Ask the Legal: Is there such a thing as a policy against bullying and should we have one in our workplace?

Yes and yes. Reports by employees who complain about being bullied are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Bullying can range from psychological and verbal abuse to violent behavior such as assault. Employers should consider implementing a policy that prohibits bullying in the workplace. The policy should include, among other things, a reporting structure, a complaint procedure, the consequences of violating the policy, and an anti-retaliation provision for employees who report bullying. The policy can stand alone or be incorporated into another workplace policy such as a policy against harassment. It is also vital that employers educate employees and supervisors about bullying in the workplace and the proper way to report and address bullying issues.

As appeared in:  Pittsburgh Business Times, 8/16/2013

Terri Imbarlina Patak