14 Ways on How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court: It’s natural to feel intimidated by a powerful boss or a successful executive.

But people in positions of authority who actively insult and intimidate other people in the law court are no different from the bully in the schoolyard who beats up other kids for lunch money.

Workplace bullies can have similar affects on you in adulthood as such treatment would when you were a child.

And ultimately can cause decreased productivity, poor self-esteem.

And can even negatively affect your physical health.

However, despite how the bully may make you feel.

You aren’t powerless, and can take action to protect your rights as well as your health and well-being.

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How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court: BusinessHAB.com
How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

1. Avoid taking the behaviour personally.

Although it can be difficult, your strongest defense against intimidation is to recognize that the person’s behaviour has nothing to do with any deficiency in you or your work.

  • This is especially true if the person is threatening your job or insulting you in front of co-workers. When dealing with someone like that, it’s easy to believe that your work is sub-par and that you need to do more.
  • However, sometimes your work is just as good, if not better, than that of your co-workers. The anxiety can lead to exhaustion when increased effort doesn’t alter the bully’s behavior.
  • Observe the person’s actions when they’re not talking to you to see if they treat anyone else that way. Conversely, it may be that your bully is being bullied by someone else higher up the chain, and he or she is just passing it down. This doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it can help you understand it and not take it as personally.
  • Keep in mind that you are not the problem. Bullying is about fear and control, and isn’t about your work performance. Even if your work isn’t as good as that of your co-workers, you don’t deserve to be bullied or intimidated by your supervisor.

2. Keep your distance.

At least until you can better remedy the situation, try to keep your interactions with the problematic person to a minimum.

  • While avoiding the problematic person can be especially difficult if he or she is your direct supervisor, try to keep confrontations or altercations with the person to a minimum. For example, if you’re expected to turn in reports to the person, you may consider delivering them when you know he or she is out of the office, or sending them using email rather than delivering hard copies.
  • If the person tends to be less abusive or confrontational when you are with someone else, try talking to a co-worker about the situation to see if he or she is willing to accompany you when you must interact with the person who intimidates you.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

3. Consider talking to a counselor or therapist.

If you notice any issues that you believe are related to stress caused by the bully.

A psychological professional can help you talk through them and provide you with strategies to minimize the impact of the behavior.

  • If you’re concerned about cost, you can find out if sessions are covered under your health insurance. Additionally, colleges or universities in your area may have clinics that offer free or sliding-scale services.
  • Some states also have free or low-fee counseling available at their state mental health clinics or through pro bono networks.
  • Keep in mind that bullying and intimidation at work can result in serious health problems if your anxiety and stress levels aren’t monitored effectively.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

4. Start looking for other opportunities.

As much as you might like to stand your ground, in some cases the best thing for your health is to move on to a less hostile environment.

  • Particularly if the person you’re having problems with is also your direct supervisor, you may have difficulty advancing in your company if he or she has it out for you.
  • Looking for other opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave your company. If you like where you work – except for the one person – you may be able to make a lateral move to a different department, or switch to a different shift or a different working group that’s supervised by someone else.
  • If you apply at another company and are asked for references, you might want to use someone other than the problematic person, if at all possible. If there’s no way around listing his or her name, keep in mind employers are legally limited in terms of what they can say about an employee.
  • Even though someone is engaging in intimidating behavior, state laws typically prohibit him or her from knowingly giving false information about your job performance or work history to a potential employer.
  • Remind yourself that moving to another job or company doesn’t mean the bully “wins.” Rather, it means you care more about yourself and your health and well-being to allow yourself to remain in that situation.

5. Review any handbooks, rules, or policies.

If your company has employee handbooks or other written rules or policy descriptions.

They might include information on how to handle the behavior you’ve encountered.

  • Most companies have a policy that clearly prohibits discrimination or harassment, in line with state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on certain characteristics such as race or gender.
  • However, your company also may have a code of conduct or other policy that prohibits aggression or psychological intimidation generally, regardless of whether it’s related to any unlawful discrimination.
  • If you can find such a rule or policy, you can potentially use it to fight back against the bully. Even if there’s no state or federal law that prohibits his or her conduct, you may be able to show repeated violations of a company policy.

6. Make records of the behavior.

Keeping a running log of all encounters in which the intimidation occurs.

As well as copies of any emails or other instances of written intimidation, can provide proof of the problem to others.

  • Keep in mind that to show harassment or similar workplace issues rise to the level of breaking state or federal law, you must be able to prove a pattern of unwelcome conduct that put your employment security at risk.
  • In many states, you also must show some level of discrimination – the abusive behavior is related to your sex, religion, race, or other protected characteristic.
  • Workplace bullying typically involves repeated attacks that result in an on-going pattern of behavior. It’s important to document every instance to show that what’s going on is a pattern and not a few isolated events.
  • Some examples of behavior worthy of recording includes being blamed for something without any factual justification, unwarranted criticism of you or your work product, being shouted at or humiliated (especially in front of co-workers), or being given unrealistic or impossible deadlines and then criticized for not meeting them.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

7. Assert yourself.

While it may seem easier said than done, it’s important to stand your ground.

And let the person know that his or her behavior is out of line.

  • At the very least, you must let it be known that the behavior is unwanted.
  • While it may seem odd to think that anyone would actually want to be bullied or intimidated, your supervisor may try to use the excuse that he or she was just joking around, and that you recognized that.
  • It also may be the case that the person is completely unaware that his or her behavior was bothering you. The only way to be sure is to bring it up. Try to avoid bringing emotion into it; but indicate that you find the behavior unprofessional and unwelcome in the workplace.
  • If the behavior clearly violates a company policy or code of conduct, you may want to mention this as well.

8. Get management involved.

Follow any company policies to report the behavior up the chain until someone takes action to resolve the problem.

  • Your employee handbook may list the names or titles of people to whom you should go if you have issues with other employees. However, this can be difficult if that person is friends with the problematic person. It may even be that the person in charge of such complaints is the very person with whom you have a problem.
  • In these cases, you may need to talk to someone above them in the company hierarchy, or someone you trust to help you handle the situation.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

9. Submit a written statement.

Presenting a detailed account of the behavior in writing preserves a record of what you said and prevents later problems.

  • If you end up filing a charge with a state or federal agency, or filing a lawsuit, your written statement will be important proof that your employer had notice of the problem and it wasn’t addressed effectively.
  • Make a copy of your statement before you submit it to your employer so you have a copy for your records in case you need it later on.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

10. Contact your state’s labor office.

Most states have their own laws that protect employee rights and enforce state laws against discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.

  • Although not all states have laws specifically prohibiting intimidating behavior or the creation of a hostile work environment, your state’s labor office will have resources to assist you in dealing with the problem.
  • A state labor office employee also can tell you of any state laws that apply to your situation and assist you in filing a state complaint if applicable.
  • Keep in mind that while state and federal law prohibit harassment and retaliation, these claims are different from claims of bullying or intimidation – although bullying and intimidation may qualify as harassment if they involve discrimination.

11. File a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

You can use the EEOC’s website to help evaluate the behaviour and determine whether you’re eligible to file a charge.

  • The EEOC has an online assessment tool available on its website so you can quickly determine if the federal agency has jurisdiction over your case.
  • You also can call 1-800-669-4000 to talk to an EEOC representative and find out if the harassment or intimidation you’re dealing with constitutes a violation of federal law.
  • Under Federal law, typically the conduct you’re experiencing must be connected to your employer specifically – not just a single person. However, the law makes employers automatically liable for the behavior of an employee if you are harassed or intimidated by a supervisor in a way that relates specifically to your job, such as failing to promote you or causing you to lose wages.
  • If you’re eligible, you must file your charge at the EEOC field office nearest you. You can use the EEOC’s online map to find the closest of the agency’s 53 field offices.
  • The EEOC has an intake questionnaire you must fill out to file a charge. You can either submit the form in person, or mail it to the nearest field office.
  • After you file your charge, you may be contacted by an EEOC agent with additional questions or requests for further evidence or information.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

12. Cooperate with mediation and any investigation.

If the EEOC accepts your charge, it will send a copy to your employer within 10 days and either request a response or propose mediation

  • If you are unable to resolve the problem in mediation, the EEOC may decide to investigate the charge.
  • Expect to take the investigation as long as six months. If the EEOC finds no violation of federal law, you will receive a notice of your right to file a lawsuit regarding the behavior. If the EEOC finds a violation, it may initiate a lawsuit on your behalf.

13. Talk to an attorney.

While you should preserve a lawsuit as a last resort, if you can’t get a satisfactory resolution to the issue by other means, you may want to consider it.

  • Many employment lawyers offer a free consultation, and you can use this opportunity to get a legal opinion on whether the behavior rises to the level that a lawsuit would be a valuable use of your time and effort.

How to Handle Intimidation in Law Court

14. More tips

  • Although this article focuses on workplace bullying and intimidation, many of the steps here can be adapted to handle intimidation in other contexts, particularly if you’re having problems with someone in a position of authority over you.

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