Is workplace bullying against the law?

Author: Jill Gormley, Strong and Clear Communications

No. Presently there are no federal laws that prohibit workplace bullying or harassment that is not related to a protected class. However, an employer may be held liable for workplace bullying or harassment under both federal and state laws if the bullying or harassment is found to have occurred because of an employee's legally protected characteristic such as race, sex or religion.

There is a significant movement among the states to pass a Healthy Workplace Bill that will address bullying. Regardless of legal liability, bullying in the workplace has many negative business consequences, including diminished morale, increased use of sick time, decreased productivity and higher rates of turnover among employees.