Lawyers for Workplace Harassment or Mobbing

Workplace Harassment or Mobbing

Recognize and Face This Problem at Work

Do you feel anxious every time you arrive at your workplace? Have you experienced continuous disrespect and contempt from superiors or colleagues? Do you suffer from constant teasing or even sexist comments? If so, you could be a victim of workplace harassment, also known as mobbing.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines workplace bullying as "systematic, repetitive or persistent verbal or psychological actions in the workplace, through which a person or group of people hurt, humiliate or intimidate another person."

In simpler terms, this is ongoing hostile behavior in the work environment that negatively affects an employee. This problem has been recognized both nationally and internationally.

To identify if you are being a victim of workplace harassment, you must consider the following requirements:

  1. Reiteration and prolongation: The acts must be repeated and persistent over time, not an isolated event.
  2. Existence of a harasser or group of harassers.
  3. Behaviors that may be considered harassing: These actions may include insults, humiliation, threats, among others, that affect the worker's mental health and work performance.
  4. Suffering from psychological and/or physical harm.

Mobbing is regulated in the Spanish legal system through various laws and regulations, such as the Spanish Constitution, the Workers' Statute, Law 36/2011 (social jurisdiction), the Occupational Risk Prevention Law, mobbing prevention protocols. workplace harassment and collective agreements. Additionally, at the international level, ILO Convention 190 addresses the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

Workplace harassment can take various forms, such as:

  • Downward mobbing: When a superior harasses a subordinate.
  • Horizontal mobbing: When colleagues of the same hierarchical level harass another colleague.
  • Upward mobbing: When a superior is harassed by several subordinates.

It also depends on the aggressor's objective:

  • Strategic mobbing: When seeking to eliminate a competitor or achieve certain benefits.
  • Perverse mobbing: When harassment seeks to cause harm to the victim without another purpose.
  • Management mobbing: When a group of workers plans harassment.
  • Disciplinary mobbing: When harassment is used to punish the worker.

Workplace harassment can manifest itself in various ways, such as ridicule, insults, public or private humiliation, isolation and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, nationality, among others. In extreme cases, it may involve physical assault, sexual abuse or threats, which can lead to criminal offences.

Work overload used as a strategy to force the employee to resign is also considered mobbing. Inventing rumors to make the worker feel uncomfortable in their work environment or underestimating their performance are clear examples of workplace harassment.

The psychological impact of mobbing can lead the worker to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and a significant decrease in self-esteem, which affects their daily, family and social life. Motivation and professional goals are also seriously affected, as the worker feels insignificant and undervalued. In some cases, affected workers may receive sick leave due to workplace harassment.

The consequences of workplace bullying are devastating for both employees and companies. Works councils must be informed of these situations and take measures to protect the interests of workers. If the company does not act, workers can file complaints with the labor inspectorate and sue the company in court. Specialized employment lawyers can help in these cases and workers can receive considerable compensation for moral damages.

Many victims are not aware that they are being harassed or are afraid to take action for fear of losing their job. However, it is important to take action to prevent further damage. Gathering evidence such as recordings, screenshots, and emails can be instrumental in supporting a claim. Workplace harassment should not be tolerated, and taking action is essential to protect the health and well-being of workers and their families.

If you have questions or need assistance in cases of workplace harassment or mobbing in Barcelona, Madrid or other locations, do not hesitate to contact us. Call us at 614 28 17 02 or visit our website at belmontecrespoabogados.com for more information about our legal advice services in cases of workplace harassment and mobbing. At Belmonte Crespo Abogados, we are here to help you face this problem and provide you with the legal support you need in the workplace.