All employees have the right not to be bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work. What about employees who suffer a psychological injury due to transfer, demotion, promotion, performance review, discipline, retrenchment or dismissal? Well, it depends. In this blog, we will outline when the action taken by your colleague and/or employer is considered to be workplace bullying, your entitlements to compensation and how to make a workplace bullying claim.
Understandably, bullying and harassment generally have negative consequences on the bullied person’s mental health by creating distress and low self-confidence that may lead to psychological injuries.
Workplace bullying includes but is not limited to harassment, systematic offence, humiliation, social exclusion, aggressive behaviour, sexual harassment, and online bullying.
34% of employees reported that they have experienced discrimination at their workplace, if you think that you suffered psychological injuries due to workplace bullying or discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation benefits and a lump sum payout. Reach our workplace bullying and harassment lawyers to have a free claim check!
Our workplace bullying and harassment lawyer provide a free claim check!
What exactly is workplace bullying?
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s workplace bullying definition is a person or group of people repeatedly behaving unreasonably towards another worker or group of workers. Given that the definition is broad, it can be better understood with some examples below.
- Teasing or telling inappropriate jokes
- Starting rude and/or inaccurate rumours
- Humiliating comments
- Aggressive behaviour
- Exclusion from work-related events
- Unattainable and/or unreasonable work expectations
Its important to note that workplace bullying is different to workplace discrimination and as a result, you could be entitled to a separate claim under employment law and Human Rights claims.
What about workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is when someone is treated differently or less favourably because of a personal attribute such as:
- Marital status
One in eight men between 25 – 34 years of age admitted that they were harassed or discriminated against by their female co-workers.
There’s a dramatic difference between men and women when it comes to being a victim of sexual harassment. Women are 6 times more likely to experience sexual harassment than men.
I am bullied at work; can I make a workplace bullying compensation claim?
The answer is yes but under certain conditions.
In order to claim compensation benefits, your injuries need to have arisen from workplace bullying which must be diagnosable by a medical professional. Negative symptoms such as anxiety, sadness or frustration itself are not considered psychological injuries.
What workplace bullying compensation benefits can I claim?
What is a common law claim for workplace bullying?
Common law claim includes future loss of earnings until the age of retirement, depending on the extent of negligence, the extent of your injuries, your age and other circumstances.
You can make a common law claim under workers compensation scheme if your injuries are assessed as being at least 15% whole person impairment and your employer is responsible for your injury.
How can I start my workplace bullying claim?
Our experienced workplace bullying lawyers have been helping people who suffer workplace bullying and harassment for years on a No Win No Fee basis in NSW. You can simply contact us for legal advice, and we can help you receive what you are entitled to.
If you are not ready to reach us, you can start with reporting the issue in writing to your manager regardless of whether you are suffering from psychological injuries.
You should also consult your General Practitioner for treatment and request they complete a Certificate of Capacity which should document your injury and their opinion on your capacity to work due to the injury.
You should also complete a Work Injury Claim Form which is usually submitted alongside the Certificate of Capacity completed by your GP and sent to your employer.
When should I start my workplace bullying compensation claim?
The short answer is as soon as possible.
Workplace injuries are assessed under workers compensation claims which should be made within 6 months after the date that you discover your injury however the earlier you start the earlier you may receive your compensation benefits.
If your permanent impairment rate is 15% or greater, you should make a common law claim within three years.
There are some exceptions that may extend these durations. You can reach our common law lawyers to know your eligibility.
Frequently asked questions
You take certain actions to prevent workplace bullying to harm your mental health. You can start with reporting the behaviour to your manager or HR department; your employer should address the issue as soon as possible after your notification. It is best you do it in writing as you may require that later. Also, you can limit your interaction and take notes of what happened.
An experienced workplace bullying lawyer can walk you through all steps of your claim. It’s more likely that you are not experienced in that area; that’s why a workplace injury lawyer can easily identify your eligibility, plan the claiming process, estimate your compensation benefits, and most importantly, act on your behalf of you when you should focus on your mental wellbeing. There is no cost to you as our workplace bullying lawyers have approved Independent Review Office (IRO) lawyers which means you are not liable for our costs and disbursements as they are covered by IRO.
Yes, you can sue your boss if you are bullied by them but usually, you are making a claim against your employer not your boss directly. Your employer should have workers compensation insurance as required by law.
You can make a psychological injury claim if you have suffered an injury due to workplace bullying which occurred in the course of employment regardless of whether it was your colleagues, customers, patients, the management or your employer directly. However, as noted in the Who can claim workplace bullying compensation? section, your psychological injuries need to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Reach our No Win No Fee workplace bullying lawyers
Our workplace bullying lawyers can simplify the legal procedure for you and work hard to help you know where you stand, ensuring you are receiving the maximum compensation benefits and/or the maximum payout to protect your future.
Your legal costs and disbursements will be covered by the Independent Review Office (IRO). Call us on 1800 952 901 or book a consultation today!