If I’m being bullied verbally and physically by another employee and the company will not do anything to stop this, what can I do?

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If I’m being bullied verbally and physically by another employee and the company will not do anything to stop this, what can I do?

This person just started to bully me verbally and he has shoved me at times. I do not even look in this persons direction. He has even told the supervisor that he wants to duct tape me to a chair. Sounds funny but true. I am just tired of it. Been going on for a year now. Company will do nothing. I am afraid of this person.

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you cannot force your company to stop the other employee from bullying you--the law does not specifically make it an employer's responsibility to proactively stop this harassment.

However, the company *should* take action, since if the company is aware of the situation (which it appears to be, from what you write), if you are injured, defamed, or suffer from other compensible damage due to this person's actions, the company could be sued and held liable. They would liable under the theory of "negligent supervision," or an unreasonable failure to take action when they were aware of the problem.

So you cannot prospectively force them to act--but you can, if necessary, retrospectively hold them accountable, so long as they were aware of the situation.


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