The difference between bullying and harassment

It goes without saying that no one likes a bully. At the same time, being harassed isn’t much fun either. Both behaviors are deplorable, so it’s almost like the difference between tomato (to-MAY-to) and tomato (to-MAH-to).

But unfortunately for some employers (specifically HR managers) there is a difference between bullying and harassment. Also, the behaviors can be dealt with differently. This post will highlight the differences between the two. 

The reason for the behavior – To HR managers, harassment is largely based on a person’s attributes if they belong to a protected class. For instance, a person may be harassed because of their sex, race or religion. Sexual harassment is a prime example. When this occurs, a man is behaving badly because he is physically attracted to a woman. Conversely, when a person is a bully (or a person is being bullied) it is largely due to power, or the threat of losing such power to someone else.

Who they can complain to – Victims of sexual harassment or any other sort of harassment have an outlet to complain to. They can go to human resources for a remedy, since harassment can be actionable as a matter of law when it is not addressed. On the contrary, a bullying victim may not be the same priority to an HR manager since most states don’t have anti-bullying statutes. In California, workplace bullying is not yet actionable, but state law requires that anti-bullying be a part of any harassment training program for managers and supervisors.

If you feel like you have been bullied or harassed in the workplace, an experienced employment law attorney can help.  

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us - Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Pasadena Office

128 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Suite 204
Pasadena, CA 91103

Toll Free: 866-457-2590
Phone: 626-585-9600
Fax: 626-577-7079
Pasadena Law Office Map

Downtown Los Angeles Office (Legal Fund)
250 1st Street, Suite 1201
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213-785-6999
Los Angeles Law Office Map