What is workplace harassment/bullying?
What is workplace harassment?
Workplace harassment/bullying is where a person is subjected to behaviour, other than sexual harassment (PDF, 784 kB), that:
- is repeated, unwelcome and unsolicited
- the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening
- a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.
Workplace harassment/bullying can be committed by:
- group of co-workers
- clients or customers
- members of the public.
Workplace harassment/bullying covers a wide range of behaviours ranging from subtle intimidation to more obvious aggressive tactics, including:
- abusing a person loudly, usually when others are present
- repeated threats of dismissal or other severe punishment for no reason
- constant ridicule and being put down
- leaving offensive messages on email or the telephone
- sabotaging a person's work, for example, by deliberately withholding or supplying incorrect information, hiding documents or equipment, not passing on messages and getting a person into trouble in other ways
- humiliating a person through gestures, sarcasm, criticism and insults, often in front of customers, management or other workers
- spreading gossip or false, malicious rumours about a person with an intent to cause the person harm.
Management action may be considered as workplace harassment where it is used:
- primarily to offend, intimidate, humiliate or threaten workers
- to create an environment where workplace harassment is more likely to occur.
What is not workplace harassment?