What is workplace bullying and harassment?
There are no legal definitions for workplace bullying, though the Equality Act 2010 defines harassment as “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.
Generally, bullying and harassment in the workplace might involve the following:
- Being intimidated or threatened
- Being ridiculed and made the butt of jokes
- Sexual harassment and unwelcome contact
- Physical assaults
- Sexual assaults
- Undue punishment or criticism
- Undermining you in front of colleagues
- Being denied training or career progression
- Being overworked and picked on
- Being victimised for complaining or whistleblowing.
In very serious cases, harassment can amount to a criminal act and your bully can be investigated by the police. However, this is not a requirement to pursue a claim for compensation.
Workplace bullying is, sadly, not uncommon. A 2020 report from the CIPD found that 15% of all workers had been bullied, 8% had been subjected to harassment and 4% were sexually harassed in the previous three years.
What is workplace discrimination?
Discrimination is when you are treated less favourably because of a ‘protected characteristic’ that you have. The following characteristics are protected in law by the Equality Act 2010:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Religion or belief
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
If you can show that you have been treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic, then you may have a claim for discrimination.
Why should I contact a workplace harassment lawyer?
Everybody deserves to be treated fairly and respectfully at work. Your employer owes you a duty of care, which includes protecting you from any harm caused by your managers and colleagues, as well as providing a safe place of work.
If you have been harmed by bullying or harassment in your workplace, your career may be experiencing serious negative consequences. You may have lost earnings or your job. You may also be experiencing unhappiness, stress and even serious illness.
Even if you feel ready to fight back, getting justice can seem difficult, confusing and stressful. Whatever happened, though, you may be entitled to claim compensation for bullying at work which can start to right the wrongs and hold those responsible to account.
Our workplace harassment lawyers specialise in acting for people who have suffered due to bullying or harassment and will be able to provide you with the support that you need throughout the process.
Whatever the impact on you, our solicitors will be there to guide and advise you at every step of the way, to ensure that you are fully compensated for what you have suffered.
You will be entitled to an award for any harm that you may have suffered. This could be a physical injury, a psychiatric injury (affecting your mental state), or injury to your feelings. If you lost your job due to the workplace harassment, or the mistreatment has affected your career, you may have a significant financial claim for loss of income, benefits and pension.
Why choose Bolt Burdon Kemp?
For over 35 years, our lawyers and solicitors have helped workers to get justice in cases of harassment and bullying, including in the military. Highly qualified, our team has been lauded by the likes of Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 thanks to our exceptional standards of service and, because we are passionate about helping everyone to get justice, we offer our services on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.