Suffolk County Bullying Lawyer
In recent years, society has realized that bullying causes serious harm. Lawmakers have responded by enacting statutes aimed at suppressing acts of bullying and allowing for restitution in cases where someone in authority permitted bullying practices to persist.
Bullying can result in grave emotional, psychological, and physical harm, and can happen in a variety of forms, including cyberbullying. Anyone who has suffered from the devastating effects of bullying should talk to a Suffolk County bullying lawyer to find out whether they may be entitled to compensation. A compassionate attorney could fight to hold their bully accountable.
How Bullying is Defined Under the Law
In September 2010, the New York state legislature passed the Dignity for All Students Act, which was designed to ensure that students would be able to learn in a safe atmosphere without worrying about discrimination, harassment, bullying, or intimidation. Although this law applies specifically to school property, the legal definition of bullying may be applicable in other settings.
Section 7 of New York Education Law 11 defines harassment and bullying as actions that produce a hostile environment and result in certain negative effects. These actions may consist of threats, abuse, intimidation, or conduct such as cyberbullying, and they may be verbal or non-verbal. Such actions constitute bullying or harassment if they result in any or all of the following:
- Unreasonable and substantial interference with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or that student’s emotional well-being
- Reasonable cause for students to fear physical harm
- Emotional harm or physical injury, or a reasonable expectation of the same
- A risk of substantial disruption of the school environment, whether occurring on or off school property
The statute specifically lists subjects which may be the basis for bullying, but this list is not exhaustive, so other words and acts concerning other subjects may also constitute bullying and harassment in Suffolk County. The list includes gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race (actual or perceived), weight, religion, or disability.
In addition, the statute also defines cyberbullying as the harassment or bullying described above occurring through the use of electronic communications. A Suffolk County bullying lawyer could further explain the statute and answer any questions a person might have.
Bullying in the Workplace
Individuals prone to use bullying tactics do not suddenly undergo a change in personality when they graduate. Although the techniques may become subtler, adults use bullying tactics in the workplace in a variety of settings.
While many people are familiar with state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on certain factors such as race, there are also several laws that bullying practices in the workplace may violate. For instance, if someone threatens to injure an employee, that person might be liable for assault. In the same vein, if a co-worker uses bullying tactics while on the way to work, that individual could be found guilty of stalking.
Speaking With a Suffolk County Bullying Attorney
The damage caused by bullying and harassment is very real, but often hard to define and quantify. Consider talking to a Suffolk County bullying lawyer who understands the type of harm that results from bullying, and could treat you with compassion and advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected.
Because so many different laws come into play in harassment and bullying situations, it may be important to work with an attorney with experience in this complex area of law who understands all the different options for seeking compensation based on the unique circumstances of your situation.