Workplace Bullying Lawyers

Workplace bullying has been a chronic problem in many industries in particular; healthcare, education, childcare and not-for-profits. It is unlawful bullying to harass and intimidate a fellow employee in the workplace repeatedly and without justification to achieve an ulterior motive and creates a risk to health and safety.

That motive may be to attempt to humiliate or force the bullied employee to resign without being paid proper entitlements and where there is no valid reason for that employee to do so. It is not bullying to demand that employees reach standards of performance which are reasonable and for which the employee has the skills and training to meet. The Fair Work Tribunal has decided that it is difficult for employees who represent themselves to persuade the tribunal to stop the bullying.

A Vice President and two other senior members have recently dismissed an appeal by a bullied employee. Bullying needs to be shown to be repetitive and not minor, see Hammon v. Metricon Homes Pty Ltd T/A Metricon Homes and others. The commission appears to expect people to resolve matters through the conciliation process which requires skilful negotiation and a properly formulated claim. McDonald Murholme does provide that service.

Examples of Workplace Bullying

Wrongfully, a bullied employee might be required to perform an excessive work level, be isolated or threatened by a fellow employee. It is not just managers who might bully an employee; it could be a competitor for a job promotion or the like. Sometimes it can be done by a manager needing a scapegoat upon whom to shed blame for the manager’s incompetence or error. Other times it is to allow a new manager to bring in a friend or ally.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) defines that a worker is bullied at work if (see below):

  • while the worker is at work in a constitutionally covered business:
  • an individual; or
  • a group of individuals;
  • repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards the worker and
    that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

What must be of real concern to any bullied employee is that the workplace bullying is actually an orchestrated attempt to deny that bullied employee an employment right or entitlement. For example, if a company’s business is in decline – sales might be down – the management might impose unrealistic sales targets only to later bully the employees not meeting those targets which are demonstrably unachievable. The bullied employee might feel pushed to resign or be sacked. All the while, the bullied employee is possibly entitled to a genuine redundancy.

Why should an employee do to successfully stop the bullying?

We provide answers and effective strategies. It could be a mistake to lodge a workplace bullying complaint to the Fair Work Commission if other more suitable or appropriate remedies are available.

If you feel like you are being bullied at work and wish to lodge a bullying complaint, it should be checked by a lawyer. The recipient usually will employ a lawyer to ‘take it apart’.

Please don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced employment lawyer at McDonald Murholme.

If your company is not complying with the law, call us on (03) 9650 4555.

If your company is not complying with the law, call us on (03) 9650 4555

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Workplace Bullying?

Speak to a workplace bullying lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

Frequently asked workplace bullying questions

What is Workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety of the worker.

I have only been bullied on one occasion; can I file a stop bullying order?

To file a stop bullying order, the bullying must have occurred more than once.

My manager is bullying me, and I do not have anyone else to report the bullying to. What can I do?

If you feel uncomfortable making a complaint to the manager who is carrying out the bullying, you may make the complaint to an alternative employee with the relevant authority. Alternatively, you can file a stop bullying order with the Fair Work Commission. McDonald Murholme has lawyers on hand to guide you through the process and assist with the submission.

I have made complaints about the bully however, the behaviour has not stopped. What can I do?

If you have exhausted all the above and are still unable to stop the bullying, you may feel as though there is no option but to resign. McDonald Murholme recommends seeking legal advice before you resign to discuss your exit, or whether resignation would amount to a constructive dismissal.

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.