The following article re workplace bullying was submitted by “Harry Hatzis”, as a Guest Post, and focuses on the credibility of a bullied worker, providing some insightful tips. Harry is writing an academic legal thesis on workplace bullying, victimisation, harassment and racial discrimination and whether the laws provide adequate redress to psychiatrically injured workers.
The Hurdle of Credibility for Bullied Workers
- A complainants credibility poses as another hurdle which impacts the accessibility of redress for a bullied worker. Although not a substantive criterion of an action, the credibility of a complainant poses a norm which deems that a successful claimant must be credible. This criterion exists widely in relation matters for deliberation involving workplace bullying. The essence of credibility is that a judge needs to believe that they are being informed of ‘the truth’.
- The struggle of a bullied and psychiatrically injured worker is to find a fine line line between a dignified account of grief and sorrow or an unmeasured and emotional chronology of tribulations and issues which may impact badly on the credibility of the complainant. It seems that some display of emotion is beneficial but if the complainant collapsed to an exaggerated and emotional tirade, this likely to make the complaint uncredible.
- Another struggle that a bullied worker is likely to face is that due to the psychiatric illness, recounting the course of conduct giving rise to the proceedings can be traumatic which causes difficulties with explaining times and dates and precise information as to what happened or otherwise. This was the case in Doulis but he credibility was saved by other witnesses and Psychiatric opinion.
- But also the reality is that many cases don’t find themselves this far because of issues of credibility or concerns of the plaintiff not being a reliable witness. This can lead to settlement before hearing were the [bullied] worker may receive less than what could be awarded at trial.