Build a Civil Workplace by Treating Workplace Bullying

by Nov 19, 2015

While it is widely understood that workplace bullying is still not punishable by California law, it does not mean that one may exploit the lack of workplace bully prevention and harass everyone who comes his way. Despite the legislative body’s disagreements with the definition of abusive conduct, it may still constitute a punishable harassment provided that it was inflicted against a person belonging to a protected class. One should just prove in court that the offended party was harassed with regards to one’s race, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or physical disability.

Defined as “conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests,” abusive conduct clearly threatens civility at work so as to jeopardize the legitimate business interests. Acts such as continuous infliction of verbal abuse, degrading remarks, insults, or any other forms of physical or verbal conduct which an employee may find threatening, intimidating or humiliating constitutes abusive conduct which violates the law.

If proven in court to be abusive, then there is no longer a need for a form of bullying or abuse to be inflicted into persons under a protected category to constitute an offense.

Nevertheless, organizations may prevent cost of suit or having its reputation jeopardized by adopting a respectful workplace corporate policy.

To learn more, click here for full article.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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