Legal Response to Workplace Abuse

No federal or state  law specifically addresses workplace “bullying” but that doesn’t mean a target is without legal recourse.

Workers file lawsuits every day against abusive employers and supervisors.  For example, a worker who falls within a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may be able to file a discrimination complaint.  (Note that any complaint of discrimination must first be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  See the EEOC web site for details.)

You can find a wide range of federal and state laws on this web site that may be applicable to your situation.

You are encouraged to consult with an attorney in your community or you can  arrange a consultation with Patricia Barnes (barnespatg(at)

This is your job, Your livelihood.  Before you let a bully rob you of your financial security and everything else that flows from that, consult an attorney who is specialized in employee-side employment law to see what rights, if any, you have.

You may need to be persistent. It can be difficult in some locales to find an employment law attorney who represents plaintiffs (targets/employees). And it can be even more difficult to find an attorney willing to take your case. Some individuals represent themselves in court.

Here are a couple of suggestions on where to look for an attorney:

  • You might try Martindale Hubble, which lists attorneys and provides a rating system.
  • The National Employment Law Association  maintains a listing of employment lawyer members on its web site. -
  • Every state bar association has a referral list of attorneys who are willing to accept clients and they are listed by area of expertise.
  • The local bar association may host an opportunity to talk to a lawyer at no cost one day a week/ month at a local library.






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