December 21, 2015 Category: Hostile Work Environment
Many workers in California companies are victims of workplace bullying from supervisors, coworkers or both. Although a worker may be tempted to complain about bullying right away, it is important for victims to know how to make a complaint so that the complaint doesn’t leave them vulnerable to retaliation. Workplace bullying in and of itself is not illegal unless it involves illegal activities.
A worker who makes a complaint is not protected from retaliation unless the complaint concerns a specific type of workplace discrimination or harassment. Simply stating that a boss is acting like a bully or a work environment is hostile will not protect a worker from being fired. However, workers who complain that they are being treated differently because of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation cannot be fired for making the complaint.
Some workers are unlawfully discriminated against for taking parental or medical leave, and complaining about this type of discrimination is also legally protected. A worker who is being harassed by a supervisor because they blew the whistle on illegal company activities also has the right to complain about this type of harassment without fear of retaliation. When a group of workers organizes to report workplace bullying, they are in most cases legally protected from retaliation for making the complaint as well.
An employer may still retaliate against an employee who complains, even if the employer does not have the legal right to do so. A worker who has been fired or demoted for making a legitimate complaint about harassment or a hostile work environment may want to speak with an attorney about the available remedies for seeking redress.