When you think about bullying, your mind probably goes to schoolyards and playgrounds. Unfortunately, according to a recent Career Builder survey, almost 30% of U.S. workers report that they have been victims of bullying in the workplace.
You should be free to go to work and perform your job duties without having to worry about constant mistreatment. Moreover, if you complain, your employer should investigate and try to put a stop to the bullying. All too frequently, though, that simply does not happen.
If your workplace bully is also your manager or another superior, the natural imbalance of power may make it feel impossible to remedy the situation. Even worse, your manager might turn the blame on you, possibly citing poor performance, a lack of cooperation or even insubordination.
When investigating workplace bullying, it is not uncommon for human resources managers to misplace fault. Indeed, the HR investigation might conclude that your skin is too thin or you complain too much. When the bullying you experience is based on a protected characteristic such as sexual orientation or race, and the investigation fails to uncover the relevant facts and prompt the employer to take appropriate preventative or corrective action, you may have a legal claim.