Can You Sue for Workplace Bullying?

Can You Sue for Workplace Bullying in Small Claims Court?

Everyone remembers the playground bully that terrorized innocent kids in grade school. Unfortunately, similar occurs in the workplace and can manifest as verbal abuse, physical threats, and emotional dismay.

Many people who experience this torment at their job are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. If you are a victim, you are probably wondering if you can sue for workplace bullying.

DoNotPay can help you determine if suing in small claims court will prove beneficial to your particular situation. If deemed necessary, we can help you get started on the road to redemption.

Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against a Workplace Bully

The Workplace Bullying Institute reinforces the fact that "everyone deserves a safe, healthy workplace." According to a recent 2021 survey, 79.3 million U.S. workers are affected by workplace bullying. More than 30 percent of the workforce has direct experience with being bullied, with 67 percent of those workers fearful of losing their job because of the abusive behavior. Remote workers are especially at risk of workplace bullying during virtual meetings. A staggering 65 percent of bullies are supervisors or management-level employees who are responsible for creating a toxic workplace culture.

There are strict federal guidelines in place to protect U.S. workers. The Federal Trade Commission states that according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all workers are protected from employment discrimination based on:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex
  • national origin

Other federal and state laws are in place to offer protection from discrimination on the basis of:

  • age
  • disability
  • marital status
  • political affiliation

When Can You Sue?

While there are no specific laws regarding workplace bullying, abusive behavior may fall within the spectrum of current laws that govern discrimination and harassment. Intimidation by co-workers is considered workplace bullying when their abusive actions make it difficult for others to feel safe, often impacting their ability to work effectively in the toxic office environment.

Can you sue for workplace bullying in the case of discrimination?Employees often find themselves discriminated against based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation. A supervisor or co-worker with preconceived notions may be guilty of failing to provide pertinent information or assign valuable projects to the affected party. They may also offer constant negative criticism that is not warranted. If the treatment is due to discriminatory actions, the affected worker may have grounds to file a lawsuit in small claims court.
Can you sue for workplace bullying regarding sexual harassment?Inappropriate and offensive comments from co-workers can lead to a hostile work environment. Unsolicited sexual advances are a common form of harassment that leads to intimidation and unhealthy work situations. Constant bullying regarding physical appearance can be reason enough to sue anyone in small claims court for workplace bullying.

Pregnant workers are often targets of bullying. Harassment can become so intense they may seek a different position or quit altogether. This type of behavior is not acceptable and does not have to be tolerated in the workplace.

Can you sue for workplace bullying based on a disability?The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with physical or mental limitations. Mean-spirited teasing and demeaning comments can lead to missed promotions or loss of employment. If a disabled worker experiences mistreatment, they can sue for workplace bullying in small claims court.

File a lawsuit against workplace bullying by yourself

Workplace bullying can be hard to prove. For a person to be successful in filing a lawsuit, there must be adequate evidence of wrongdoing. Many times, employers will negate a worker's claims of abuse by rationalizing or discounting the accusation.

Examples of workplace bullying include, but are not limited to:

  1. Constant ridicule and mocking in front of co-workers
  2. Coercion to take early retirement
  3. Denial of promotions or professional opportunities
  4. Exclusion from sharing of pertinent information
  5. Humiliation because of a disability

Dangers & Issues With Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself

It is sometimes impossible to rectify the situation on your own, and legal assistance is needed to resolve the issue. It is essential to know your rights and work within the guidelines set up by the courts for adequate protection.

For instance, The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects non-management employees who attempt to confront workplace bullies. Workers met with retaliation can file a claim as long as it is within 30 days from the date of the initial event.

Having the experience of legal professionals will solidify your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for damages related to workplace bullying.

How to Sue for Workplace Bullying With DoNotPay

Having to endure a toxic work environment can be draining both emotionally and physically. DoNotPay understands what you have been through and will help you determine if you can sue for workplace bullying and streamline the process to eliminate undue stress and financial burden.

Follow the outlined steps below to get started:

  1. Log in to and select the Sue Now product
  2. Enter the dollar amount you are owed
  3. Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
  4. Describe the reasons for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay is a helpful tool in suing any company in small claims court without a lawyer. Check out the following companies that DoNotPay has helped sue:

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