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I'm a victim in the workplace, but not part of a protected class

Bullying has become a widely-discussed public concern in recent years. When we hear "bullying," many of us might think about school and kids. But as we grow up, many of us adults find out that just because school ends, that doesn't mean child-like behavior ends.

Even in the workplace, bullying can take a strong hold of some people. A more formal and legal term for bullying against certain protected classes of people is called discrimination and/or harassment. But what about those who feel bullied but are not part of a minority or protected class?

New Jersey does not have an anti-bullying law for the workplace. It is possible, and does happen, however, that all kinds of workers literally become ill because of a hostile work environment wherein they are the targets of bullying.

Sure, we see and help, for example, women and homosexual workers who face discrimination. We also want to and might be able to help a white, heterosexual man who has been treated in such a consistently ugly manner at his workplace that he is physically stressed and too sick to function at his job.

At least one New Jersey legislator has attempted to get a bullying-in-the- workplace law on the books. Until then, there might still be an option for someone who feels he or she has been the victim of a hostile work environment. An employee rights attorney can listen to your story and evaluate whether you have legal options.

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