The Law Office of Richard Vaznaugh

Expertise in Workplace Rights for California Workers

The Law Office of Richard Vaznaugh
505 Sansome Street
Suite 850
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 593-0076
Fax: (415) 653-8935

Vaznaugh Weekly

Topic of the Week  Addressing Workplace Bullying and Cultivating a Respectful Workplace

Workplace bullying involves continuous or repeated malicious behavior such as deliberate insults, threats, demeaning comments, constant criticism, overbearing supervision, and profane outbursts. More subtle forms of bullying can include withholding or supplying incorrect work-related information, sabotaging projects, passive-aggressive behavior, blocking promotions, providing unclear or contradictory instructions, or requesting unnecessary or tedious work.

As an employee, you should be treated with dignity and respect. Employees must also contribute to creating a respectful workplace environment. In a respectful workplace, employees and employers communicate openly and fairly with one another, without harassment or discrimination, and attempt to prevent a hostile work environment. There is, however, a fine line between workplace bullying and tough management. Therefore, while evaluating your workplace environment, it is best to keep in mind that all unfavorable actions may not cross the line into workplace bullying. It is enough for your boss or other employers to simply be hard in you or unkind.

1. What is the difference between bullying and harassment?

Bullying and harassment are sometimes used as synonyms and treated was words that mean the same thing. It is true that both words are similar and involve intentional actions or words that harm another person, it is also true that there is an important difference is the definitions. 

When bullying is directed as a specific type of person or a protected class of people, then it is called harassment. Additionally, there also some violent acts of bullying that qualify as criminal harassment.

2. How can an employer protect employees from bullying in the workplace?

To discourage and eliminate bullying, it is necessary that direction comes from the top. The most effective strategy employers can pursue is to treat bullying as though it is already illegal. Create a workplace culture wherein bullying is not tolerated. 

Thought of the Week

"Workers shouldn't let the lack of laws discourage them from taking action though. Just because [workplace bullying] is not unlawful, that doesn't make it right. Businesses and workplaces should have higher standards than the law."

–omenique Camacho Moran, Head of the Labor and Employment

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

The Sign Says It All: How Unions Can Stop Employers from Crying Poor

Today working people are priced out of home-buying completely, forced to pay exorbitant and climbing rents.

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Employee Fired After Refusing to Work Over Roe v. Wade Ruling: 'I'm in mourning'
  2. How Companies Offering to Cover Travel for Out-of-State Abortions Might Work
  3. Bosses Offer Midyear Raises to Retain Employees as Inflation Takes Toll
  4. Unions approach abortion after SCOTUS ruling
  5. The Creative Methods Workers Are Using to Stop Bosses' Abuse

List of the Week

from 2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey

Did you know:

  • 30 percent of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work
  • 19 percent of workers have witnessed workplace bullying
  • 49 percent are affected by bullying at work
  • 66 percent are aware that workplace bullying happens

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