Has bullying occurred if it is agreed that the negative behaviour complained about occurred, exactly as described, but you cannot, as investigator, find that any ‘detriment’ has been suffered?
People Resolutions conducted an investigation into a lady’s complaint that she felt humiliated and that her reputation seriously suffered when she was told in a general office, in front of her colleagues, the reasons why she could not attend a particular training course. The investigator discovered later that she had defended her position appropriately and was allowed to attend the course. Far from being diminished, her office colleagues thought her reputation had been enhanced as a result. You could argue that the alleged bullying behaviour was unsuccessful – whether intended or not. Would you uphold the claim of bullying?
(For a discussion of ‘intent’ in relation to bullying claims, please visit our partner site Human Potential Accounting).