Employment Law Alert - Spotlight on Workplace Bullying

Although workplace bullying does not always involve illegal conduct, it can create legal liability for employers and almost always hurts employee morale. These problems, along with the negative impact on employee productivity, have made controlling workplace bullying a major focus of human resource professionals for years. Recently, highly publicized sexual harassment incidents and social media coverage of those incidents, including the #MeToo movement, have only intensified public awareness and the need to focus on controlling bullying.

Perhaps the leading national expert on workplace bullying is Gary Namie, Ph.D., who has written numerous books on the topic and established the Workplace Bullying Institute dedicated to combatting workplace bullying. When contacted for this article, Mr. Namie indicated he had observed a recent increase in bullying incidents and training to prevent workplace bullying. He said that the #MeToo sexual harassment revolution has heightened the focus on workplace bullying and he is about to release a short book on how this new movement was changing the employer landscape on dealing with toxic employees. He further stated that employers would be well advised to pay attention to this issue because everyone else is. He warned that those employers who ignore addressing toxic employees will be doing so at their own peril since toxic work environments lead to illegal harassment and more bullying.

FYI

To help employers address the risks created by workplace bullying, a workshop entitled "Dealing with the Toxic Employee" will be presented on March 22nd at the Richmond Convention Center as part of the 34th Annual Employment Law Update. The guest presenter for this topic will be Mauricio Velasquez, a nationally recognized diversity trainer. To register to hear this and other hot employment law topics, click here. As always, members of our Labor & Employment Team will be on hand along with representatives from relevant government agencies to answer any employment questions attendees may have.


The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2018.

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