embarrassing others, shouting, cursing or making negative comments. Often the conduct doesn’t violate an employer’s anti-harassment policy because it is not based on a coworker’s race, gender, religion, or other protected status, but it is harmful to employee morale and productivity, even causing you to lose good employees. The best way to prevent bullying is to cast a wider net on prohibited conduct by implementing an anti-bullying policy. Take complaints about rude, hostile, or intimidating individuals seriously, and seek to change offending behavior. It may put you in the position of referee for conflicts, but it’s also the best way to ensure that your employees enjoy a healthy and productive work environment. At Vigilant , we can help you draft your policies and address instances of bullying.

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