Workplace Bully Laws in Virginia
Workplace bullying has been a recurrent problem in Virginia. Bullying itself has led to a lot of workers to constantly living in fear of these bullies. Virginia workplace bullying laws have been put in place to discourage these bullies who are likely to face stiff sanctions if found to be guilty of bullying. Several victims of workplace bullying have always complained of feeling uneasy and hardly able to express themselves fully. Workers have since been encouraged to still report cases of bullying to their employees even in situations where the bully cannot be charged due to lack of evidence.
What Does Bullying Entail?
As distasteful as the name may sound, what actions actually constitute bullying? Workplace bullying involves harassment of a worker on the basis of his/her religion, age, sex, race, disability and sabotage of any productive activity beneficial to the workplace. It also includes verbal abuse as well as issuance of threats. These are harmful workplace situations that negatively affect productivity and may lead to depression. These led to instituting the Virginia laws against workplace bullying to forestall such occurrences and to sanction errant employees.
Workplace Harassment and Sanctions – Virginia Anti Bullying Laws
Workplace harassment sanctions may vary according to the type of bullying involved. During cases of sexual harassment, a bully may be removed from his/her position and legal actions instituted against such an employee. By sexual harassment, it involves every type of action which creates an unwanted situation relating to sex affects the harassed employee’s work performance.
Under Virginia’s workplace bullying laws, acts such as verbal insults or name calling relating to the sex of the employee, making sexual advances, requesting sexual favors and the likes are considered to be serious infringements on the rights of the harassed employee.
Other Schools of Thought
There is another school of thought which views workplace harassment in a different light. For instance, the Khan Law group opposes the inclusion of all forms of workplace bullying as being illegal. In its position on the matter to the extent to which workplace harassment becomes illegal, the Khan group sites certain harassment such as being criticized unjustly, constant stares or glares from workmates as well as the spread of falsehood against a co-worker as not qualified to be considered illegal.
Workplace Bullying as it Relates to Gender
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, men have a slightly higher tendency to be bullies than women. This view is held by many. However, a contrary view has been expressed by Karen Michael a practical work law attorney who has had personal experiences of higher cases of bullying among women that among men. She adds that in all cases she has investigated, the bully was always a woman or group of women.
With the disparity in the likelihood of a particular gender having higher cases of bullying, it shows that the problem of bullying is a serious one which involves all. Getting the right solutions to these vices may involve doing more than putting punitive measures in place as effective sensitization coupled with the bullying laws may do the magic.
What Forms do Majority of Bullying Cases Take?
A majority of bullying cases surprising do not involve physical violence, but are increasingly becoming more subtle. This may have been caused by the Virginia workplace bullying laws. However, there are growing calls to also include these subtle cases of bullying to deter or totally eliminate the practice of workplace bullying. Subtle cases of bullying may take indirect forms and may not necessarily involve a physical contact or altercation.
Helpful Ways of Handling Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying can be demeaning on your personality. In many cases, this leads to intense depression and a feeling of helplessness and inadequacy. However, there are helpful ways of handling workplace bullying. You may want to look at the situation objectively to be persuaded that you are being bullied. In other words, after reflecting on the situation, you realise that the problem does not lie with you.
The second step to take is to get emotional help as your emotions may have been the most affected. This is coupled with seeking legal guidance and advice. After getting this, your employer should be informed about the happenings. This may not involve actually taking legal action against the bully in cases where there is no clear evidence. However, when there is a clear case of bullying then you may take legal action against the bully. This step is only taken after asking the bully to resign from his/her position.
However, if you find it difficult working in this environment, you may altogether seek redress while looking elsewhere (that is getting a new job) in addition to getting compensated. Virginia workplace bullying laws protects employees from bullies, thereby ensuring there is mutual respect among and between employers and employees, bosses and employees and the likes.
The Virginia workplace bullying laws have so far proven effective in considerably reducing workplace bullying. However, this has not been completely eliminated as there are still cases of subtle bullying in the workplace. Perhaps, by initiating other helpful means which may include constant sensitization among others, this menace would eventually cease.