Bullying is not a new concept for any of us. Almost all of us might have been through or seen bullying in some form at some point in our life. It distraught the life of the victim. There are many types of bullying and cyberbullying is one of the most common forms these days.
What is cyberbullying?
Any kind of bullying that happens online i.e., through the electronic or digital medium is termed cyberbullying. A cyberbullying lawyer explains it as harassing an individual on social media platforms via emails, SMS or any other online platform. It can occur through any electronic device, including smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.
Though bullying can take place anywhere the cyberbullying is mostly seen at the workplace. As the world is going digital and achieving new heights, so is online harassment. The victims of cyberbullying are usually hesitant to admit their sufferings and it often creates a hostile environment at the workplace, affecting the performance and mental health of the employees.
Staying quiet on such matters will not make things easy for the victim and it is a must for them to report any bullying. One just needs to get in touch with the right cyberbullying lawyer to get through the proceedings and then you are free from the bullies.
Let’s see what one needs to do in case of any type of cyberbullying at work.
Collecting evidence: In case of any online harassment, cyberbullying laws require you to collect evidence in order to report the happening of such incidents. Following are some of the things that come under the purview of cyberbullying at the workplace:
- Harassing emails
- Harassing messages
- Harassing comments on social media
- Bullying by sharing photos online
- Online discussions aimed to hurt you
- Excluding from work-related chat groups
- Sharing any private information about you in the workplace
It is important to collect evidence as and when the incidents take place. The evidence can be collected in the form of:
- URL address of the offensive material
- Screenshots of pictures, messages, and emails
- Short videos of pictures, messages, and emails
- A printed copy of pictures, messages, and emails
Reporting cyberbullying at the workplace: Any kind of cyberbullying can be reported either to the employer or to the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Reporting to the employer: Cyberbullying at the workplace can be reported directly to the employer or owner of the company or to any designated person appointment for this purpose. If no action is taken or you are not happy with the action taken, you can hire a lawyer and file a suit.
- Reporting to the ISP: Cyberbullying is a violation of internet service providers’ terms and conditions. So it is best to report it to the ISP. After that, you can also report it to the police.
Legal consequences of Cyberbullying at workplace
People are usually afraid to report cyberbullying as they are not aware of the consequences it will bring to the bully and themselves. But you can always report any kind of cyberbullying to the police and the cyber laws will protect your rights.
Following are the legal consequences of Cyberbullying at the workplace:
- The bully is penalized and has to pay some amount based on the circumstances of the case.
- The bully can also have to face some jail time, as per the circumstances and seriousness of the complaint.
- The bully may also be asked to pay compensation to the victim in the form of damages in civil proceedings for the pain and monetary expenses caused by him/her.
- If you reported the bullying to your employer and he/she didn’t take any action, even though they could have prevented it, then they are also held legally liable for the crime.
Always remember to keep a paper trail of the harassment and report it to the right and concerning authorities. The cyberbullying laws provide protection to the victim and punishment for the culprit.
Effects of cyberbullying on the victim
Any kind of bullying is not the right thing to do. By bullying anyone, you are making their life difficult and sometimes it even leads to the victim falling into depression or even committing suicide. Following are the effects of cyberbullying on the victim:
- Sleeping disorders
- Social isolation
- Avoiding work
- Bad performance at work
- Lack of confidence
- Low self-esteem
The victims are usually afraid of the bully and almost everyone leading them to refrain from talking to anyone with what they are going through. Harassment of any kind leads to unhealthy mental conditions of the victim.
It is important for everyone to understand the rights of every human being and avoid any such type of behavior that might affect the well being of another human being.
Always keep in mind that there are laws that prevent the victim and so you should not be silent if you are bullied as it will not make anything easy.