Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bullying Is On Its Way

As a cause of action that is. My one person campaign to keep track of the bullying cause of action's trek across the American legal landscape, spotted this article from that monitor (and influencer) of American thought, USA Today. The article: Workplace problems include bullying. The reason for the story was a study presented at last week's meeting of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the American Psychological Association meeting in Honolulu. Well at least it wasn't on the mainland .... yet!

More seriously, the NIOSH press release on the study had the definition of bullying that was used for the study, "repeated intimidation, slandering, social isolation, or humiliation by one or more persons against another." It also revealed that most incidents of bullying appear to be peer to peer, not supervisor to employee as most would have guessed.

But more to my point, the more "bullying" is studied, talked about and seen ultimately to be a "workplace problem," the closer to a bullying cause of action we march. No one thinks any employee should be "bullied" but we all should be aware this is very slippery slope we appear to be beginning to traverse.


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