Gaslighting in the Workplace: What New York Workers Need to Know

Feb 4

Gaslighting. We’ve heard of it in romantic relationships but did you know that it’s also a common occurrence in the workplace? Consider this interaction:

You log out of your workstation for a lunch break, only to return to your desk with your laptop open, files missing and objects on your desk moved. When you bring it up to your supervisor, he claims you’re just paranoid and that you must have done this yourself.

The next day during your lunch break, you make sure to log out and tidy your desk before leaving. Except you forget your phone and you walk back into the office, only to see that same supervisor at your workstation moving things around. When you confront him about it, he claims he needed a file from you.

But you don’t think that’s the case.

If this situation seems familiar or you suspect your supervisor or coworker is trying to undermine you, know that you have legal options and Brown Kwon & Lam can help.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that is used to gain control over another. In the workplace, gaslighting may be a coworker or supervisor attempting to convince you that you are insufficient in the position you hold, cannot be trusted, or simply are not liked by other employees.

The goal of gaslighting is to convince the victim that they are the problem–not the perpetrator. In essence, the perpetrator is hoping that by diminishing your self-esteem, you won’t seek help from HR or another employee.

Gaslighting is different from a workplace bully. A gaslighter typically works alone to manipulate an employee whereas a bully will try to rally other employees to mock, embarrass, or ridicule an employee.

Examples of gaslighting in the workplace include:

What should I do if I’m being gaslighted?

If you suspect you are being gaslighted at work by a coworker or supervisor, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Under both New York state and federal laws, you are protected from workplace harassment and discrimination. If you need legal advice on what course of action to take against your gaslighter, the New York employee advocates at Brown Kwon & Lam are here for you.

Gaslighting in the Workplace: Brown Kwon & Lam

When it seems like everyone is questioning you, treating you unfairly, and ganging up against you, know that you are not alone. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we will defend you in your New York workplace claim. If you are a victim of gaslighting, call Brown Kwon & Lam. We want to help.

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