Some schoolyard bullies grow into workplace bullies. In most cases, their behavior won’t lead to a lawsuit. But that’s not always the case.
Recent case: Patricia Averette worked in a laboratory. After she was fired for alleged, she sued.
She claimed a supervisor and a co-worker had bullied her so much it caused emotional distress. She told the court that her equipment was sabotaged and that her co-worker walked around in a swimsuit and flip-flops. She painted the workplace as chaotic and unproductive.
The court, however, said none of the conduct was outrageous. That’s the requirement under North Carolina law for bullying to constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Averette v. Diasorin, No. 311-CV-203, WD NC, 2011)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Offhand gripe to co-worker can trigger retaliation protection
- It cuts both ways: Men as sexual harassment victims
- Busted settlement can't revive bias suit
- Know the difference between whistle-blowing and an employee looking for an excuse to sue