Often in the workplace environment, bullies are difficult to identify because their behavior is very subtle and they operate surreptitiously. If you find yourself a target of bullying behavior take these actions to stop it.
1. Speak to the bully and ask him to stop the behavior that you perceive as threatening, intimidating, and manipulative.
2. Make a formal complaint. Be vigilant and make sure your superior and senior managers, as well as your Human Resources department are put on notice of the bully behavior. Document your complaints to senior management, the company’s response, if any, including dates and times of all meetings and conversations as well as keep a copy all emails that you send or receive regarding the bully behavior.
|3. Document and keep records of all meetings and conversations you have with the bully, including date, time and place with a brief description of all incidents, no matter how small.
4. In some states, you may even be legally entitled to record the conversations and interactions between you and the bully. This can only be done in single-consent recording states,( i.e, NJ and NY).
5. Speak to witnesses or others that are being bullied by the same person.
6. Let management know that you like your job, but will not tolerate being made uncomfortable at work.
7. If you are a member of a protected class, you may have legal remedies at your disposal under statutory or common law theories. (i.e. the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination).
8. If management does not respond or help you handle the issue, and the bullying continues, consult with an Employment Law attorney.
For more information on bullying in the workplace (anywhere in the US), check out New Jersey Employee Rights www.njemployeerights.com
Sheila E. O'Shea-Criscione, Esq., Senior Associate, Deutsch Atkins, P.C., is a working mother, college professor and lawyer who has been combating bullying in school systems and the workplace for over 14 years.