Do you Dread going to work because of the way in which you are being treated there? Are you being bullied at work?
Do you lie awake at night or wake up in the morning with a sick stomach, worrying and contemplating what it is that’s going to be thrown at you next?
That’s not right and you shouldn’t have to tolerate bullying or harassment at work.
Everyone is entitled to a safe and supportive workplace.
If you’ve been or are currently experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace, we can help!
Every day of the week we hear stories and act for Clients in similar situations to this.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?
Too many people suffer in silence when experiencing bullying and harassment at work. It seems to be that especially in times of financial crisis, people suffering from workplace stress put up with it, out of fear of losing their job.
However, talking to us could lift some of the weight of the stress you are carrying from your shoulders.
It seems that part of the reason that people put up with it is that workplace bullying has become ‘the norm’. People turn a blind eye to it and over time it may be even be encouraged not just ignored by other work colleagues. Maybe they are even relieved it is not them being bullied or are fearful for their own jobs.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE BEING BULLIED AT WORK?
It pays to take a step back and look at what the definition of bullying is. In it’s most simple form “Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour that undermines your right to dignity at work.”
Bullying at work includes:
- “Social exclusion and isolation;
- Damaging someone’s reputation by gossip or rumours;
- Aggressive or obscene language;
- Repeated requests with impossible tasks or targets;
- Unfair scrutiny or criticism;
- Physical violence.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS IN PRACTICE.
Our Client BM was working as software developer with a well-known International software company. She was a top performer in the company and always had great appraisals and bonuses. She got on well with her work colleagues and management and was on the fast-track up the corporate ladder.
All of a sudden nothing she did was right, she was criticised in team meetings, humiliated in front of work colleagues, isolated by her line manager and her appraisals became below par. BM was side-lined. As far as she could see nothing had changed in her work performance.
In reality, what had changed was that BM’s former line manager had been promoted and the new manager she was reporting into saw her as a threat. Maybe there was some sort of personality clash but despite raising the issue internally the Company failed to address the problem and BM ended up suffering severe work-related stress and taking a prolonged period of sick leave. BM was diagnosed with depression and eventually resigned her position and came to us for help.
We initiated a claim for her with the Workplace Relations Commission for constructive dismissal and under the Employment Equality Acts and in the High Court for personal injury. We drafted the pleadings and her submissions, corresponded with her former employer and their solicitors on her behalf. This allowed BM to get on with her life and focus on getting better.
Her former employer initially fought their corner, saying that the changes BM experienced were unconnected to her personally and were simply performance and competency-based, they denied that there was any inappropriate treatment of her.
This was complete nonsense and they eventually conceded and agreed and acknowledged that BM had been wronged. They paid BM compensation and gave her a glowing reference.
“This was really a point of principal for me. Sure I was compensated but money will never make up for what I lost. I just wanted my former employer to know what had happened, they were a good company really and my boss was just a bad egg but they handled it all really badly. If it wasn’t for Employment Matters I could never have done this. Now I can get on with my life”
BM, 42, Lucan
WHAT TO DO NEXT
You must move quickly as generally there is a 6-month time limit on taking a claim in the Workplace Relations Commission.
Call us now on 051 841 641 for a free no-obligation consultation or to arrange an appointment with us to review your case, or fill out our online form and a member of our staff will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Don’t put up with this type of treatment, make sure your employer knows that you won’t tolerate it and make your voice heard.
Whether you are seeking general advice regarding your Employment Rights when you are being badly treated in work or if you are concerned that your rights may have been infringed, it is important to take action now.
Read more below to find out more about:
- What is bullying?
- Definition of Bullying in the Workplace
- Prevention of Workplace Bullying
- Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005
- Personal Injury and Mental Distress
- Duty of Care
What is Bullying?
Bullying in the workplace is becoming more prevalent with more and more employees seeking redress in the Courts for the injuries they have suffered at the hands of bullies.
Bullying can take many forms and although only now appearing on our radar it would seem to have been always present. It is only now that we have been provided with some tools to help tackle the unsavoury outcome of bullying.
In fact in employment law, there are no specific legal provisions for dealing with bullying in itself.
It is, unfortunately, only through other aspects of the law, that we can address an employer’s conduct or negligence. Currently, the main routes to protect an employee are by way of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Unfair Dismissals Acts and on Personal Injury grounds.
It is easily noted and a criticism of the law that all of these address the matter after the occurrence of bullying. Although the Labour Relations Commission has published guides and best practice recommendations there is currently no specific legislation which assists an employee who is experiencing bullying in the workplace.