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What Are My Legal Rights If I Am The Victim Of Workplace Bullying

By John Vizzone


Recent reports suggest that workplace bullying is costing businesses $13 billion a year. This exemplifies how workplace bullying continues to be an ongoing issue for working Australians today.

Despite the prevalence of workplace bullying there is not much information about what bullied workers can do when facing repeated bullying.

Your legal rights will be dependent on the nature of the bullying and the impact of the bullying.

The New Fair Work Act Laws Regarding Bullying

If you are subjected to bullying on at least one occasion by an individual within or the entire organisation, since 1 January 2014 you can now commence a claim within the Fair Work Commission.

On receipt of the claim the Fair Work Commission will investigate the bullying and decide if there is evidence of bullying.

The Fair Work Commission may make Orders which order either the organisation or the individuals concerned to stop bullying.

Should they breach the Order of the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Commission has powers to then fine the perpetrators of the bullying.

Workers Compensation Claims

There remains a right to commence a Workers Compensation Claim in respect of bullying if that bullying results in a psychological/psychiatric injury and it is not due to reasonable actions on behalf the employer.

Reasonable actions include actions in relation to termination, transfer, and demotion or performance management of an employee.

It is important to note that certain thresholds apply before a person has a right to some forms of compensation however you should seek appropriate legal advice.

Tips If You Are Subjected to Workplace Bullying

1. Report your concerns to your Manager, or Human Resources Department as soon as bullying has occurred or as soon as practical.

2. If you feel like the bullying has affected you psychologically, you should seek appropriate medical treatment as soon as practical.

3. Consider keeping a diary and keeping notes of the incidents involving the bullying.

4. Seek legal advice from a suitable Lawyer who practices in both Workers Compensation/Fair Work and Employment Law.  It may be appropriate to make a claim under both jurisdictions.

If you would like anymore information regarding this article please contact John Vizzone on 02 9667 1271 or john.vizzone@vrtlawyers.com.au

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