Bullying in the Workplace
- Do you suffer harsh and inappropriate language at the hands of your boss in the workplace?
- Does your boss or supervisor humiliate or shame you in the presence of co-workers?
- Does the bullying at the hands of your supervisors or co-employees appear to be unrelated to any special category (race, religion, gender etc)?
The law is changing as it relates to bullying in the workplace. Formerly, it was the case that an employee complaining about bullying in the workplace had to establish a nexus between a protected class ie; race, gender, gender orientation, religious affiliation and the like. The law in California makes bullying an unlawful act in the workplace regardless of a protected class in some circumstances.
The Bane Act, Civil Code section 52.1, protects individuals whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with, may institute and prosecute in their own name as a personal cause of action, f a civil action for damages. In particular, no one may interfere by threat, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threat, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state.
No case has been found that every plaintiff must allege violence or threats of violence in order to maintain an action under section 52.1. Reckless disregard of the right at issue is sufficient to show specific intent, which can be satisfied by alleging that Defendant’s conduct was willful and wanton. Deliberate indifference, which itself requires a showing of reckless disregard, on the part of officials is a coercive act and sufficiently shows the requisite specific intent under the Bane Act. Additionally, neither discriminatory intent nor membership in a protected class is required, and no qualified immunity exists for public service employees.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with Andrea Cook & Associates. You can reach us online or at (562) 203-1123. We serve all of Southern California.