Law 167/2020 for amending and supplementing the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 regarding the prevention and sanctioning of all forms of discrimination, as well as for the completion of art. 6 of Law no. 202/2002 on equal opportunities and treatment between women and men establishes a new obligation for employers, namely to take any necessary measures to prevent and combat acts of moral harassment at work, including by providing in the internal regulations of disciplinary sanctions unit for employees who commit acts or acts of psychological harassment (mobbing) at workplace.
Psychological harassment (mobbing) at the workplace is defined as any behavior exercised in relation to an employee by another employee who is his superior or hierarchically, by a subordinate and / or by a hierarchically comparable employee, in connection with employment relationships, which have as purpose or effect a deterioration of working conditions by damaging the rights or dignity of the employee, by affecting his physical or mental health or by compromising his professional future: behavior manifested in any of the following forms:
- a) hostile or unwanted behavior;
- b) verbal comments;
- c) actions or gestures.
Psychological harassment (mobbing) at the workplace is any behavior that, by its systematic nature, can harm the dignity, physical or mental integrity of an employee or group of employees, endangering their work or degrading the work environment. According to the law, stress and physical exhaustion fall under the scope of moral harassment at workplace.
It is forbidden to sanction, dismiss or discriminate, directly or indirectly, including with regard to pay, professional training, promotion or extension of employment, to an employee because he has been subjected or refused to be subjected to psychological harassment at work.
It is forbidden for the employer to establish, in any form, internal rules or measures that oblige, determine or urge employees to commit acts or acts of psychological harassment at work. Otherwise, the employer can be sanctioned with a fine between 50.000 lei and 200.000 lei.
Employees who commit acts or acts of moral harassment at work are disciplinary liable, in accordance with the law and the internal regulations of the employer. Disciplinary liability does not remove the employee’s contraventional or criminal liability for those acts.
In the spirit and letter of this new law, we recommend revising the internal regulations and updating it in order to include mentions regarding the commitment of disciplinary liability in the case of employees who are guilty of practicing a behavior that can be qualified as psychological harassment. Failure to comply with this provision constitutes a contravention and is sanctioned with a fine from 30.000 lei to 50.000 lei.