Was A Long-Ago Event An Assault?

Question:
I have been in my present job thirty-two years. I started my job when I was 18 or 19. There was a coworker who bullied me for over ten years! One time he grabbed me by neck and by my trousers and threw me nearly head first into a van ,where we were loading food. I felt very upset at the time but didn’t show it. The co-worker retired many years ago. Is that classed as an assault?

Answer:
Whatever the reason for your coworker’s actions, it sounds as though he was older than you, which would have made his actions seem even more threatening, since you probably had been on the job less time. 

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Co-Worker Spreading Lies About Me

Question:
I have been at the same job for 20 years. New management took over and said they want to keep me and that they needed me. However, we have a young girl who started with them and obviously wants me gone. She talks about me daily turning others against me. Spreading terrible lies.

When they first come in a few months ago I did everything humanly possible to help them make their transition especially since I already knew them and didn’t have a problem with them . My years and experience made this girl jealous and that’s when she started. It has gotten way out of hand. There isn’t a day that goes by that she don’t slander and spread rumors to others.

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Coworker Critiques Make Me Cringe

Question: I at times have to work with a coworker who makes me feel uncomfortable in what may seem an odd way. She always calls me out on things I do that my normal shift partner does not comment on or say is actually wrong. She questions some things I do, and I have to say I didn’t feel comfortable doing whatever it was for whatever reason, and I always feel like I do something wrong.

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Was My Colleague’s Comment an Insult?

Question: I am a project manager at a small, extremely busy advertising firm. One of our clients has direct communication with the creative director, completely bypassing me. This coworker posted conflicting information about a very large project. I asked him about the scope and due date and he told me to “just sit tight”. To me that is something you say to an anxious 8 year old child and not to a coworker who is just trying to do their job. This person regularly makes off-color comments but this response was directed specifically to me. Thoughts?

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Mom and Sis Management of Problem Employees

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how should managers manage unacceptable behavior:

I don’t have a job but my mother is a supervisor at her job and my sister is the manager at her job. Mom always complains about their workers slacking off, being unprofessional, or being rude to them. They’ve been having the problems for months/ years. I wonder how someone in her position would deal with those problems in a professional way. Mom is a supervisor at the Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS). She has a worker who stays up all night watching movies and who frequently calls off for work or calling in because she will arrive late.

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You Can Get Away With Anything Working in a Family’s Business

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworkers’ jealousy:

I have been working at my family’s restaurant for over 7 years. I love being able to interact with my family in the work setting and learn new skills/recipes that have been passed down from many generations. I work with over 3 aunts and uncles and about 8 cousins. It makes work fun. The one thing I have always got for many years ever since I started working is the “oh you’re family, you can get away with anything” For some reason that has really bothered me because when you’re in a family’s restaurant it gives you more of a reason not to slack. Family will expect more out of you. But some coworkers don’t understand that because they think a family member can do no wrong in the family owner’s eyes, but that is not that case. Almost everyday I hear something like that, How do I answer that when it actually bothers me? 
Signed–I Can’t and Don’t Slack:

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Bullied by Coworker

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who throws another under the bus:

I have a co-worker that not only likes to throw me but other colleagues “under the bus” every chance she gets. She likes to point out my mistakes in front of my supervisor. She is abrasive and I feel she is a bully. How can I combat this situation?

Signed, Bullied

Dear Bullied:

Your follow up email indicates you work from home. I assume since you submitted your question at this time that working at home is a result of state regulations or your employer’s efforts to not enable COVID-19 to infect others. If that is the reason, please continue to stay sheltered in place and, as much as possible, avoid the push and/or urge to get out. I’m following that advice and wearing a mask and avoiding close contacts when out. These rules and guidelines probably will continue for sometime. 

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I Feel I am Being Pushed Out of My Subcontractor Job.

Question:
I joined my company 3 years ago as a subcontractor working 2 days a week. I stayed on after the project with other production tasks, as well to operate a new piece of equipment, and started working the full week.

Months later a part-time staff in a managerial position was leaving, and the boss asked if I wanted to take over their correspondence, bookkeeping, and database management tasks. I accepted the offer, and organized my roles accordingly. These tasks usually combine together into a full work week, while otherwise each task would only take half to one work day to do.

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How Can I Show My Coworker Didn’t Have My Best Interest at Heart?

Question:
One day I did not turn up to work at the expected time. My co-worker, who I do not get on with, was stomping around the office asking other co-workers why I had not turned up, intermittently going into a shared office and asking “has she not turned up?”

Later he asked where I live and my phone number to contact me. He distracted quite a few people who were tying to get on with work. Basically he made a show of it.

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Is it Sexual Harassment for a Co-Worker To Be in Relationship With a Family Member of Mine?

Question:
A coworker of mine had a sexual relationship with a family member of mine.  Is that considered sexual harassment?

Response: I can understand that such a situation as you describe could be uncomfortable at work, especially if the coworker and your family member have broken up or if there were bad feelings between them at some point. It would also be uncomfortable if some aspect of the situation was problematic—for example, if one or both of the people were already married to someone else.

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