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Thou Shalt Not Bully—Employers Must Educate Supervisors About ‘Abusive Conduct’

Lexology (09/12/14) Jose (Joe) Perez

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to educate supervisors on preventing abusive conduct in the workplace. The abusive conduct does not have to be based on a protected characteristic or constitute illegal discrimination or harassment. The law defines abusive conduct as malicious conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. It can include verbal abuse; insults; epithets; verbal or physical conduct that is threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; and gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.