Workers Compensation – Workplace Bullying and Harassment

It’s well known that workplace bullying and harassment is unacceptable, and therefore surprising that so much of it still goes on. Victims of workplace bullying and harassment can suffer physical and psychological reactions that result in an inability to properly perform regular workplace functions, with workers compensation the appropriate avenue for restitution.

Workplace bullying takes many forms, with the situation exacerbated by modern communication technologies that can be misused to victimise innocent workers. If you or someone you know is suffering due to workplace bullying or harassment, and your complaints are not being taken seriously, the intervention of Taylor & Scott legal guidance is highly recommended.

Why is there no place for bullying in the workplace?

Australians spend a large percentage of waking hours in the workplace, assisting employers and business owners with productivity. In return, all workers expect to be treated with fairness according to occupational health and safety regulations. The laws extend to employees, contractors, suppliers and other service providers related to the workplace, ensuring everyone can function to their best potential.

Workers compensation law extends to bullying and harassment, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to get along as best as possible without discrimination. Apart from insurance payouts claimed in cases of bullying and harassment, legal charges can also be laid against the accused, further implicating the business or industry in negative repercussions. Taylor & Scott Lawyers have been leading the fight against discrimination since the firm was established in 1905, and we leave no stone unturned in achieving justice for victims who should receive compensation due to workplace bullying.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying can be enacted by physical, verbal and non-verbal behaviour. It’s not uncommon for workers and employers to disagree or have different workplace strategies, and most problems can be sorted out by clear and respectful communication. However, there are lots of situations where bullying quickly spirals out of control, leaving victims powerless to respond. Examples of workplace bullying include:

  • Unwanted and demeaning practical jokes
  • Shouting, sarcasm and ridiculing employees, employers or visitors
  • Physical and psychological threats
  • Homophobic threats and insults
  • Intimidating and overbearing supervision
  • Abuse of authority by those in power
  • Setting impossible deadlines or objectives
  • Exclusion from meetings or communications without just reason

If you are uncertain regarding your personal experience of workplace bullying or harassment, Taylor & Scott can help. We offer a free case assessment and if we feel you have a valid workers compensation claim, we will commence proceedings on your behalf immediately for a timely resolution.

Dealing with Bullying in the Workplace

What is not workplace bullying?

Not every negative workplace experience or emotion can be described as workplace bullying. Employers and colleagues are individuals with personalities to match, and some people simply don’t get along well with certain workmates. Allowance is also made for reasonable management action to achieve consistency in the workplace and improve productivity. Management action, although justified, can result in diminished capacity to perform work tasks, although the opposite may have been the intention. Appropriate management action can constitute situations that include:

  • Performance appraisals
  • Meetings to help address underperformance
  • Counselling or discipline related to employee misconduct
  • Modification of employee duties to improve overall business performance
  • Investigating alleged misconduct in the workplace
  • Denying employee benefits due to employee performance or behaviour
  • Refusing a return to work request due to the employees medical condition

How the right advice can work you through it?

As gleaned from all the above information, there can be ‘grey areas’ where workplace bullying and harassment accusations are disputed. It’s important to know your rights when undertaking a workers compensation claim, but with so much to consider it’s not uncommon for people to simply give up and walk away. However, NSW law provides formidable backing for victims, and when your claim is supported by specialist workers compensation lawyers at Taylor & Scott, the path ahead will become clear.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s legal and financial district, Taylor & Scott Lawyers are ideally placed to serve the people of NSW. Our reputation as a case winning legal team can make a huge difference in claims where legal representation is necessary. As a premier Sydney legal firm, Taylor & Scott is respected by insurers, opposing legal teams and employers who may otherwise try and circumvent the law. We do everything we can to achieve compensation claim success that provides financial and other support for the benefit of you and your loved ones.

How to deal with workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is unacceptable, consisting of repeated and unreasonable behaviour that poses a risk to health and safety. Bullying can impact a person’s physical and mental health, and steps need to be taken quickly to prevent it from reoccurring. Close to 10% of Australian workers believe they have been bullied in the workplace within the previous 6 months, and although not all poor behaviour in the workplace constitutes bullying, there are all-too-common situations where bullying affects the wellbeing of employees.

Proactive management action steps are required to identify and respond to workplace bullying. Smart Business owners and managers implement control measures to manage the risks and stop the bullying, although legal action is sometimes required, with compensation available for people who have been bullied at work. Here are some measures employers should take to stop bullying in the workplace from escalating out of control.

  • Set standards for workplace behaviour, such as a code of conduct;
  • Consult with workers and their health and safety representatives regularly;
  • Clearly define workplace responsibilities and provide adequate training;
  • Provide information, support and assistance for preventing workplace bullying;
  • Establish bullying reporting and response procedures in the workplace.

Who do you report workplace bullying to?

Your workplace may have a policy and system in place that outlines procedures for reporting workplace bullying, including disciplinary action for the accused. You should inform your supervisor, manager, health and safety representative or human resources officer if possible. You should also deliver a written report about the bullying to your employer, and keep a copy for your own records.

SafeWork NSW, the Fair Work Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission all investigate and resolve complaints involving workplace bullying, although if damage has already been done to the victim’s physical or psychological health, the services of a workplace compensation lawyer will provide the requisite support and representation. If workplace bullying has resulted in you suffering severe and debilitating psychiatric or physical harm, you may be eligible for a significant lump sum compensation payment.

How to get compensation for workplace bullying?

Serious incidences of workplace bullying resulting in harm or injury should be reported to the police. You may be eligible to claim workers compensation, so it is strongly advised to contact Taylor & Scott Lawyers for legal advice regarding your situation and potential for making a compensation claim. Taylor & Scott have extensive experience dealing with workplace bullying cases, so it’s worth taking advantage of a free, no obligation case assessment to understand your rights, obligations and potential for compensation.

Claims for workplace bullying compensation payment can take several forms, including workers compensation claims, permanent impairment claims and work injury damages claims. The prospect of battling against your employer after being bullied and harassed may be too daunting, so it’s usually best for a highly experienced lawyer to negotiate the claim with employers, insurers and their legal representatives. Taylor & Scott Lawyers have the knowledge, experience, reputation and clout to make people listen to your claim, providing you with the best chance of a successful workplace bullying claim for financial restitution.

At Taylor & Scott, “We Care For You”.