What are the laws concerning bullying and harassment in the workplace? I have contacted my HR department, and I was told there was nothing they could do about pranks. I view the behavior as harassment and intimidation, but cannot get any help from my department. To resolve this issue, is it best for me to obtain an attorney?
Nancy Brent replies:
You did not provide specifics about the behavior that is harassing and intimidating, but suffice it to say, it should not be happening or tolerated in the workplace.
You may want to contact a nurse attorney or attorney to help you with the difficulties you are experiencing with this conduct. Take with you any employer policies on workplace harassment, as well as any written or oral communications with HR, along with their response(s).
In preparation for your consultation with the attorney, you may want to take advantage of an American Nurses Association online webinar, Navigating The Work Environment: Embracing Zero Tolerance for Bullying. The webinar is free for ANA members and $15.00 for nonmembers. It will air at 1 p.m. EDT July 22. If you complete the webinar, you will receive 1.0 contact hour for the 60-minute program.
You can register for the webinar by going to www.nursingworld.org. Type “webinar on bullying” in the search bar, and information about the program will be listed, along with other resources on workplace harassment that also might be helpful to you.