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Employment Law Blog

Whether it happens to a child on a playground or an adult in the workplace, bullying is always harmful, always wrong, and never acceptable. Taunts, teasing, threats, or intimidation are all examples of abusive behavior that can constitute bullying. Sadly, more and more American workers are subjected to workplace bullying by superiors, colleagues, and others. A 2021 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 30% of American adults reported being bullied at work (including remote work), while an additional 19% observed bullying in their workplace. That translates into 76.3 million American workers directly impacted by workplace bullying.

None of us are defined by a single trait or characteristic, and many individuals share more than one class of traits that may make them targets of legally prohibited discrimination or harassment. Indeed, as the #MeToo Movement has reminded us, perpetrators of sexual harassment may be more likely to target individuals with multiple protected traits, including people with disabilities and people of color, for abuse.

Judges are increasingly recognizing these forms of “intersectional” discrimination and harassment in cases involving plaintiffs whose claims are based on their membership in more than one protected class.