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  • Workplace Bullying

Have you in your present employment experienced any conduct that could be workplace bullying? Have you been subject to various insults which include threats to make your life difficult? Don't worry this is where LAC Lawyers can take over to protect your rights and interests when it comes to workplace bullying.

LAC Lawyers are the Workplace Bullying Lawyers of choice because we have;

  • 7 Workplace bullying lawyers
  • Offices in Sydney and Melbourne
  • A large boutique employment practice
  • Legal knowledge coupled with commercial common sense

Workplace Bullying Definition

Workplace bullying has serious consequences and its effects can be more psychological than physical. Bullying can occur between the victim and the employer as well as a co worker. It is defined in section 55A (1) of the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986: ‘Workplace bullying means any behaviour that is repeated, systematic and directed towards an employee or group of employees that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten and which creates a risk to health and safety.

Relevant Legislation for workplace Bullying

Bullying at a workplace in highly inappropriate and should never be tolerated and any circumstances. It is unacceptable under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986, (the OHS&W Act) and the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1995. Even a single incident of unreasonable behaviour should not be ignored as it can lead to bullying. Workplace bullying even when not intended can have serious issues. A decided case in NSW provided a employee with a $500,000.00 payment for bullying by her manager over a period of 2 years.

The Effects of Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying may also result in high staff turnover, low morale and insufficient productivity. Some of the other effects of bullying are unwarranted stress, ill health, inability to make decision, incapacity to work, depression, physical injury and more.  

Examples of Workplace Bullying

Some examples of what may constitute bullying are reproaching of staff, targeting of particular staff, manipulating staff’s reputation by insults and gossip, and insinuation, putting someone down and requesting performance of unreasonable duties which are unreasonable. It is also commended that bullying may sometimes involve harassment or discrimination where a person unreasonably picks on a personal characteristic such as race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, religious beliefs, disability or age which causes another to feel embarrassed, humiliated, offended or intimidated. Discrimination as well as harassment can have serious consequences.

Actions that are not bullying

The categories of bullying are wide but there are also instances that are not considered as bullying. These instances include behaviour that does not break the law, reasonable supervisory practices and losing your temper.

Steps to take if you think you are being bullied

The following are some steps that can be taken when bullying occurs :-

  1. Call LAC Lawyers and get the following information ready
    1. check if there is a workplace bullying policy or complaint procedure in place;
    2. record what happened including date, time and persons involved as well as what was said or done;
  2. LAC Lawyers will then act on your behalf to make sure this behaviour stops.

Legal Options if you have been bullied

There are various legal avenues open to employees to challenge bullying behaviour and they include

  1. Legislation under the Occupational Health and Safety and workers compensation law. Worker compensation claim can be made for any physical injury that associated with workplace bullying and under Occupational Health and Safety law, employers can be fined up to $550,000 and individual can be fined up to $55,000;
  2. Criminal Law action for criminal prosecution for stalking, assault;
  3. Common Law action e.g. negligence claim against the employer;
  4. Industrial Law action e.g. claims for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, and breach of duty of care;
  5. Anti discrimination and Equal Opportunity law for any bullying that is sexual, sexist racist;
  6. Defamation Law; and
  7. Breach of duty of good faith in a contract of employment.

At LAC Lawyers Pty Ltd, we are able to assess your situation and provide you with a comprehensive opinion as to whether you have been subject to workplace bullying and your remedies available to you. Call us today.


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Workplace Bullying Articles

Employment Law - Unfair Dismissal - Can an employee be dismissed for comments made on Facebook regarding work colleagues?

Date: February 27, 2012
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Mr. Stutsel had worked for Linfox for over 22 years. Fellow managers had learnt of comments made about them on face book. One manger of Muslim origin was called a “bacon hater” and sexual innuendos and jokes were made about a female manager. An investigation was conducted. Mr. Stutsel was subsequently dismissed.

Employment Law - Unfair Dismissal or a Genuine Redundancy? When is Redeployment Reasonable?

Date: November 29, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
A common issue in termination of employment is determining whether the employee has been unfairly dismissed or made redundant. The employer may have told the employee that it is a genuine redundancy.

Employment Law - How your Criminal History may affect your future Employment

Date: March 14, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
A concern faced by many who are facing prosecution is the influence a conviction may have on them should they be found guilty of a criminal offence.

Employment Law - Employee Theft

Date: March 07, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Employees stealing from employers in an increasing problem. This is increasingly evident when approximately 80% of workplace crime is carried out by employees. Employee dishonesty is a crime, it can take many forms such as embezzlement of funds, false invoicing, theft of cash, false inventory, payroll fraud and computer fraud.

Employment Law - Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination Provisions

Date: December 07, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
If you can answer yes to any of the following questions then this article on Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination is for you

Employment Law - The Rights of an Employer and their Employee

Date: October 08, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
With the Law in this area constantly changing, many employers and employees are uncertain as to their rights with respect to such things as employment contracts, termination of employment and redundancy.

Employment Law - You Have Been Terminated, Does it Amount to Unfair Dismissal?

Date: October 08, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Organisations with It is becoming more rampant in the current times that an employee is found to have been terminated. Termination of employment can take several forms and unfair dismissal seems to be a common occurrence.

Small Business Fair Dismissal Code - Termination Of Employment Rules For Small Business Under The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth.)

Date: July 30, 2010
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
One of the significant changes made to unfair dismissal laws by the Rudd Government under the Fair Work Act 2009 was the introduction of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (“the Code”). The Code included a check list for employers to complete when terminating employment. Small employers hoped that by complying with the check list, it would be easier to dismiss staff.

Employment Law - Unfair dismissals under the Fair Work Act

Date: April 15, 2010
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) became fully operational from 1st January 2010. The Fair Work Act changed the rights of employees and responsibilities of employers relating to dismissals.

Employment Law - Unfair dismissals under the Fair Work Act - General Protection Provisions

Date: April 15, 2010
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
The Fair Work Act incorporates general protection provisions in Part 3 – 1. This Part incorporates the type of protection provided under unfair dismissal and freedom of association provisions which was incorporated into the Work Choices legislation. The unlawful termination provisions of Work Choices have been re-enacted in Part 6 – 4 of the Fair Work Act. However, the Fair Work Act provides that a person may not apply for help against an unlawful termination if they are also entitled to challenge the dismissal under the general protection provisions.

Employment Law - Can Employers Be Stopped From Discriminating Against Employees Upon The Basis Of Lifestyle Or Philosophical Beliefs As Opposed To Religious Or Political Beliefs?

Date: January 13, 2010
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
An English Decision and its Implications for Australian Emloyment and Discrimination Law

Employment Law - Employee and Employer Duties in Common Law Employment Contracts

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
In addition to the express terms of a common law contract of employment, the contract may also include implied terms.

Employment Law - Restraints Of Trade: Restraining Former Employees When The Work Agreement Has Ended

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
Employment restraints are contractual terms which seek to limit the activities of the employee once their period of service ends.

Employment Law - The New Fair Work Act - Collective Agreements (4)

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.

Employment Law - The New Fair Work Act - Consequences & The Agreement Making Process (5)

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
If a workplace agreement replaces guaranteed agreement terms or conditions in a reference instrument with benefits that may or may not be realised during the life of the agreement, the Workplace Authority Director would consider these arrangements to be a reduction in the employees’ terms and conditions.

Employment Law - The New Fair Work Act - Contracting With Employees (3)

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
Essentially, with the introduction of the Fair Work Act, there are two ways in which an employer can contract with the employees in its workforce. The first is by way of common law contracts of employment. This is the subject of a separate LAC Lawyers’ article available through the website.

Employment Law - The New Fair Work Act - New National Employment Standards (2)

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
Under the Fair Work Act, the new National Employment Standards provide a new national safety net, irrespective of whether or not businesses enter into a Workplace Agreement.

Employment Law - The New Fair Work Act - What Is It and What Does It Do (1)

Date: August 14, 2009
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
On Friday, 20 March 2009, the Fair Work Bill was finally passed by the Australian Senate after Family First’s Senator Fielding voted with the Government after doing a deal in relation to the unfair dismissal provisions. It received Royal Assent on 7 April 2009.

Employment Law - Part 1 - How will the new workplace relations laws introduced on 1 July 2009 affect you?

Date: July 04, 2009
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
The introduction of new workplace relations laws through the Fair Work Act 2009 has changed employment law in Australia as we know it. The aim of the Australian Government in implementing this change is to effectively balance the various needs of employees, employers and unions with a view to ensuring Australia becoming a better country financially and guaranteeing minimum workplace standards and maintaining workplace rights.

Employment Law - Redundancy - Transmission of Business

Date: July 04, 2009
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Your employer writes to you informing you that the company has sold its business together with its assets to another entity and that you are to re-apply for the same position in the new company. What are your rights? Have you been terminated? Are you entitled to claim redundancy payments?

Employment Law - The Three 'R's' & Unfair Dismissal

Date: July 04, 2009
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
What we’re referring to here is not the traditional ‘three R’s’ associated with education, but rather, the ‘R’ words in the context of employment and industrial law: resignation, retrenchment, and redundancy. Perhaps the word ‘retirement’ could also be added. This has great relevance in the current economic climate.

Employment Law - General Employee Entitlement & Redundancy Scheme (GEERS)

Date: June 05, 2009
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
If you have been made redundant or have lost your job because your employer has gone bust and you have not been paid your outstanding wages or entitlements, then you may be eligible for payment under GEERS.

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