Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination

Preventing harassment, bullying and discrimination in the workplace

In any workplace, there is always the potential for conflict, simply because people working in a business often have different interests and objectives.

Many businesses are caught off guard when faced with a harassment, bullying or discrimination complaint, because they had assumed there weren’t any problems with the relationships in their workplace.

A serious complaint can have a devastating effect on a business. It can:

  • Damage a company’s reputation with customers, shareholders and employees
  • Reduce productivity
  • Reduce morale among employees.

In Australia, the various state-based work health and safety (WHS) legislative regimes make this area of the law particularly complicated.

How FCB Group can help businesses facing a harassment, bullying or discrimination claim

The possible consequences for a business of a harassment or bullying complaint can be serious. They may include being found in breach of state-based WHS laws, which can lead to prosecution. In addition, a ‘minor incident’ can suddenly spiral into a:

  • Negligence claim
  • Workers compensation claim
  • Adverse action claim
  • Unfair dismissal claim.

A business that is faced with a harassment, bullying or discrimination claim needs to act quickly. It may be liable for the actions of its employees if it has failed to take reasonable steps to prevent bullying or harassment, or has not responded to a complaint. In certain circumstances, liability can extend to individuals, such as human resources managers, who were involved in the decision-making process that failed to protect the employee from the harassment or bullying.

FCB Group’s consultants and lawyers are experienced in conducting investigations into employee complaints or incidents. We are particularly well equipped to manage bullying or harassment complaints, including both counselling and disciplinary action.

We are also experienced in dispute resolution, and have the skills to represent employers facing discrimination, harassment and bullying complaints in the Fair Work Commission, anti-discrimination tribunals or other courts.

At FCB Group, we are adept at defending harassment, bullying and discrimination claims. We also have experience in mediating workplace disputes and will always try to avoid litigation if it is in the interests of our client to do so.

How FCB Group can help prevent harassment, bullying or discrimination claims

Our lawyers and workplace relations consultants are firm believers in the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’.

As a result, they are committed to helping our clients prevent workplace disputes, by developing policies, procedures and training programs that create a supportive work environment for all employees and minimise the risk of discrimination, harassment or bullying complaints being made in the first place.

Our services

At FCB Group, we offer a range of services to help businesses prevent harassment, bullying and discrimination complaints. We can:

  • Draft policies that help foster a workplace culture that complies with state, territory and federal discrimination and anti-bullying legislation
  • Advise on the implementation of workplace procedures (especially in relation to managing employee underperformance) that comply with state, territory and federal discrimination and anti-bullying legislation
  • Set up procedures to ensure that any complaint regarding discrimination, bullying or harassment is dealt with in a manner that complies with state, territory and federal discrimination and anti-bullying legislation
  • Run training programs to help avoid discrimination, bullying and harassment complaints, and to achieve effective workplace consultation
  • Conduct investigations into employee complaints and incidents
  • Advise on how to manage injured workers in relation to disability and discrimination legislation.

Would you like to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about how we can help with harassment, bullying and discrimination issues, please call us on (02) 9922 5188 or email us at info@fcbgroup.com.au. Alternatively you can fill in an enquiry form here and we’ll be in touch.