Workplace bullying could be illegal discrimination

Workers in Tennessee who face bullying or intimidation on the job may wonder what kind of action they can take to put an end to the mistreatment on the job. In some cases, affected workers may try to remain silent, hoping that a lack of reaction will cause the bullies to lose interest or that another person will notice the issue and step in. In other cases, workers may attempt to file a complaint, but they can be concerned about the threat of retaliation and further abuse.

However, depending on the motivation behind the workplace bullying and mistreatment, the behavior may be not only unethical but illegal. Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, disability and other protected characteristics is prohibited under the law, and a company has a responsibility to put an end to workplace harassment. While simple bullying in the workplace may not be illegal, this is not the case when protected criteria are involved. In these cases, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint can be an important part of seeking justice for discrimination on the job.

When workers face workplace discrimination and bullying, it can still be a form of illegal harassment even when perpetrated by co-workers rather than executives and even when workers did not lose pay as a result. It can be important for bullied workers to bolster their complaint by keeping a paper trail of the situation, including formally telling the perpetrators of the harassing or discriminatory behavior to stop and using the company's internal processes to report the behavior.

Workplace discrimination continues to be a real risk that holds back the careers and achievement of many people on the job. An employment attorney can help workers subject to discriminatory practices in their workplace to file the relevant state and federal complaints and seek further action to put an end to the harassment.

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