I’m delighted to welcome the author of today’s guest post is Robert Merriott, founder of Forensic Notes. Rob’s company specialises in helping you to document workplace bullying effectively so that you have precise evidence of bullying incidents, allowing you to prove what happened and when. This is extremely empowering for you as a target of workplace bullying, because it helps you regain control and recover your emotional and mental balance.
Recover Your Balance – Decide that you won’t be a Target anymore!
If you are a target of Workplace Bullying, you know how emotional and stressful it can be to get up and go to work each day. The dread of knowing that a workplace bully is waiting for you to come to work so that they can continue to pick on you to build up their own low self-esteem.
Many targets of bullying believe that their employer is fully aware of the bullying situation and are simply choosing to ignore what is occurring. Although this may be true in some circumstances, this is not always the case.
Even if your employer is fully aware of the situation, few would choose to continue to ignore the situation if it is properly reported with clear and concise evidence.
Why Wouldn’t They Ignore It?
CYA (Cover You Assets) – In today’s litigious environment, companies that fail to properly act on claims of workplace harassment and bullying can potentially face expensive lawsuits and investigations.
But the key is that the target must be able to PROVE that the situation is as bad as they claim and that their employer knew and made no effort to correct the problem.
Although Bullying isn’t illegal, harassment and discrimination are within the UK. Both harassment and discrimination are often part of bullying within the workplace.
PROVING Workplace Bullying & Harassment
You may have heard or read stories of bullied employees who stated that after speaking with a manager or their Human Resource (HR) section, they were blamed for creating a hostile work environment and therefore fired from their job with cause.
Although many of these stories may be true, they are potentially the result of individuals that failed to properly document the bullying situation prior to speaking with management or HR.
The unfortunate reality of workplace bullying is that it often affects us mentally and emotionally.
This mental and emotional consequence of bullying can then result in the target advising a manager or HR about the situation when they emotionally can’t take it anymore, instead of at a time when the they are calm and mentally prepared to discuss the situation.
Lawsuits – Forcing Change
Dr. Thompson, a renowned international speaker on workplace bullying and harassment recently wrote “We are beginning to see a trend against bullying by holding employers responsible to protect employees from bullying behavior.” This comment was made after a medical clinic settled and paid out approximately $440,000 to a nurse as a result of suffering from a bullying work environment.
Within the UK, a hedge fund manager recently filed a £1m lawsuit over allegations of homophobic bullying and unfair dismissal.
Lawsuits are not only for financial gain, but to help ensure that businesses take bullying, harassment and discrimination seriously. Lawsuits are simply a means to an end in many circumstances to force change, helping not only yourself, but other individuals who may be suffering just like you.
Although you may prepare for a lawsuit, most businesses will try to change the company ‘culture’ prior to a lawsuit if you are able to clearly show and PROVE that the situations are occurring.
In some situations, you may be asked to take part in mediation with your employer which can have numerous benefits for both sides.
Evidence can quickly lead to a change within your work environment allowing you to “Recover Your Balance”.
Write Clear & Concise Fact-Based Statements
Before you make any formal complaints, you need evidence to PROVE that your situation is occurring. Below are 12 Best Practice Guidelines to follow to ensure your statements are credible.
- Write Chronologically and In First Person
- What You Include in Your Report Is Key!
- Tell the Whole Story
- Be Honest and Factual
- Avoid Hearsay
- Be Brief and Be Organized
- Document Anguish, Emotional and Physical Pain
- Avoid Abbreviations, Lingo, or Professional Jargon
- Avoid Uninformed Opinions
- Attach Relevant Files, Documents and Notes
- Include a Statement of Truth
- Grammar, Spelling and Details Are Important
Create Compelling Evidence
Writing a proper statement about workplace bullying is the first step, but are you able to PROVE when you wrote the statement?
Defense lawyers will argue that you simply made up the statements upon deciding to file a lawsuit. However, the courts will find your evidence to be more credible if you can PROVE that you wrote the statement almost immediately after the incident. This is known as contemporaneous notes which are highly regarded within the UK courts. Contemporaneous notes are a requirement for police officers and other government officials.
The great news is that Forensic Notes allows you to create contemporaneous notes. Each Forensic Note is Digitally Signed and Time-stamped allowing you to PROVE the exact date and time that you authored a note.
Document for Free
Forensic Notes is 100% FREE for 1-year for all readers of Recover Your Balance. Go to our Free Workplace Harassment Account page to sign up. If you require more than a year, simply email us your request. We will be happy to extend this offer.
Robert Merriott, founder of Forensic Notes.
About Forensic Notes
Forensic Notes allows you to PROVE when you wrote a note. Increase your credibility if you are a target of workplace bullying and harassment for free. Together we can help stop bullying within the workplace.