Workplace bullying and harassment are the number one cause of mental stress for Australians.
In 2016-17, there were 1900 excessive work pressure claims, 1,815 harassment and bullying at workplace claims, and 1,140 occupational violence claims filed in Australia.
Bullying is unreasonable behaviour directed towards another person by a group or an individual, and this behaviour is a risk to the safety and health of the individual. The Australian government has several laws that protect employees from bullying and harassment, such as protection from discrimination, sexual discrimination, fair work, etc.
If you want to examine the process of filing bullying & harassment workers compensation claims, here is the process.
1. Talk to your supervisor.
Companies usually have policies that are anti-bullying and anti-harassment. Therefore, when you experience bullying, you should approach your supervisor or the company helpline or approach the human resources department. They will listen to both sides of the case and decide on the appropriate course of action.
If any company’s representatives take no action, you can go to the next step.
2. File complaint with the FWC.
You can file a complaint with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) based on the type of harassment or bullying you are experiencing. There are different forms of unfair dismissal, bullying, and sexual harassment.
You can get a lawyer to help you to file the complaint. The claims for compensating bullying and harassment issues are common, and lawyers can handle these claims easily. They know a different law that governs your workplace and helps file the relevant paperwork.
A workplace bullying claim is not easy, but it is necessary to make the workplace safe and provide you with compensation for the mental and physical stress you undergo. Quitting may not be an option, and you should not consider it but rather pursue the case so that the harasser is reprimanded for their actions.
3. Gather evidence.
Evidence is crucial in such claims, and you need to make sure that you preserve any evidence. It can be medical evidence of the injury or photos or videos of the act.
Your psychologist’s notes may also be used as evidence in case of psychological damage.
4. Know that you are eligible for a claim.
There are times when your performance calls for reasonable management action. While you may not appreciate it, such actions, within reasonable limits, do not come under the purview of bullying and harassment claims. Just because your manager expects you to perform better, you cannot file a lawsuit against them.
When they terminate your employment without allowing you to correct the course, it may be considered an occasion to file a claim. Also, if you have a conflict with a colleague, you cannot file a bullying claim against them. Conflict is acceptable as long as it does not escalate to a level where it poses a risk to your health and safety.
The awareness of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours at the workplace is increasing. With so many anti-discrimination laws favour the workers, you can ensure that your workplace is safe. If you face bullying or harassment, you can file worker’s compensation claims to compensate for your injury and rebuke the harasser.