Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Striking Back: Bullying and the Right of Civil Action

June 2017 Bar Bulletin

By Karen Sutherland

Bullying is a classic example of behavior that is not civil. But is there a civil remedy for it? Like many legal issues, it depends.

Bullying at Work

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”) considers workplace bullying to be a “serious health and safety issue.”1 L&I describes workplace bullying as follows:

• Workplace bullying is a pattern of behavior that harms, intimidates, undermines, offends, degrades or humiliates an employee, possibly in front of other employees, clients or customers. It is a serious health and safety issue. The targets of bullying may suffer from physical and mental health problems...

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