A Bullying Scenario

A Bullying Scenario

It's true that there are no anti-bullying laws in the US, but that doesn't mean that bullying can't be the basis of a lawsuit.

Bryan Boss Shows the Myth of No Anti-Bullying Laws

Let's use Bryan Boss as the example of how lawsuits spring up around bullying.

Bryan boss:

  • Pushed and shoved Emma Employee (assault and battery, potential OSHA violation),
  • Locked her in the conference room (false imprisonment),
  • Spread rumors about her performance (defamation),
  • Deliberately left Emma's written performance warning on the common area copier (invasion of privacy)
  • Continuously yells at Emma in department-wide meetings, in the hallway, and on the phone (intentional affliction of emotional stress).

So, Emma went to see Henry HR, and

  • Claimed she was suffering from a psychiatric injury from her bullying boss (workers' compensation and FMLA),
  • Requested an accommodation (ADA)
  • Showed Henry evidence that Bryan changed her timesheets and is owed overtime for the past 18 months (FLSA/state wage and hour violations and penalties!)

And then, Emma said:

  • She informed Bryan she was pregnant and was told she would not get a promotion because she is "a breeder" (gender and pregnancy discrimination)
  • After she complained in the company newsletter about her denial of promotion
  • Bryan changed her work hours,
  • Overtime was denied,
  • She was excluded from training and
  • She was the only one in the department who didn't receive a bonus (retaliation)

Finally, Emma whimpered that:

  • She can no longer sleep
  • She has stomach ailments
  • She is now addicted to anti-depressants (more intentional infliction of emotional distress)
  • Therefore she feels she has no choice but to resign (constructive discharge)

WARNING Don't wait for laws to be passed to deal with bullying behavior.