When Is Bullying and Harassment a California Labor Law Violation?


Sacramento, CA Although California was the first state to introduce anti-bullying legislation (2003), it is still prevalent in the workplace. "The most common forms of illegal harassment are from workplace bullies," says employee attorney Donna M. Ballman, P.A., "and they will stay a bully from playground to workplace." So when is harassment from your employer a violation of the California Labor Law?

"When the people these bullies pick on are in a protected category (e.g., gender, race, religion or pregnancy) that is when they step over the line," says Ballman. "Those are the categories that bullies tend to latch onto. They will also sometimes pick on someone in an emotional situation, someone in a delicate mental state and can torment them to death. You see how bullying affects kids and it happens in the workplace??"people can become suicidal or have a nervous breakdown." However, even if an employee believes he or she is being bullied or harassed by their employer, a supervisor, or a co-worker or they are in a "hostile work environment," they may not have a California labor law claim.

"If we don't accept bullying in schools, why is it acceptable at work?" says Ballman. When is bullying "unacceptable" and how do you determine whether you have a claim and what should you do about it? Ballman advises the following:

Report it:

One statement I hear of too much is "I was harassed, so I quit and then I told them why." This is a frequent mistake. The United States Supreme Court says that, where an employer has a published sexual harassment/discriminatory harassment policy, the employee must report it under that policy and give the employer the opportunity to fix the situation. If you did not avail yourself of the employer's policy before quitting, you are giving up your right to sue for a violation.

Employer's duty:

Appropriate remedies may be to discipline or warn the harasser, to move the harasser, under some circumstances to move the victim, to do training, or in extreme cases, to terminate the harasser. But they don't have to take any action at all. They only have a duty to maintain a safe workplace. You might still have to work with the harasser.

What to put in the report:

General harassment, hostile environment, bullying and other disruptive behavior that is not addressed to an employee for a protected status or activity is not illegal. So before you write the long letter airing all your grievances against your boss, you may want to have an attorney look at it, or just make sure you are addressing your protected status. If you do complain, put it in writing and call it "FORMAL COMPLAINT OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT" or "FORMAL COMPLAINT OF RELIGIOUS HARASSMENT," or whatever category you fit into. Set forth the harassment due to your protected status, and be businesslike. This is not the time to air all your complaints about the business or your boss, only to air the specific complaint about the illegal behavior.

If you are harassed or are in a hostile work environment, make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities. Report it to the employer and give them a chance to address the situation. If they allow the harassment to continue or if they retaliate, contact an employment attorney to discuss your legal options.

Here are some tips from Ms. Ballman:

a. Many employees simply refuse to go back to work, even where the employer has warned or disciplined the harasser. Sometimes, the fear is justified. But it is the employer's duty to create a safe workplace. If you return and are retaliated against or continue to be harassed, report it again. If the employer allows retaliation or continued harassment, that is the time to get an attorney involved.

b. Employers will usually take accusations of this type of conduct seriously. Once they are on notice, they will be held liable if they allow it to continue, and they know it. And most employers know that this behavior is disruptive, has nothing to do with making money, and can adversely affect morale. Even if the employer takes no action, by reporting their inaction to the EEOC or your state agency, you have put these agencies on notice that this behavior is occurring. The employer will have no excuse when the harasser does it to the next employee. And in some cases, you may have a remedy.

c. While a long letter stating that your supervisor is incompetent or a jerk can and should get you fired, the formal complaint addressing illegal behavior should get a serious response.

d. While bullying isn't illegal, harassment due to race, age, sex, national origin, disability, color and religion are illegal.

e. If the bully is targeting certain age, sex, ethnic or other groups, they've probably crossed over into illegal harassment.

f. Bullies are a huge drain on corporate time and assets. Employers should adopt zero tolerance policies regarding bullies.

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  1. A. Ngo
    February 13, 2020
    Toxic environment, hostile, discrimination, favortism. None lawyer will take our case unless we been fired for the company.
  2. A. Ngo
    February 13, 2020
    Under FMLA company can't touch you if they do you can go and sue them with retaliation. Not going back until you are completed fine.
  3. Clear Law Institute
    October 5, 2019
    I thankful to you on the grounds that the article has disclosed to me something new. I truly didn't know this.It appears to be hard for some individuals to accept that apparently pleasant, grinning individuals in formal outfits could take part in lewd behavior or that it has been Encourages the individuals who have been annoyed to acknowledge they are not alone.You have improved the world a place.is extremely straightforward.
  4. CB
    October 19, 2017
    I find it hilarious that bullying or harassment isn't legal. I was bullied or harassed by someone I was worked with fine for 8 years suddenly her friend was hired and then she was promoted & the bullying started. For two years I went to her & the new teammate about their problem I went to several managers one of whom suddenly retired not because it but it sure didn't help. When I went to management the two teammates only got worse I went to hr when it continued and hr got involved because I had become disengaged & apparently stopped talking with the two. I sent emails I asked & told verbally and still it continued and no management I told or even HR did anything but make it seem my fault or I was over reacting and even getting myself in trouble. I ultimately got fired and the people I was suppose to be able to go to did nothing for two years and I had been with the company for 7 years without any issues or problems in my work or teammates and excellent reviews up till then. I followed the rules the company's own training said there was no need to fill out forms or that it couldn't be veribly reports & that all reports written or verbal even via third party needed to be taken seriously yet clearly to me no one did anything. I asked for transfers & applied for jobs else where in the company and got no support especially once they put me on a performance plan which was their way of starting the firing process for me. I've talked to lawyers but they make it seem even with proof of video with audio I still wouldn't have a case even against my former company. My teammates & especially the primary one was female she was also my lead & older then me while the friend of her's was female but younger. Obviously they never said they had issues with me for my race or religion or gender.
  5. Tina
    September 17, 2017
    Well it's almost impossible to find a lawyer to really help you with an issue like this. Also, pretty much if they verbally say it's because of your age or race, etc. etc., they can do whatever they want. They can bully the heck out of you, just as long as they never mention age or race.
  6. RMJ
    July 19, 2017
    Well I cant say this helped me but at least i don't feel like im the only one. Not only do i get this treatment at work i get it at home to. So yes you begin to think its you. I have been working for this company for almost 2 years. I work at a special needs school. I loved my job (yes loved past tense) i did my job and i did it well. My co workers hate me why? because i don't sit on my ass and watch tv.I DO MY JOB. No matter how much your paid, what your dutys are or whatever eles that comes in mind I WAS HIRED to do a certain job and that's what i do MY JOB. Since i am ready to _ _ _ _ myself because not only do all my co workers hate me my boyfriend does too who by the way works at the same school. So right now i guess im on my own. Its to bad that your dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. I really do feel for anyone who really needs help because no matter how much you pay someone no matter how much you think you can trust someone DONT people are so lazy and only care about (well i don't know what they care about) but i do know today "NOW" this world is _UCKED UP! So i guess im looking for a new job. I just hope at my age (which is old) i can find one. I will miss all the staff and students who made me feel loved. I am really really sad.
  7. Bozo
    February 18, 2017
    As a class "employees" have no rights beyond any ordinary citizen, hence no protections. Even teamsters or members of other once high-powered collective bargaining units are weakening due to corruption and bloated bureaucracies, and serve their members less and less each contract cycle. Workers' rights are goobledygook lip service by hypocritite douche politicians to appear as if they are working for YOU, while in truth they are helping their equally rich and slimy business cronies. As an employee, you will never get justice, so you might as well get vengeance. As an employee you are always fucked. Only way out is to be the employer, or business owner. Then you can take advantage, as all western law and policy has been structured to the advantage of commerce. YOUR CAPTCHA IS IDIOTIC, TEDIOUS AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. IT'S NO WONDER WHY EMPLOYEES ARE SCREWED, WITH ADVOCATES WHO OPERATE LIKE THIS!!
  8. Angelo
    June 28, 2016
    I am wondering, does anyone get any answers from anybody on this website? Or is it just like many other "workplace harassment and violence websites that are just a waste of time. I guess the only way people seem to stop these bullies is to risk going to prison by standing up to them and beating the crap out of them or worse. We have a situation where (no exaggeration) a dozen victims of 1 bully that is also personal friends with the VP of the company runs with total impunity and is emboldened by this VP to do it more. Restraining Orders, police reports do nothing to stop this. Even when brought to the attention of the CEO, it is only handed off to HR which conducts interviews aka "company damage control" procedures to cover their ass and then these reports are given to the very VP that has been covering these complaints up each and every time, only to sweep them under the carpet. The most recent severe incident had the bully suspended for a month, while HR evaluates things, just happens to miraculously now be on a Worker's Compensation claim for a injured shoulder from 6 months ago, yet he has been working right up until he was suspended. Coincidence.... nearly impossible. This is management's way of letting things blow over and allow time to pass and then bring this same asshole back to start all over until we have our own San Bernardino or Postal Worker incident. I guess this is what our government wants...to take it upon ourselves to eliminate the problem and then they get to incarcerate the people that just couldn't take it anymore. So they allow everyone's lives to be disrupted and potentially irreparably damaged? Is there anything one can do?
  9. Chuck
    March 14, 2016
    I am hesitant to even share this, because I work for my wife's family. In fact I have been working for the over 20 years. I like my in-laws, and we have always gotten along, as I also like working for them. Well accept for my brother-in-law, with whom I have had a contentious work relationship most the time. I will not say this is one sided, because I must admit that I too have been contentious with him through the years. However, my contentiousness with him is ore from my refusing to back down when he get's angry over stupid things. It has never gone past yelling at each other, until over a year ago when he tackled me and we started fighting. Well I tried to push him off because he outweighs me by over 100 lbs. I am about 180 and he is well over 300 lbs. We got over it, and made amends like we always did with our verbal altercations. Then last Thursday things took a scary turn. It began over him accusing me of ordering his 18 year old son, my nephew, to do something. I didn't but that is besides the point and pretty much irrelevant when considering the out come. As my brother-in-law yelled at me he was all puffed up and pretty hateful angry. As it was we had been getting along for some time. Since the altercation last year, I just ignored him and let thing roll off my shoulders to make nice. In the middle of him yelling at me, as usual when he get to that point I defend myself against the accusations. Without realizing it, he son came over and must have thought we were going to get into a fight. So he came up to me and grabbed me to push me back as he told me to calm down. I told him to get back and he did. Well, my brother-in-law and me kept going back and forth as we do when our dandruff gets up. Then out of the blue my nephew gets into my face again and grabs me as he pushed me back over some boxes and against the Bay door that was closed and started yelling at me. I tried to get him off and so I grabbed him by the throat and tried to push him back. He finally backed off and got angry I grabbed him by the throat, to which my brother-in-law yelled at me to leave him alone. He then yelled that his son would kick my ass. Well to let you know, his son is like 6 ft or 6'1", and weighs probably 165, and is very muscular as he is a good athlete. Me, I am 6 Months shy of 60 years old. As I said I weight 180 lbs and stand 5'8". My strength has been depleted due to a pinched nerve in my neck I have been dealing with for the last 5 years, and a back problem that I take pain medication for as needed. Needless to say, due to my problems, my strength anymore is maybe half that of my nephew. I ended up leaving work, and have not been back since. Which has now been 4 days. I have talked to my father-in-law and he seems to be taking my brother-in-laws side on this. I was asked to come to work this afternoon to see if we can smooth things over. Again. Well, to be honest, I am afraid. For the first time in my life I am afraid to go to work. I am afraid of my brother-in-laws temper, and whether or not my nephew will again decide I need to be physically manhandled. I can point out times through the years when my brother-in-law has treated other employees with typical anger, without the physical nature, and can even get an affidavit from one or more to point out the way he has belittled them and even made one employees wife leave work crying while she visited her husband. There are other events I could share, but this is the gist of y problem. I am almost 60, and need to hang on till my retirement, and or until they owner closes the doors to which I have been promised in the past they would take care of me and their daughter, my wife. I worry I will lose y retirement, and or my life savings if I am forced to quit without any promise of employment in today's economy at my age. Do I have a situation that I could take them to court for a lawsuit? Not even sure I want to, because it is my wife's family and I have no gripe against my Father and Mother-in-law whom own the small family business. I'm at a loss, as I never expected to be in this situation before. Please, help me with advice. I am scared. Scared for my safety, for my future, and my sanity.
  10. Julie
    February 23, 2016
    It was my employer and his gal that helps him whom gained up on me with mean text messages. I was forced to quit because I was getting sick and depressed from them. Now I'm having a financial hardship, plus my employer has'nt mailed my last two pay checks and it will be two weeks Feb. 27, 2016. Any advisewill be helpful, don't know how to handle this issue.
  11. justin
    May 10, 2015
    was spat in the face by a coworker in 2002. when I confronted HR and was asked about how long I had been employed as well as the accused coworker. when the hr rep found out I only had about two years compared to the ten year coworker in question he told me it was my word against his and that he simply didn't believe me.... I work for California's biggest utility company. this incident happened at its headquarters in san Francisco. Years of entrenched dysfunction lead to constant undermining of my work performance by irresponsible accusers with zero integrity. Thanks to this new law, some simple awareness and even a work place ethics hot line a new culture has prevailed within the last five years. my mission at work now is to ensure the culture of the past doesn't resurface. As it only takes one irresponsible supervisor to make it a stones throw away
  12. YDC
    April 23, 2015
    I have a friend, a young lady of about 24 years of age. She was hired at the law firm-sole proprietor-where I used to work until I quit, and was hired at another firm. The attorney this young lady works for is very degrading, humiliating and disrespectful towards women. I am 63 yrs old, a woman and worked for him for several years during a very difficult period; my father contracted leukemia and mother had a stroke. The office is five minutes from where they live. It was convenient and very difficult financially not to leave sooner. Now this young lady is experiencing the same things, only worse as a result of her being so young and inexperienced, and very timid. She has been crying and upset on numerous occasions; he makes her work over time without paying for over time; doesn't allow her days off to go to the doctor, and if by chance he does, asks very invasive questions as to why she has to go to the doctor. She is a single mom with a six year old, and helps care financially for her mom, who is diabetic and on dialysis. She doesn't know what to do. She is very much afraid of him, which I can understand, as he is a bully, and says due to his being an attorney, any complaints will be dismissed because he is smarter and EDD will listen to him before any of us. He makes his employees work for long periods of time without adding them to the payroll; then no vacations; no sick leave. I'm out, thank goodness, but she is scared and doesn't know what to do. Please, any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
  13. AG
    March 25, 2015
    I am a clinical manager of a small mental health program. I supervise a woman who is a para-professional. She usually does great work and I recognize her for these things. Every now and then, she makes a decision that I don't agree with. This is common in my work. It is my job to help her explore her rationale for these things. Over the years, I have learned that she is very sensitive to my feedback. She takes it as "attacks" and harsh criticism. I've attempted to find different ways to approach her but it essentially comes back to if I voice my disagreement with her, she views me as hostile. A recent exchange (that i thought went well), incited her so much that she made threats of pressing charges of harassment against me. I feel very uneasy working with her. I will meet with her (once again) with my supervisor to try to address this, but I feel very vulnerable that she will pursue this again. I've been trained on harassment and know that what I am doing would not reach those standards but I do not feel comfortable with this threat over my head.
  14. Mary Jane Gillihan
    February 28, 2015
    My co-worker who I recently rented a room from has been threateneing me that if I don't take her to work or take her 17 year old daughter to meetings she will make leave, I told her just because I rent a room from her I am not her personal secretary, well this made her furious and started getting my co-workers involved threatened to call my boss is making false statement insinuating that I make her feel uncomfortable and not safe in her own home. This is absolutely ridiculous and she is harassing me and my 6 year little girl saying all our stuff will be thrown out and will make sure my work environment is as I quote her dangerous and either the careful when I walk into the building. I can't believe This women is harassing me to the point where I can't sleep and she has zero grounds to do this. I need some advice fast because I work hard at my job and I am a full time student about to graduate not to mention a full time mom and something needs to be done. Thank you!
  15. DMS
    February 28, 2015
    I have just completed my probationary period and have fought to make it this far. I was to receive hands on training my 5th day and the trainer went out on medical leave for 3 months that day. The only other person who could have trained me was my manager, but he was only there for 3 months and then quit without notice 2-3 weeks later. I've worked in my industry for 20 years and am very experienced. In addition, I only have 7 courses left to receive my master's degree. My employer has complicated what should be very simple and the system we must use is also complicated, especially when you're left to your own devises to figure things out. Input is minimal and the expected output is unrealistic. Who gets training through videos and website. Makes it difficult to take notes when you have to constantly pause the feed? For some reason the office manager has made it her mission to engage in workplace incivility and deviant behavior towards me. We are not in the same department but share the same office space. I've been subjected to her using the restroom and filling it with Lysol and then the fanning of the restroom door causing the order and fumes to come directly towards me as I sit just feet from the restroom. It's beyond disgusting. In addition, I'm subjected to her hostile behavior towards me daily. She has told co-workers that I received 2 weeks of training from the international director which is untrue. Because he sat at a table on the side of my desk and did his own thing does not mean that he trained me. If I received a total of 12 hours of training, I'd be surprised. She has told co-workers that I refused to handle an account which is untrue and was a decision made by the director as he does not consider this account to be an international one and I have fought to keep another account that is the same but has greater volume because it isn't a problem for me to handle, nor was the one given to her. She has a key to the front door but chooses to stand in front of it making me get up repeatedly to open it for her which takes me away from my duties, in addition to knocking on the door and when I open it she waves me off and this happens several times before she finally comes in. She has told another co-worker that I can't work after 17:00. For one, I don't want to work for free and I'm a full time student, which I made very clear during my interview. Another factor is that there is nobody there that has a key past 17:20 so I must leave. I have stayed hours late when executives have been in our branch as that was when it was decided to provide some training. If someone asks another co-worker for information she interjects herself and states that I have the information. The problem with this is that I have a wealth of information scattered through at least 300 pages of notes and emails that I have not been able to organize during office hours because I don't have a moment to breathe and I'm not permitted to take anything home. Set up to fail? The atmosphere is horrible when she is in the office and it is felt by others. I have bi-polar disorder, depression, and anxiety. My Dr. has provided a prescription that requires me to take 3 additional tablets throughout the day to keep my anxiety at bay and I'm doing it this weekend as the side effects may turn me into a zombie that can't be productive. In the 32 years that I have worked, I've never been subjected to this and I have to question if this is a racial issue as I am the only white employee in the office. I've also been singled out for wearing a tank top in the office as I took my sweater off when I got in the office at 08:00 and it felt like it was 90 degrees inside, but a Hispanic woman was allowed to wear one with no issues. I had to have a conference call with the branch manager and HR about it. I consider that to be discriminatory. Another issue concerns the branch manager that all employees in the office have claimed knows nothing and this goes beyond our branch employees. The office manager and branch manager have a relationship that I believe is inappropriate and unprofessional. The office manager is so far up inside the branch manager she can click her heels at his back side while her neck is under his chin. I obviously can't approach him with my concerns and am hopeful that I can address them with the new international manager that will be in the office in 2 days. I'm a very dedicated and hard working woman and I make my customers a priority and they are very pleased with my service to them. The office manager made a statement that if we check our work emails from home on our own time, we aren't doing it for the company, we're doing it for ourselves. How does that make sense? We don't get paid to work beyond our schedule and there isn't a personal gain in doing so. I don't benefit from it personally, but the company, our agents, and customers do. In addition, I have to be glad that I have my own office supplies because in 3 months, I've never been asked if I need anything. This has been the case for all the new hires since I've been employed. Having a degree in business admin and operations management, and earning a master's in business admin and global supply chain management I have to question what kind of organization this is as the office managers antics not only hurt me, they hurt the company greatly. I'm fighting to stay on a daily basis as I have an opportunity to learn 2 other aspects of global logistics that I don't have knowledge of and another I haven't done in years and didn't do much of when I did do it. I will go through the motions that I must to address these issues and I expect I will be obtaining an attorney and contacting the labor board in the future.
  16. Donna
    January 17, 2015
    I am a white teacher who is working in an Armenian Private school. I was hired to teach English and overhaul the English Department as the Department Chair. Last year a parent decided he did not like the grade that his daughters were given. He began a "hate" campaign against one of the extremely competent teachers in my department. He went to other parents and got them to complain. He sent continuous nasty emails to me and the teacher. I observed her and found her to be competent. When I supported her, he turned on me and began to attack me. The administration is friends with him, so they have given him full access to the curriculum and the teachers' planning. They are making decisions based on his suggestions. The teacher that was mercilessly attacked, and bad-mouthed last year quit due to the stress of the situation. Now, this year, he is starting the same campaign with me. What are my rights in this situation. Can he harass me, bad-mouth me, and get others to join in? Can I do anything about the Administration allowing this to go on?
  17. Grace
    January 11, 2015
    I am working in an office with a coworker who has been rude and nasty to me since I started. We do the same job. She belittles me in front of staff, has told management that I have complained about their ability, when it is she who has made these complaints. It came to a head a few weeks ago when she started yelling at me in the office because I was disagreeing with a Medicare rule. I asked to be moved out of our shared office. Since not being in the same office it has been great, but last week HR, the Director and assistant director and the bully met with me. We were told to work it out. The bully yelled, insulted and swore at me for about 5 minutes, saying I think I know everything, she doubts I have the experience I claim, that I have "turned her friends against her", and other allegations. After she was done yelling, HR asked me to make my statement. I simply asked how could I work with such a hostile, bullying, intimidating person. I was told by HR that we have to work together and they don't want to hear about this again. The Director then said I will be going back into her office. I am not looking forward to sharing an office with this unhappy person.
  18. mary toledo
    January 7, 2015
    I work for the State of Calif. My regional manager has employed her personal friends, and promoted two of them. Together they condone favoritism, harassment, and discrimination at the workplace. The regional manager is a functioning drunk. One of the promoted friends of the regional manager is a hypochondriac who is never present at work until pay day; the other promoted friend of the manager is afraid to make decisions on her own. I've gone to the whistle blower, the union, HR, other officers of this division...nothing. I was recently injured on the job. The regional manager and her army of friends are now harassing me, and now, not only am I physically injured, I am now also emotionally stressed. do i have a legal leg to stand on? pls advise
  19. Amir jawaid
    November 10, 2014
    Hi, I was harassed and bullied by my workplace supervisor and he would randomly curse at us while at work. I felt really offended. Please advise what to do.
  20. Jim
    November 5, 2014
    I have been working for a construction company for almost 3 years now. The owner of the location I work at is a woman. In start work each day at 7am. The owner advises usbif we don't clock in early(non pay) we are considered late. I clock in everyday between 5-10 minutes early and work between 5-45 minutes over(non pay) everyday. I asked her why we don't get paid the extra minutes we work and she told me if I don't like it I can quit. I've added up the unpaid time I worked last year and it'd well over 80 hours. This is where it gets worse. The owner is paying illegals cash under the table and only employs maybe 20% legal employees. I recently heard her say "I hate hiring these white people, they always end up quitting on me and wont work for less". So her hiring illegals is having a negative effect on the legal employees. She won't give us raises, and is constantly comparing us to the illegals. I've been enduring reverse discrimination since I started working here and recently its been getting worse. The illegals have been stealing large amounts of copper from work when the owner isn't around. I reported the stealing and oddly enough, the owner did nothing about it. She promised me it would be kept confidential between us. But shortly afte I was asked by 2 of the illegals if I told on them. The owner is also letting the illegals on PG&E property and is lying to them telling them they are legal employees. Lots of illegal activity going on. What can I do besides quit? I've been here 3 years and don't want to just up and quit my job. The owner is paid a salary from her older brother who is majority owner, so I don't know if she is making extra money on the side or what. But it seems like when I told them I was aware of the stealing, they started making my days hell. What can I do?
  21. renee
    October 24, 2014
    I am a teacher being bullied for not teaching common core correctly they keep saying I am confusing the kids. What can I do? I don't think its me creating the confusion, I think its the common core program they keep observing me and put me on improvement plan. Any advice?
  22. KC
    October 2, 2014
    I am a dog walker who works for a small business and someone who was entry-level like me was promoted to Manager. This manager has always given me feedback in a hostile way and accusing me of doing things that are not true for instance arriving 45 mins late when it's actually 15 and getting my pay docked despite I stay late after my shift beyond the 15 minutes of tardiness. The manager and I are constantly arguing about her undermining my decisions as a dog walker, when I am perfectly capable and competent to make decisions, which at times have been backed up by the owner. The manager has also told me the owner and other coworkers don't like me, which I find this to be inappropriate to say and untrue. The conflict between us has been brought to the owners attention once and the owner herself tried to mediate the conflict, however was unsuccessful with following through. Every time the owner is away, I feel like the bullying and harassment worsens to the point I do not feel safe at work and feel the need to look for a new job. The arguments get so heated and hostile and have begun taking place in front of other staff. What do I do and what legal support do I have?
  23. ChrisRo
    July 21, 2014
    What if you work for a state agency and they're the ones who are harassing? HR & labor board directors condone the behavior and in fact have made harassing comments themselves & the union has failed to do their job? Nobody wants to represent you in a legal case because it's the state!
  24. Paul
    July 14, 2014
    In my situation, I would record and detail everything for evidence against the person and the company. Stand up for yourself against these bullies when others are afraid. Let the company be accountable for those they hire. If the company does not oblige, take it to the state labor department immediately because there is a statute of limitations. Bullies are just people with messed up personal lives, who tried to take down others in the workplace. Keep on living your life and smile. That will piss off the bully more.
  25. sean l howard
    July 12, 2014
    I work as a Director for a vendor providing food service to an HOA with a restaurant. A Homeowner has made my life a living hell with nasty comments, letters, emails, glares, and fist pounding on the wall outside of my office. The company I work for has investigated with little resolve as the HOA Board if Directors will not act to curb the harassment. The Homeowner has gone to extreme measures to slander me in emails shared with the Board of Directors. As a vendor we are prepared to to stop all services we provide to this Homeowner with any recourse being the responsibility of the Association; I.e. loss of revenue / fees. As an individual I would like to file a restraining order and suit against the Homeowner. Individual Board members and the Association could also be liable for their inability to act perpetuating a hostile work environment. What help can you offer me? It's a unique situation.
  26. Jay
    July 3, 2014
    This is just great. I'm a white, middle-aged male and I'm being bullied on a daily basis. The bully is very clever about it. But it's wrecking me. Can't sleep. Can't think. Nobody to talk to. And from the above, apparently no protection because I'm not in the right category. Tell me that isn't racism and sexism. This country sucks.
  27. Jean
    April 3, 2014
    I work at a program where 3 agencies are working collaboratively. One of the agency supervisors responds to any emails that questions her with a reflexive nasty response. She has me so fed up that I have now responded to her nasty email with my own; which as my Lead pointed out blurs my original question because now the focus is on my response rather than the original question. What is my right as an employee when I get this nasty response from the agency supervisor?
  28. JR
    March 24, 2014
    I just started a new job as a server in a restaurant, where, by the way, all the servers are female. The general manager, a man, seemed very professional in my interviews. However since a couple days after starting, I have noticed very unfair treatment upon myself, by the GM, as well as many of the other girls. And the GM makes it seem completely allowed, because "I'm new". These other girls are extremely flirtacious with him, and are very indilligent. They are also all very much younger than I am. Anyway, the GM is constantly critiqueing me way more harshly than anyone else, constantly does this in front of everyone including customers, and when I am there I take on so many more duties than the whole serving team, who are not professionally superiors. They are entry level employees like myself. All of this has frustrated me, and I have felt bullied throughout my employment. I have had to sneak to the restroom to cry on two occasions, and even have to sneak to use the bathroom. However what I was told today was really what has me convinced that I'm definitely being harassed. My GM asked me to sit with him at a table at the end of my shift in order to "critique" my performance after a very hard, albeit nervewracking, emotional day at work. I worked very hard today, and completed all assignments. Anyway, he began to explain that I looked "sad" and that he wants to feel comfortable enough to crituque me at any point in time. He stated how my sensitivity is a weakness and that I should basically learn to tolerate all the abusive "critique" from the other girls and himself. Worst of all he told me, "I'm not saying that you should put on some makeup, because we can't tell you that. But I don't know. Sometimes you look like you just rolled out of bed. I mean, put on a little lip gloss or something." To which I responded, "I really don't understand those statements. And to be honest they are offensive. I understand the concept of professional presentability, but my hair is combed, teeth brushed, and of course I shower every day." To which he replied, "Well that's questionable. I'm not there with you. So..." I said, "I have never had a manager tell me I looked unpresentable without makeup or lip gloss before." He shrugged it off and said, "Look, let's not make a big thing of this. Here's an example. Come here Crystal, (name of said server is fictional in this statement) I want (me) to see what I mean. I interrupted saying, "Please, it's ok. Please don't involve the team. This is already humiliating." And he said, "Look I'll have (a female manager) call you later to let you know what I mean. From a girl's perspective." Meanwhile, and throughout the entire degradation, he has the widest smile on his face, almost laughing, uber amused by my humility and his own tactless opinion of my face. Please respond someone. I have been crying at home now on & off all day. I turned down two other jobs for this one, have a 3 yr. old daughter, and support my minor sister as well, on my own and cannot afford to just quit. But I feel as though I am walking on eggshells at work, the environment is definitely hostile, and I feel as though I am being picked on because I am diligent instead of flirtacious. How can one even function or conduct oneself in such a "workplace"? I am looking for a new job after today. But in the meantime, can someone please offer some advice?
  29. HKS
    March 14, 2014
    I've been harassed for years by my immediate supervisor. Name calling, belittling, confrontational and inappropriate touching. I reported the harassment and nothing was done about it. I was fed up with the immature behavior and wrote a formal letter that went to the manager. I was brought in then threatened to be writen up for the letter (email) that I submitted. Information and letter was brought to the legal department and a firm was contracted to investigate the harrasment. Still awaiting word from the employer and seeking legal assistance. I've done my due diligence and have learned that everything including as much detail as possible should be documented daily. My supervisor has low self esteem and boundary issues as described by my employer. Odd question but does he have legal protection which allows him to harass an employee?
  30. DD
    March 14, 2014
    My boyfriend and I work for the same company and he is being harassed with sexual comments by my female boss for over 2 years and she continues to do it. He has told her it is unwanted and I have complained to HR and they did not investigate any of the harassment that she is doing to him but only what pertains to me and they are trying to say that the harassment that she did to me is old stuff and why didn't I come to them sooner. My boyfriend has told her that I do not approve of her inappropriate behavior and she has told him that I better learn to deal with it because it will be bad for me if I don't. Is there a statue of limitation on Sexual harassment, and even if it's still continuing? Should we both be seeking legal advise?
  31. SJ
    February 6, 2014
    There is a older woman at my job who constantly is loud, obnoxious and unprofessional. Although it is not illegal to be annoying, it is not right for someone to bully and harass others, just because that's their "personality." She invades a person's private space, forces you to speak to her and wont walk away until you do, and will take it personal if you try and ignore her (when you are just trying to remain professional). Once she takes something personal she will continue to "poke" at you by saying comments under her breath, try and be even louder around you and just act very immaturely creating a tense work environment. I know that bullying is not illegal, and the fact that she is trying to indirectly be a bully (so that she can remain seen as a victim and not an aggressor), I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have filed an incident report for reports of harassment and bullying. Another employee filed an incident report for her bullying and racial slurs. However, nothing has happened to this woman in terms of disciplinary action. I have remained professional up to the point where I spoke up for myself and told her to leave me alone and not talk to me. It all seems so childish, bc it is. However, the fact that she keeps coming around me and saying obnoxious comments for everyone to hear and disrupting my work space (which is a good distance from where her desk is located) is now a problem. I do not know what to do. When I actually do meet my wits end and complain about her actions, management treats me as if I am being troublesome. I know to remain professional, but could this type of behavior continue to be allowed and overlooked??
  32. Eric Emal
    February 4, 2014
    I work in a treatment center and have been repremanded and told I may be fired for a vibe that I give off. I have done nothing wrong or said anything derogatory to anyone ever. I was forced to go to each of my coworkers and explain that if I have made them uncomfortable with a vibe I give off that I was sorry. I work hard and have a strong job ethic. All my co- workers asked me why was I asked to do this? Can I really be fired for a Vibe I give off?
  33. Hopeless
    January 25, 2014
    I am a woman over 50 who just started a new job 3 weeks ago and on the days that my employer has been in the office, I go home crying and it is making me very depressed and affecting my self esteem and sense of worthiness. He is very demeaning to me and my co-worker who is also over 50. He bully's and intimidates us and is frequently reminding us how stupid or incompetent he thinks we are using demeaning remarks. When we do not understand what he is trying to tell us or we do something wrong because his lack of proper training and communication, he says things to us like, you've just been demoted to 1st grade, or 2nd grade. We hear this pretty much every day. We have never been elevated to anything past second grade in his bully comments. Or he tells us to shut up all the time or stop talking when we are in the middle of asking him a question on a procedure. When we ask for clarification on things, he makes demeaning comments inferring that we are stupid, because somewhere in a previous conversation he already explained these things to us. He makes fun of us when we write a note down in our instruction books more than once, again implying that we are stupid. Yet, he complains if we do not take notes. When he makes mistakes he goes out of his way to prove himself right and us wrong. We both are college graduates and have had very successful careers in our lives. In his mind, women are not equal to him on any level, and he makes it a point of reiterating that to us over and over again using his x-girlfriend as the example. We have both come to the conclusion he does not like women and because of his past experiences in his relationships, he is taking out his rage and frustration on us which affects us negatively on a daily basis. For me is is affecting my health and mental status. Every day he robs me of all the joy I had before he came in, and replaces it with a sense of unworthiness, hopelessness and despair. At my age, jobs are not easy to come by and so I fear I will be forever tormented by him as long as I remain in his employ. I have asked him to please stop many times, but he keeps on doing it. I have told him this hurts me tremendously and am only trying to do a good job for him, but all of my requests have fallen on deaf ears as have my co-workers. Also, we have witnessed how he speaks to his other employees who are Mexican and work in his factory and he is even more cruel to them. He has zero tolerance for any kind of imperfection if one is a woman or Mexican. His other white male business associates are treated with respect. He calls the Mexicans stupid and uneducated and when they complain that he is not nice to them, he retaliates. One Mexican woman is on the chopping block right now because she complained to him that he is not nice to her, so now he is looking to replace her. He said, I have given her enough compliments as if this should appease her, yet she is still bullied by him as we are. Last week his male Mexican warehouse worker was docked a days pay because he did not get a overnight package shipped out on time, so our employer called him while we were sitting there in the office, and told him he was not allowed to work on Monday and to stay home. When we have spoken to this worker on the phone, he appears to always be in fear and seems quite scared of our employer. My co-worker and I are not Mexican we are white like our employer but it bothers us tremendously to see how he speaks to them and to us. And these employees have been putting up with this for many years because they need their jobs and probably do not even know they have any rights to speak up. When we have confronted our employer, he will try to talk his way out of it and say we are doing a good job, and then 10 minutes later demean us all over again. So whatever we said to him went in one ear and right out the other. He seems to think he has the right to do this and is not accountable to anyone for his actions. He has no company policy on harassment that we know of because we were not given anything like that, nor were we given handbook or anything about any type of company policy. I am wondering what our recourse is. This employer is clearly out of control and violating the law.
  34. Lisa
    January 1, 2014
    I am a property manager at a 150 unit community. I have been managing for nearly 20 years. There is also a co-manager working with me who is all of 22 years old and she is always telling me what to do and if she doesn't get her way, she throws a huge temper tantrum and says very mean and hurtful things to me. Her mom works at our corporate with our supervisor and owner managing a 300 unit community so she thinks her sh*t doesn't stink and that everyone should bow down to her. If she comes in in the morning in a bad mood, then that means at any minute I am going to get yelled at and accused of lying about certain things which I am not. Recently, she accidentally emailed me a letter she had just typed up and it said horrible and discriminating things about me. When I read it I was horrified. Well, I have emailed my supervisor several times about this and she will not answer me about whether or not this little girl is going to have any ramifications for what she has done to me. This is called "a hostile environment in the work place," and is illegal! I am going to wait a couple of more days to see if my supervisor takes any actions against "Miss Princess" or not. If not, I am going to hire an employment lawyer and take them to the bank!!
  35. babychoi
    December 10, 2013
    I am being harassed and bullied at work. It has been going on for over 1 year now - unfair treatment, unfair workload, snide remarks, intimidation - I have brought this up to my manager time and time again. For over 1 year. Now I am physically sick. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. It has overlapped into my home life, where I am stressed and have anxiety over work. At work, I am given more and more and more work to do. I come into work every day. I am only allotted a certain number of hours for PTO, while others don't even have to come to work. I am treated like an animal, like a slave. Because I told my manager that my shoulder is hurting me due to my ergonomically incorrect workspace set up, insufficient lighting, uneven monitors (I work with 2 monitors at a time) and a chair that is not comfortable for sitting in 8 hours straight, I am getting intimidating emails. I am going to kill myself. Because it's not going to stop.
  36. Aziza Belen
    November 27, 2013
    I am being bullied by my boss. She calls it "guidance" and "mentoring" when she yells at me and tells me that I am not allowed to speak to a member of my team because I have allowed this team member to co-lead my project--after she suggested that we co-lead it. She gives me conflicting instructions and then gets angry with me when I don't know what to do. I have told her boss about it, but regardless of what SHE does, I'm getting the f* out of this place. The sad and scary part? I work at a hospital.
  37. JoannaM.
    November 13, 2013
    My daughter has been bullied by her school peers, teachers and principals. I called the school several times and made comments that these kids are acting, "ghetto". The school principal engaged in my anger against these teens and agreed with me stating, "Yes so are the parents". He still did nothing about it. In December of last year a girl grabbed my daughter by her neck and slammed her against the wall. Shortly after a group of kids ran after my daughter as she ran to the cafeteria crying as they threw food at her and called her names. I had it then. I called the police and had them go to the school as I was there also with the school principal and vice principal. The officer was not concerned about anything we explained to him and obviously because he was taking the word of a school principal and vice principal, he refused to do anything or even take a report and stated, "I'm gonna let them handle it". I complained that they had 4 months to handle it, and they didn't. The officer still showed no concern and left. The principal and vice principal showed satisfaction with their grin on their face. It was then that I knew, they were up to something. Shortly after, my daughter began being suspended for anything and everything. If she spoke against someone who bullied her, it was HER who was suspended. They did this till she was up for expulsion. I didn't know this until a mother of another student called and told me that the principal told her that my daughter was being kicked out of school. My daughters confidentiality rights were violated. When I complained about it to the superintendent, he refused to do anything and stated, "well what do you want me to do about it". I told him he knows the disciplinary procedures for such misconduct. He rolled his eyes and refuses to listen. I became upset and raised my voice when he rose and asked me to leave his office. I did. During the board meeting. I was asked if I had gotten a copy of all the paperwork. I said yes but not from the mail. Mr. Curry lied and said he had a paper that I signed for it. I never signed for it to I asked him to provide this paper. The board woman to protect him stated that, he just didnt have it in front of him at the moment. They then asked if my daughter had completed homework. Mr. Curry rushed to answer that she had only completed one assignment. I explained that my daughter completed all her assignments and that I had the office official sign what we turned in because we knew he would lie. He then rudely stated that this meeting was over and that they didn't have to take this. When I mentioned my daughters confidentiality rights being violated, they brushed that off as well. All of them protected each other. Too many incidents to mention. As for staff officials bullying my daughter. A teacher announced to the entire class that my daughter made her feel uncomfortable the way she touched her. Once my daughter entered the class the students began calling my daughter, "Dike", and "ratchet", and laughing at her. I seen this teacher at a Target store. A day later she told students that I tried to confront her. Which never happened. Students were messaging my other daughter on FB telling her that the principal was telling everyone that my daughter was expelled. We wonder why children have no morals in the schools. When you have a superintendent, principal, and vice principal who don't have morals running it, what would one expect. My daughter was expelled and sent to a bad school where gang member kids attend. The bullying continues and the teachers watch students throw pens at my daughter and hit her in the face. The teacher allows students to steal from her back pack, mock her stuttering, and laugh at her in class. In a meeting, the teacher stated, "This is the first im hearing about this". I confronted that statement and asked how is it she cant see or hear all of this going on in a little class room to the point that my daughter wanted to hurt herself and ended up in a mental hospital because of this. She continued to claim, she knew nothing. My daughter took a weapon to school for protection because a kid said his three sisters wee going to jump her. Recently my 19 year old daughter called to report an incident and the principal asked, as the other did, "and what do you want me to do about it". My daughter told him, " I want you to protect her, do your job, that's what I want you to do". He then stated, "Goodbye", and hung up on her. We have no help. No one to turn to. So I ask, what do we do? It happens everyday. It happened yesterday, and will continue because, the school doesn't care!
  38. Rachele Piazza
    November 11, 2013
    I have been employed with my current employer for 3 yrs now; 2 months in to my employment I began being harassed by my co-worker who is a 10 yr employee along with the majority of the employees who also have been there for many years. I began being harassed by employees who I did not work with nor did I know, Each time I reported it to the manager I was told the harasser did not know what I was talking about or the harasser was going through a lot of personally issues at home. It became apparent the manager was making excuses for her or trying to justify the behavior. I then reported it to HR which I realized the HR Manager was in support of the employees as I was told I was not going to change the culture of the company. At this time I felt I was alone with no support from HR and Management as I began to see the sister-brotherhood of the company. I learned there are a hand full of others who were harassed by the same employees but nothing was done so they remain silent. Initially I focused on the harassment from the employees but the real issue is Management and HR as they knowing do nothing to acknowledge there is a problem with harassment and are more concerned about protecting the employees. There is a serious issue with confidentially as well as Management does not comply with company policy, creating more hostility with employees and making the work place worse. This should be a violating of code & conduct on company policy to provide a safe harass free environment.
  39. KT
    September 5, 2013
    I am being bullied by my subordinate. She has had problems with her former coworkers and had to be transfered to my department. She constantly breaks all California state law rules for hourly employees and then when I address it (by asking to to not do it anymore) she takes a fit. She then has started spreading rumors about me. She has told lies and tells people that I am mean to her. Now upper management and HR knows what she is like since she has had problems with many people. However, she plays the victim act so well. She has now gotten a lot of people to dislike me. I don't care if they like or dislike me. All I care about is that they work with me professionally. But they don't. The do not share information and go around me. I cannot get me job done. She tried to transfer to another group. But the hiring manager told me that her group does not like her and asked her not to hire her. So, it seems that I am stuck with her. She has turned alot of people against me and I have not done anything to her. She has done this to others.
  40. Marina
    July 31, 2013
    I have been working for a roofing company and one top supervisors always addresses his administrative assistant with the B word and the F word apparently she seems to think that because this is a construction industry this is ok. I have been with this company for a few months. I really need this job to pay my living expenses but this really bothers me. He makes her cry at times. I have mentioned it several times to the Office manager and she says "That's just the way he is" Is there nothing to do about this or just tolerate it?
  41. Melissa Hurtado
    April 20, 2013
    I am a victim of workplace bullying at a law enforcement agency. I succumb to a workers compensation claim due to the anxiety that it caused. I would like to add that I advise some of you to be careful what you tell your psychologist because the system is corrupt. You will be labeled delusional. Paranoid just to name a few. I am also bullied in my community. Yes, I said it in the community. You can look it up. There are many names to this phenomenon such as organized stalking, gang stalking or google targeted individual. My experience with the doctors and mental health system has been a journey. Now I have to try to clear my name as I have been set up to look like an insane person. Some of you sound like what I went through at work. Contact me if you like endgangstalking@gmail.com
  42. PESH
    February 21, 2013
    There is a woman here who is a friend of someone I had a run in with a few years ago. She has spent the day here in the office telling everyone about the run in. She will not confront me with it and I do not know if I should confront her or just leave well enough alone. I sit here in my cubicle and do my work. I expect to be left alone by her because my work has nothing to do with her. What should I do?
  43. Inesse Diehr
    January 24, 2013
    I have been bullied at the workplace by associates neighboring in offices next door. This bullying has to stop. They have come so far as to try and make it my problem that they are hateful and use their dogs to attack innocent bystanders. I began to see the harassment when I went over to the neighbors office and introduced myself. She had a rabid dog who was ready for attack, showing her teeth. It was not a good environment to be dealing with others. She then started making assaults about my dog and following me around and stalking me for many miles to find out where I stayed at night. Because she had been stalking me for some time now, I realized that it was serious when she came into the store where I was shopping (which is many miles out of the way for her to go) and made up an excuse that she was just grabbing lunch (when in fact she only bought one apple) and then started looking me up and down and also looking at my dog as well. She started to tell me that her dog had a cancerous tumor on her heart and that the dog was a rescue dog and the dog had always had to fight for anything she had. Her story was really about her. It was about her and her dog, not about just her dog. I saw that she is excessively overweight and unnaturally so. It was such that she obviously was the one who had cancer. The dog was merely reflecting her bad lifestyle of gluttony and abuse. She has threatened to sue the Landlords if they don't seek to terminate my lease. And so they have sought to terminate the lease with me by offering to pay me $1000 extra to move. It is clear that if I just leave then I am saying that its okay for her to bully and that's not okay. And that is why I am NOT going to leave. Now I hope more people stick up for themselves. That way our world will be better. Thanks for reading. Peace.
  44. Sean dolph
    January 18, 2013
    I have been threatened with bodily harm People wrote nasty comments on the board at work I've been laughed at been told I'm a liar need to do work that I wasn't supposed to do because of Workmen's Comp. claim And just overall overall Being bullied and discrimination of who I am Which is led me to severe severe anxiety and depression which I am seeing a psychologist and therapist for
  45. BJP
    September 29, 2012
    If I have been diagnosed with major depression, and have been written up for being sad, is this a violation? If I have FMLA for my depression, and still get in trouble for being sad, is my employer in violation of the law?

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