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Workplace Bullying in the Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, workplace bullying is any kind of persistent verbal, psychological, physical, or social abuse by either an employer or a worker, against another person or group of people in a workplace. It includes any unwelcome behaviour which is offensive, insulting, degrading, humiliating, intimidating, frightening or threatening. It can include subtle behaviours such as deliberately leaving a person out of workplace or work social activities, setting timelines or deadlines that are very hard to achieve, or refusing a person’s leave application even though they are eligible for it.
Workplace bullying may also include more serious criminal behaviour such as damage to property, or physical or sexual assaults. If an employee or an agent of an employer commits bullying or harassment in the workplace, the employer may be held vicariously liable for that conduct, unless the employer can demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the employee or agent’s behaviour.