Work-place bullying refers to intentionally causing discomfort for someone over a longer period of time, for example through threats, derogatory remarks, humiliation and exclusion, and thus creates situations where the victim finds it difficult to protect themselves. What should you do if you have been the victim of bullying?
A peaceful and benevolent attitude should always be maintained when being a victim of bullying or unfair treatment at work. This can help to put an end to the bullying and ensure that the bully is not able to blame the victim if there has, for example, been an exchange of words. It is also important to talk to the bully or other colleagues about the issue, as such situations can often arise from misunderstandings.
If the problem persists, all situations in which the victim has experienced bullying should be recorded with the time and date. All circumstances should then be communicated to the employer in writing and it should be clarified that the situation is hindering the achievement of the best possible work results. The employer must always assist the employee in such a situation, as they are obliged to ensure a non-discriminatory working environment by all possible measures (subsections 91 (1) and (2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act).
If the employer is unable to resolve the situation or if the employer themselves turns out to be the bully, the Labour Inspectorate should be contacted with this concern. In this case, it is also important to gather evidence, present it and find possible witnesses. If the relevant authorities find that the employee’s rights have been violated, the victim has the right to claim compensation.
This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.