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Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at WorkThe Duality of Individual Rights$
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Lizzie Barmes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691371.001.0001

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Legal Themes in Case Law about Behavioural Conflict at Work II

Legal Themes in Case Law about Behavioural Conflict at Work II

Consistency in Applying Behaviour Rules

(p.139) 6 Legal Themes in Case Law about Behavioural Conflict at Work II
Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work

Lizzie Barmes

Oxford University Press

This chapter documents the remarkably consistent approach found to working out the implications of substantive legal rules about workplace behaviour when jurisdictional problems allowed judges to get to this point. Irrespective of the legal rule, the court, or timing, judges located two sets of boundaries and employed similar decision-making methods. First, there was the distinction between conduct at work which law required working people to accept and that was ‘beyond the pale’. Second, there was the connected line between acceptable and unacceptable employer responses, either to the occurrence of or to complaints about bad workplace behaviour. The chapter substantiates these findings regarding conduct itself, also tracing recurrent decision-making tropes discovered. This aspect of how courts handle individual labour and equality rights appears therefore to have wide-ranging emancipatory potential, but the question remains what all this endeavour ultimately delivers for individuals, organizations, and society at large.

Keywords:   individual rights, judgments, adjudication, consistency, legal standards, workplace behaviour, bullying, harassment, discrimination, socio-legal

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