What type of evidence is needed to prove harassment/bullying at the workplace?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What type of evidence is needed to prove harassment/bullying at the workplace?

Asked on April 28, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, you have to be aware that most harassment or bullying in the workplace is perfectly legal: as a general rule, one adult may harass or bully another adult (so long as he she does not resort to actionsw which are legal in their own right, like violence, threats of violence, extortion or blackmail)  to his or her heart's content. The law does not regulate most interactions between adults, even negative ones.

The only harassment or bullying made illegal in the workplace is that directed against a person because of his/her membership in a specifically protected group or category, the main ones of which are: race, religion, age over 40, disability, and sex/gender. That is, you cannot harass a person because he is African American, or Muslim, or 55, or disabled, or because she is woman. (That does not mean, for example, that you cannot harass, say, an African American Muslim 55-year old parapelegic woman, only that you can't harass her because she is an African American Muslim 55-year-old parapelegic woman--you can harass her because she is a poor worker, or you can't stand her politics, or just don't like her as a person.)

However, apart from barring discrimination against specifically protected categories, the law does NOT bar workplace harassment or bullying--though such behavior could be against a company's own policies or rules.

To prove illegal discrimination, if you believe it is illegal discrimination, you can use your own testimony; the testimony of other witnesses; memos, emails, text messages, or other documentation, or possibly video/surveillance footage.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption