When does rude behavior by a physician cross the line to harassment?
Nancy Brent replies:
Rather than belabor the line between rude behavior and harassment, it is a better approach to take the position that no employee should be subjected to either conduct. Suffice it to say that although rude behavior may not be illegal, harassment, especially sexual harassment, is unlawful and there are remedies for those employees who are subject to such conduct. To that end, a consultation with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works with employees can advise you of the details of Title VII, a federal law, and any other laws that might protect you against this type of behavior.
Another reader of this column submitted a statement about the effects of harassment on employees and shared a Web site that might be of help to you as well. The Workplace Bullying Institutes site, www.workplacebullying.org, has a wealth of information concerning this type of behavior in the workplace, including legislative initiatives to eradicate those who use this type of coercion.