Many adults work in environments in California that can only be described as hostile. In some workplaces, bullies are commonplace. In a 2011 survey, half of employees reported incidents of bullying in the workplace. Bullies at work aren’t limited to supervisors – they can be customers, co-workers, or anyone in the workplace.

A hostile workplace isn’t in and of itself illegal. However, a number of states are considering legislation that would allow workers to sue for workplace harassment if the worker suffered emotional or physical harm as a result. California introduced anti-workplace bullying laws in 2003, but bullying and harassment in the workplace continue to be a problem.

Currently, if a worker is harassed because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, etc., the worker could have a cause of action against the employer. However, some people at work are bullied for reasons other than his or her race, color, etc., and many lawmakers believe those workers should have legal recourse too.

Many experts point out that with unemployment still high in the U.S., workers who could have previously simply quit an unbearable bullying situation at work are now forced to stay for economic reasons. A little over half of companies have an anti-bullying policy in place. Most workplace bullying consists of verbal abuse or gossip. About 20 percent of workplace bullying takes place on social media.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that employees in California should be able to work without fear of bullying or harassment. Under federal or California law, you may have a legal case against the employer or the bully. If you’re in the San Francisco area and you have been bullied at work, call Micha Star Liberty, California employment law attorney, at 415-896-1000. She can help clients in Oakland, Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield and the surrounding cities. Call today.

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