Labor & Employment Attorney Doug Plazak Quoted by Forbes on Workplace Supervisor Harassment

December 6, 2010

ForbesRiverside and Orange County Labor and Employment Attorney Douglas A. Plazak was quoted extensively in a recent entry in Forbes' Work in Progress: Career Talk for Women blog. The article, entitled "Never Mind Co-worker Sabotage – What if I’m Dealing with a Bully Boss?," discussed the legal rights of employees faced with a bully boss.

Plazak was quoted extensively in part one of the article, which states: 

Attorney Doug Plazak, Labor & Employment Lawyer, Riverside and Orange CountyUnfortunately, it’s currently not against the law for a boss to be a jerk because general harassment by supervisors is not considered illegal in most states.  “Bullying is not easily recognized by criminal and civil courts as a valid claim because it is not considered life threatening, so in order to win a suit an employee must prove that the supervisor (1) acted intentionally, (2) that their conduct was extreme, (3) that their actions caused mental distress and (4) that the emotional distress was severe,” states Doug Plazak, a partner specializing in employment law at Reid & Hellyer in California.

For now, workers who are bullied based on their race, gender, nationality, or religion may sue under applicable Federal or State civil rights laws.  Many states are looking to pass similar laws as New York, with their ‘healthy workplace’ bill, which allows employees “to sue for physical, psychological and/or economic harm due to abusive behavior, based on the belief that it protects public health,” Plazak adds.

Plazak offered further insight in part two of the article, which noted:

Forbes Work in Progress BlogIf your behavior is found to be lawful:  Your behavior might currently be classified as lawful (although inappropriate) but that might not hold true in the near future.  New York recently passed a ‘healthy workplace’ bill and many states are following their lead.  The bill allows employees “to sue for physical, psychological and/or economic harm due to abusive behavior, based on the belief that it protects public health,” states Doug Plazak, a partner specializing in employment law at Reid & Hellyer in California.

Douglas A. Plazak is a partner and labor and employment lawyer in the Riverside and Orange County offices of Reid & Hellyer. He can be reached at dplazak@rhlaw.com.

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