Worker's Compensation And Workplace Bullying: Careful Now

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Worker's Compensation And Workplace Bullying: Careful Now

17 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you have been enduring workplace bullying and can't take it anymore, you have all sorts of options for ending the harassment and getting some relief. Some are very fast, such as quitting. Others, though, address longer-term issues, like getting compensation for medical bills relating to the bullying. Even if the bullying was only verbal and emotional, which can be notoriously hard to prove, it may be possible to get some costs reimbursed or to get damages. But you can't do this alone, and you need to note all of your steps along the way.

Log Everything

The conventional wisdom about dealing with workplace bullying usually starts off with an admonition to log or record everything, and for good reason. You need to establish a record as soon as possible of the problems you're experiencing. Note names, times, places, and as much detail about the incidents as you can. If you log the incidents electronically, such as by sending an email to yourself, print out each email with full headers as soon as you can, and keep it safe. Don't delete the electronic record.

Use Appropriate Channels, but Be Prepared for Pushback

You do have to show that you tried to stop the problems, so be prepared to speak to supervisors, your union representatives if you're in a union, possibly your human resources office (though these can be a mixed bag; some are very responsive while others won't be much help), and so on. Again, log everything, and don't be discouraged if people seem unwilling to help.

Talk to a Lawyer Before Agreeing on Programs

Even if your supervisors and human resource reps fully agree that you've been through bullying, and they discipline the people responsible, they may not be very helpful in getting compensation. Worker's comp sometimes doesn't pay out that much at first, and other leave programs might not be that much better. And if you've already quit your job, you could be facing other obstacles. You'd have to show that you absolutely couldn't stay in the job for any longer without harming your health further.

In these situations, you need to talk to a lawyer who handles worker's compensation as soon as you can. You'll need guidance to ensure that you get the best outcome possible. If you don't have good legal advice on your side, you could end up not seeing much more than escalating medical bills or paltry re-payment. A good lawyer can help you find the best path possible.