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About OTS solicitors
OTS Solicitors is an internationally recognised law firm, based in the City of London. We have a wide range of expertise to support business and private clients in all areas of law.
For a more detailed discussion regarding your case, or to book an appointment with a member of our Employment Law team, please call us now on 0203 959 9123
Our solicitors understand the devastating effects bullying and harassment can have on its victims, and our employment lawyers are there to ensure that you get all the protection afforded by the law.
If you are being harassed or bullied in your workplace, consider giving one of our friendly employment solicitors a call on 0203 959 9123, or fill out our contact form and we will be in contact in a manner that suits you.
What is harrassment?
The definition of harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment.
This will also include treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past.
Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment), or it may be related to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories.
Harassment may include, for example:
(a) unwanted physical conduct or "horseplay", including touching, pinching, pushing and grabbing;
(b) unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour (which the harasser may perceive as harmless);
(c) offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content;
(d) mocking, mimicking or belittling a person's disability.
A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if the jokes create an offensive environment.
What is bullying?
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation.
Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. Bullying may include, by way of example:
(a) physical or psychological threats;
(b) overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision;
(c) inappropriate derogatory remarks about someone's performance;
Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of a worker's performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to workers in the course of their employment, will not amount to bullying on their own.