Gaslighting at Work: Signs, Strategies & Legal Options

  1. Discrimination
  2. Gaslighting at Work: Signs, Strategies & Legal Options
Gaslighting at Work

In Tennessee, workplace misbehavior may take many different forms, ranging from retaliation to sexual harassment. Although there are countless ways for businesses to violate their workers’ rights at work, certain abuses are more obvious than others. Gaslighting can be a sign of a hostile work environment. 

Gaslighting is a widespread but frequently disregarded kind of workplace harassment. It is a psychological manipulation technique used to feed doubts in the minds of a targeted individual or group, causing them to doubt their memory, perception, or sanity. By consistently denying, misleading, contradicting, and lying, gaslighters try to undermine the victim’s beliefs and cause them to become unstable.

Although gaslighting is typically associated with love and relationships, it also occurs frequently in the job. Supervisors, coworkers, or even subordinates that routinely lie, deny any wrongdoing, systematically destroy others’ trust, and/or persuade people into adopting their version of events are all examples of workplace gaslighting.

This article will provide an overview of frequent kinds of gaslighting at work and the actions victims may take to hold their employers responsible for gaslighting and other workplace misbehavior in Tennessee.

Can I Claim Gaslighting Against My Employer?

While gaslighting isn’t unlawful in and of itself in Tennessee, businesses are required by law to provide a respected and safe work environment for all workers. This means that individuals who are gaslighted can and should take the appropriate legal action to protect their rights at work. In Tennessee, instances of gaslighting at work frequently include:

Denying prior agreements, talks, or occurrences: A gaslighter may claim that a conversation or incident never happened, which might lead victims’ staff members to doubt their account of what happened and make it harder for them to hold other professionals responsible at work.

Distorting the truth: A supervisor who engages in gaslighting may manipulate or fabricate facts to portray staff members as guilty when they are not.

Undermining self-esteem and confidence: A gaslighter may constantly be critical of others’ talents or performance, which makes victims doubt their worth and competence at work.

Isolating victims from others: In addition to excluding and isolating workers from forums that may offer information or assistance, a gaslighting employer may also isolate victims from their coworkers. Employees may absorb the idea that they are to blame for the current issue as a result of this.

4 Methods for Filing a Lawsuit Against Working Gaslighters

Even while there isn’t specific legislation that forbids gaslighting in the workplace as a stand-alone violation, this doesn’t mean that workers can’t take action to stop the negative actions or even gain compensation for being forced into an unworkable environment.

As long as the behavior qualifies as a legally actionable form of workplace misconduct, victims may be able to hold employers legally liable for gaslighting. Typical instances consist of:

  1. Gaslighting is a factor in an unfriendly workplace.

Severe or widespread remarks or behaviors that contribute to an intimidating or offensive work environment on the basis of one’s race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, handicap, or gender are considered to be part of a hostile work environment in Tennessee. Gaslighting at work has legal ramifications under Tennessee’s state and federal employment laws if it creates a hostile work environment in any way.

  1. Gaslighting is a kind of discrimination in the workplace.

Employers are forbidden by Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 from permitting a hostile work environment as a result of discrimination based on specific protected characteristics, such as:

  • Age, Disability, Race, Color, or Religion
  • Nationality
  • Sexual Gender

Remember that sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and disorders connected to pregnancy (including postpartum depression and nursing) are all included in the EEOC‘s list of “protected classes.” Victims of workplace gaslighting may be able to sue their offending bosses or coworkers for compensation if the gaslighting leads to illegal discrimination.

  1. Gaslighting is considered harassment in the workplace.

Any unwanted and offensive behavior, statement, act, or conduct directed against an employee or a group of employees based on their protected characteristics is the best definition of workplace harassment in employment law. Harassment can hinder someone’s capacity to do their job well by fostering a hostile, frightening, or unpleasant work environment.

There are several ways that workplace harassment manifests, such as:

Verbal Harassment: As defined by the EEOC, this includes insulting words, slurs, jokes, and other improper or disparaging statements directed against an employee’s protected characteristics.

Physical Harassment: In this type of harassment, one is touched inappropriately, physically threatened, or has their personal space violated.

Visual Harassment: In the workplace, visual harassment takes the form of offensive posters, pictures, or materials that target certain protected traits.

Cyberharassment: This includes creating rumors online or harassing an employee via emails, texts, or posts on social media.

Sexual Harassment: Any verbal or physical behavior of a sexual character that fosters a hostile work environment is considered sexual harassment. This includes unwanted sexual approaches and demands for sexual favors.

  1. Gaslighting is a kind of reprisal by an employer.

Employees may be able to file an employer retaliation lawsuit against the perpetrator in Tennessee courts if workplace gaslighting results in bad employment choices, such as being passed over for promotions, given unfavorable job assignments, or being fired.

Any negative action that an employer takes against a worker because the worker has engaged in legally protected activities—like reporting wrongdoing, filing a complaint, helping with an investigation, or standing up for their rights as an employee under local, state, and federal employment laws is referred to as retaliation.

Typical instances of reprisal in the workplace include:

  • An employer who fires an employee for engaging in protected activity like reporting workplace wrongdoing or filing a discrimination complaint. This is wrongful termination.
  • Demotions: When an employee participates in legally protected activity, an employer may penalize them by reducing their job title, duties, or pay.
  • Unjustified bad performance reviews: An employer that assigns unfavorable ratings to staff members due to their participation in constitutionally protected activities
  • Unjustified disciplinary actions: An employer who responds to legally protected acts with unjustified or disproportionate disciplinary measures, including suspension or written warnings
  • Employers who seek to keep workers off future job possibilities by giving fraudulent or unfavorable references to prospective employers are known as “blacklisting” employers.

Guarding the Rights of Impoverished Workers

We at The Crone Law Firm are aware of the terrible effects that harassment or discrimination in the workplace can have on people in Tennessee. Our committed employment legal team have a track record of effectively holding dishonest employers accountable for their acts in Memphis courts as well as those around the state, whether they be aggressive bosses or discriminatory coworkers. Our attorneys have the in-depth expertise and experience to prioritize your requirements from beginning to end, whether you’re looking for protection against age discrimination, contract violation, or a related employment issue.

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