Bullying and Harassment: The New Black in HR

Being a HR manager, there will often be times you have to deal with employees not getting along.

You may be dealing with employees complaining about being bullied, requests to be moved to different office locations, claims of unfair work loads and staff taking long breaks.

These situations can get out of hand very quickly if not dealt with swiftly.

To illustrate some of the do’s and don’ts of how to deal with bullying claims at work, watch the case study video below that follows Sarah, Jim and Julia through their tales of bullying. This tale is based on a true story, but for education purposes only, of course.

The video highlights Sarah’s story as a manager at an accounting firm, and her actions around some of the employees she supervises.

Jim thinks Sarah is putting too much pressure on him and makes a bullying complaint to the HR Manager.

Julia makes a complaint to HR that she is being bullied by Sarah her as well, citing that Sarah ‘monitors her breaks’.

Sarah, in turn makes a complaint about the two employees that have made unsubstantiated bullying accusations against her, she also feels that they have been spreading rumors about her.

The claims end up in front of the Fair Work Commission, who note that these issues should have been dealt with on a HR level, and not have been allowed to escalate to this point.

Bullying at work occurs when: a person or a group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably (objectively!) Towards a worker or a group of workers at work, and the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Take Note: bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.

It is important to refer to your office bullying and harassment policy, to make sure you are treating employees fairly and reasonably.

If you need help dealing with bullying and harassment claims at work, please contact the employment team.