What do I do when I’m being bullied at work but unfortunately have a union that is not representing me?

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What do I do when I’m being bullied at work but unfortunately have a union that is not representing me?

Every sense there was a breech of confidentiality, when my employee surpervisor left a letter about me on copier for all to see. I told my union that when I asked what we will do about this, the president of union told me

Asked on January 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, bullying at work is legal: the law allow coworkers and even supervisors to bully, harass, etc. you at will, unless--
1) There is a contract which prevents this in some way--if so, you can take legal action to enforce the contract;
2) You are being bullied because of a specifically protected reason, such as age over 40, race, national origin, religion, sex, or disability; that is, the bullying is aimed at you due to one of these reasons (if it is, contact the federal EEOC to file a work discrimination/harassment complaint).
Otherwise, as the union president pointed out, at some point, your only real recourse is to seek other employment elsewhere.
The above said, if other people are publically (i.e. to other people, not just only to your face) making false factual statements (not opinions--everyone is legally entitled to an opinion) about you, which statements damage your reputation, you may be able to sue them for defamation. But again, it must be an untrue *fact*: so if someone falsely (since it is legal to state true facts about someone, no matter how harmful) accuses you of theft to coworkers or supervisors, that may be defamation and you may be entitled to compensation; but if they call you "creepy" or a "loser," that is an opinion and there is no recourse for it.
If you were assaulted, that is, of course, a crime, and you could report the attacker(s) to the police and press charges; and if you suffered significant injuries, sue them for your injuries and medical costs.


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