Net Brussel found guilty in extreme case of bullying

Summary

After Brussels’ waste management agency ignored a petition and complaints from personnel, a court found it guilty of failing to intervene in an extreme case of bullying and harassment

Worker commits suicide

Waste management agency Net Brussel has been found guilty by a court of failing to ensure the protection of its personnel, following a case of serious bullying and harassment in the workplace. One of the victims of the bullying committed suicide.

The accusations were made against the boss of the Net Brussel depot in Schaarbeek, whose behaviour was described as intimidating and bullying. When one of his staff took his own life, another, who had been subjected to racist taunts, filed a complaint.

That man was dismissed and took his case to the labour tribunal, asking for damages of €50,000.

Net Brussel has now been found guilty of failing to take action to stop the bullying despite repeated complaints and a petition signed by about 30 workers.

The complaints of harassment were “very clear,” the court said, as was the petition, which the agency ignored. Net Brussel has been ordered to pay the plaintiff damages for his dismissal and for the harassment. An expert has been appointed to determine the extent of any further damages.

The government ministry in charge of waste management said that sanctions would follow. In the meantime, Net Brussel said it would appeal the judgement. 

Photo courtesy Net Brussel

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