As this blog has noted, American workers do not enjoy direct legal protections against workplace bullying. However, the possibility of anti-bullying legislation, the potential of liability under current law, and the impact of bullying on morale and productivity have caused management-side employment lawyers to take this problem more seriously.
For example, this podcast featuring attorney Susan Lessack, a partner specializing in employment law at Pepper Hamilton, a major law firm based in Philadelphia, provides a concise (8+ minutes), informed assessment of workplace bullying from a management lawyer’s perspective. She recommends, among other things, that employers include workplace bullying in their employee policies and handbooks and make clear that bullying won’t be tolerated. Lessack aptly recognizes that employees “who are treated fairly are less likely to bring claims against their employers.”
To access the podcast: http://www.pepperpodcasts.com/pepper_podcasts/2008/10/workplace-bullying.html
(Hat tip to my brother, Jeff Yamada)