Workplace bullying affects many Australian workers irrespective of their age, level or experience.  WorkLegal can help you if you are the subject of workplace bullying or want to stop bullying in your workplace.  We can provide legal support and advocacy to make the bullying stop and protect you in the workplace.

Stopping Bullying at Work

Are you experiencing behaviour at work that:

  • Is creating a risk to your health and safety?
  • Is repeated and unreasonable?
  • Could continue unless something is done to stop it?

Workplaces should have policies and procedures that can be used to help to stop the bullying.

If the workplace will not take effective action to stop the bullying, federal and state laws now have protections against bullying at work that may apply in your situation.

Take action by Contacting WorkLegal today about how we can assist you to stop bullying in a workplace.

Concerned about a potential workplace bullying issue? Contact us for early advice.

1300 223 398

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Case Study – Intimidating Behavior by a Manager

Two bus drivers applied to the Fair Work Commission for orders to stop bullying by their manager, saying that he would:

  • raise his voice, turning red;
  • order one of them to inaccurately fill out his logbook;
  • hide the buses to frighten one of them;
  • find fault even when nothing was wrong.

Other bus drivers also gave evidence about the manager swearing at them and humiliating them.

The Fair Work Commission agreed that the manager had bullied them.  By the time of the hearing the company had changed the reporting lines so that the workers did not have to report any more to the manager or deal with him, and so it was unnecessary to make further order.

Lacey and Kandelaars v Murrays and Cullen [2017] FWC 3136

Case Study – Upwards Bullying

A worker was appointed team leader in the NSW Department of Housing ahead of another worker who had hoped to be appointed to the position.  The team leader claimed that her employer negligently allowed her to be bullied for about 2 years, and that she was subjected to harassment and victimisation including:

  • disruption and opposition to the changes she was trying to make;
  • rudeness and refusal to accept direction;
  • open hostility;
  • excluded from a meeting held to document a list of grievances against her.

No effective action was taken by senior management to deal with problems in the team even though concerns were raised.  The team leader suffered a psychological condition and brought an injury claim for damages. 

The court found that the employer negligently failed to take effective action to respond to the team leader’s requests for assistance to deal with insubordination by the team, and awarded damages. 

NSW v Mannall [2005] NSWCA 367

Case Study – Unreasonable Management Action

A teacher applied for workers’ compensation for a psychological condition alleged to have resulted from monitoring and mentoring of her performance and bullying by the school principal.  The issue was whether her application should be refused on the grounds that the action towards her was “management action taken on reasonable grounds and in a reasonable manner”.

The court found that although there were “reasonable grounds” – the school had a duty to take action in regard to complaints it had received about the teacher – the management action was not undertaken in a reasonable way, for reasons including:

  • school guidelines for monitoring were not followed;
  • she was not given feedback;
  • on her first day back from long service leave, and before she could start classes, she was given a 3 page letter about performance issues.

By failing to follow its own procedures the school was found to have taken management action in an unreasonable manner, and the application for workers’ compensation was allowed.

Krygsman-Yeates v State of Victoria [2011] VMC 57

Need help?

Don’t leave it too late. Wherever you are in Australia we can help.

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1300 223 398

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Office: 155 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes, QLD 4217

Based in Gold Coast Queensland, we assist our valued clients wherever they are in Australia.