The Cost of Bullying in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

(438 Ratings)

Produced on: May 04, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by

Categories:

Course Description

Time 92 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Workplace bullying has been an issue that employers have battled with, and the complexity of bullying scenarios has complicated any successful legislative action. While the law offers protection to people who are mistreated for belonging to protected groups such as age, race, nationality, religious belief, gender, and disability, it does not offer protection where an employee is mistreated for any other reason. The lack of state or federal legislation dealing specifically with workplace bullying creates confusion for both employees and employers.

The strain that workplace bullying places on employees, and the attendant costs to employers, is enormous. Legislatures in 30 states have introduced bills to address the issue, but not one has yet been passed into law. Such legislation, often titled “The Healthy Workplace Bill,” attempts to define what constitutes an “abusive work environment,” provide an avenue for legal redress for employees, and at the same time, offer employers protection if they have engaged in proactive steps to address bullying.

This course, presented by Jeanne Christensen, Partner at Wigdor LLP in New York City, reviews the legal protection offered to employees for workplace bullying, addresses some of the pending legislation on workplace bullying, and offers practical guidance for employers on what they need to know about workplace bullying. This course outlines the national landscape, and will refer to the status of legislation in a number of states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Texas and California.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Identify what constitutes “bullying” in a workplace environment
  2. Assess the protection current legislation and case law provides for employees, and what burden it places on employers
  3. Address the current status of pending workplace bullying legislation, generally and in some specific states
  4. Provide practical guidance for employers on how pending workplace bullying legislation will affect them
  5. Explore best practices in the workplace in the absence of legislation

Faculty

Jeanne M. Christensen is a Partner at Wigdor LLP. Ms. Christensen is one of the most prominent female attorneys within the field of employment litigation, having represented thousands of plaintiffs in federal and state workplace disputes including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age, pregnancy, disability, LGBT+ status and/or religion, whistleblower retaliation, defamation and wage and hour violations. Ms. Christensen concentrates her practice in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases. She has successfully arbitrated numerous matters on behalf of securities industry professionals and defrauded consumers before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Ms. Christensen represents clients from a wide variety of professions including, but not limited to, the financial services industry, the media and entertainment industry, the restaurant and hospitality industry, and corporate entities.

Ms. Christensen is known for being a fervent supporter of women’s rights in the workplace. Her reputation includes representing female plaintiffs in some of the most widely-publicized cases involving sexual harassment, unequal pay, and gender and pregnancy discrimination in recent years. She is also an active member of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund’s attorney network, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Public Justice. Ms. Christensen’s tenacious pursuit of justice on behalf of victims of workplace misconduct has earned plaudits from former clients and opposing counsel alike, who often recommended her to victims seeking highly skilled legal counsel.

Ms. Christensen’s handling of numerous high-profile employment cases has resulted in frequent media appearances including CNN, Good Morning America, Megyn Kelly Today, Access Hollywood, the BBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS and more. She is regularly quoted as a legal expert in leading national print and digital media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, New York Law Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, TIME Magazine, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Financial Times, Barron’s, Law360, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, Adweek, CNET, Recode and many more. Due to her work handling prominent sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases, Ms. Christensen has appeared in a feature profile about her career in The American Lawyer.

Ms. Christensen is also an author and lecturer on various employment-related subjects. Because of her extensive litigation experience, she is a highly sought-after speaker, having appeared as a distinguished panelist at numerous national legal seminars and conferences, including events hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the American Conference Institute (ACI).

Ms. Christensen received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School Of Law. She attended Smith College and graduated with a B.A. in History and Economics, cum laude, from the University of Vermont.

Reviews

JF
Jane F.

Interesting material

ME
Mary E.

Thank you.

LB
Lin B.

Better course for in-house or general practitioner

WD
William D.

Timely presentation of the "thou shall" and "thou shall not (or litigate)" for business clients

JG
Jonathan G.

Good material.

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