Bullying by a colleague, a group of colleagues or your boss can take various forms, including insults, constant criticism, threats, meaningless assignments and exclusion.
Sexual harassment can likewise involve a work colleague, a group of colleagues or your boss.
If you are experiencing this type of behaviour, you should start collecting evidence (witness accounts, emails or instant messages, daily notes, etc.). This material will be useful if you decide to report the offender(s).
It is important to deal with the situation quickly to avoid it escalating. Contact the appropriate person or unit in your company (e.g. the HR committee, a confidant, the HR department, etc.).
If the discussion does not produce a satisfactory result, you should inform your employer in writing about the situation and ask them to provide assistance. They are obliged to do so.
You can contact the Cantonal Labour Inspectorate (web page available in German, French and Italian) if the company does not respond to your request for assistance.
Various types of discrimination may occur in the workplace, based on factors including sex, race or disability.
You can ask your company to intervene if you have experienced workplace discrimination.
You can also rely on support from institutions that specialise in handling these types of issues:
The conciliation board for gender discrimination in the workplace can help with cases in this area (web page available in German, French and Italian). Some cantons require you to contact the conciliation board before taking legal action.
Those who have experienced racial discrimination can contact the relevant source of legal protection (web page available in German, French and Italian).
Multiple organisations offer legal advice in cases of disability discrimination (web page available in German, French and Italian).
If you are experiencing serious difficulties with your manager, contact your employer in writing to express your position. This can include disputes about salary payments or your behaviour in the workplace, for example, or you may wish to contest their decision to fire you.
Trade union members can contact their unions for assistance throughout this process.
We talk about ‹collective disputes› when multiple employees are facing the same kind of problem.
You can contact the Cantonal Board for Conciliation in Labour Disputes regarding this type of dispute.
Collective disputes that cross cantonal borders fall under the remit of the Federal Board for Conciliation in Collective Labour Disputes (web page available in German, French and Italian).
If you and your colleagues are members of a trade union, you can contact your union for assistance at any point throughout the process.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) maintains a web page with general information and useful contacts with regard to workplace disputes. They also have specific pages on employment law and the relevant ordinances. (Web pages available in German, French and Italian.)
Our portal contains various web pages about the world of work, as well as the rights and obligations of employees, with a particular focus on absences due to illness or accident, employment contracts, holidays, breaks, working hours, Sunday and night work, pregnancy, maternity as well as unemployment and short-time work.
If you require external assistance or advice when facing a problem or dispute at work, you can contact a lawyer or union of your choice for personalised advice.