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NSW Workplace Bullying - Employer Behaviour Forcing Me to Leave?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by LisaMay, 24 June 2015.

  1. LisaMay

    LisaMay Member

    24 June 2015
    Likes Received:
    I experienced 30+ noted experiences of harassment and workplace bullying since beginning of 2013.
    I went on leave referred to workcover by my GP in early 2014 after a sexual harassment incident while I was pregnant. The ex-manager was coincidentally made redundant after I stopped going to work and said I might pursue legal advice. I was cohered to not take out workcover and that my employer would directly look after my mental health stemming from incidents. (I have not had any follow ups since that meeting)
    Two days after returning to work, a colleague lost his temper, smashed their keyboard and subsequently a flying plastic shard cut my eye and I was lucky that it didn't cause permanent damage and was left with laceration.

    As a gesture of goodwill, once I had recovered and returned to work again, I was moved to an area of the office on my own - now no one talks to me, I'm not assigned enough work to keep me sufficiently busy and I'm pretty much left to my own devices.

    Lately higher management have been asking me strange questions: how is life after the ex-manager ? You must be feeling great now that ex-manager has left ? - Generally trying to pry for a reaction.

    Additionally my new manager makes comparison to old boss that make me feel uncomfortable, an example being: yesterday I had to leave a few minutes early to pick up my son from daycare and my new manager said "5:25? I don't' know about that, you're here until 5:30pm". I said " I did come in early, however I will log back in for a few minutes" then new manager remarks "oh, hey I'm just joking with you; it's not like I'm "ex-manager, right?".

    Anyway I'm trying to forgive and forget - however with these comments, moving me into an isolated area and no longer giving me sufficient work, I feel angry, hurt and my self-esteem is waning. Can they create an environment where I feel I have no choice but to leave and is this legal?
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

    10 February 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi LisaMay,

    There are several ways to respond to this so before I start, can you please clarify what you ideally want from this situation?
    Do you want to leave your workplace or to stay and have the environment improve?
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi LisaMay,

    What you are describing could amount to bullying, depending on all the circumstances and if you end up being forced to leave your job because your employer had failed to act on your reports of bullying, then you may be able to bring a case for what is called unlawful constructive dismissal. However whether or not your circumstances would give rise to this would depend on many factors and would be assessed by a court.

    Have you discussed the situation with your employer? They are obviously aware of mental health issues stemming from the sexual harassment incident, but have you spoken to them recently about what you have been experiencing. It sounds as though they are doing what they feel is right in response to the situation, but if they are unaware of ongoing issues you are having then they can't do anything about it. I would suggest you start by sitting down with them and working through what is bothering you an what you think they could do to fix it.

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