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Employee Relations

Q

My boss is a bully. He regularly yells at me and demeans me in front of my colleagues, making coming to work a terrible experience. Do I have any recourse?

A

Possibly.

It is an implied term of every contract of employment or employment relationship that your employer will provide you with a fair, civil and decent workplace. From a legal perspective, if it can be established, based on objective evidence and on a balance of probabilities, that your boss has created an intolerable work environment, your employer may be responsible for having breached those implied terms of your employment contract, the result of which will be a constructive dismissal. You will then, correspondingly, be entitled to a fair severance arrangement.

The difficulty, of course, is that it is often troublesome to be able to prove that kind of behaviour. Many employers, however, have policies or a code of conduct which requires that people be treated fairly and decently in the workplace and recourse may be had through your human resources group.

Clearly, if the environment becomes so intolerable that you are prepared to quit, it is time to get legal advice.

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Please Note: Any information provided in response to an HR or payroll question is not legal advice or a legal opinion. To obtain legal advice or a legal opinion, consult a lawyer.

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