Bullying and Harassment in the workplace

Bullying and Harassment in the workplace 

Most of us spent at least 38 hours a week at work or more. This is more hours than we will spend awake at home.

Therefore, our workplace must be safe places of work, not just physically safe but also emotionally safe from bullying or harassment.

Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment laws apply across every state in Australia in the form of the:  

•           Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

•           Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

•           Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

•           Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)

•           Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)

Plus, in NSW there is the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.


These laws are designed to ensure that all workers no matter their job title or position in the workplace are treated with respect and their employer does not risk the health and safety of any of their employees.

The legal definition of bullying is the repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or group of employees that creates a risk to health and safety in the workplace.

Harassment is defined as behaviour that intimidates, offends or humiliates a person. Harassment can be inferred from a single incident, and is typically based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, race, or ethnicity.


What can be considered bullying behaviour can include:

  • Racial remarks about someone at work
  • Sexually explicit remarks about someone at work  
  • Offensive remarks about someone at work or their personal life/family
  • Disreputable Social media posts about someone at work
  • Behaving aggressively towards someone at work
  • Teasing or practical jokes directed another persona at work
  • Pressuring someone or other workers to behave inappropriately to another worker
  • Excluding a worker from work-related events  
  • Imposing unreasonable work demands on a worker or
  • Behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety of any worker


What can be considered harassing behaviour can include:

  • Having racially offensive or pornographic material on display at work
  • Derogatory remarks about a worker or class of people
  • Questions that are intrusive about someone’s personal life or family
  • Ignoring, isolating or segregating a person or group of people at work
  • Telling insulting or offensive jokes at work
  • Sending explicit suggestive posts on social media


If you or someone you know has been suffering from any type of these workplace bullying or harassment behaviour contact Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers ® on (02) 9198 1996.



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