Harassment occurs when a boss, coworker, client, or patron engages in unwelcome and offensive behavior. Such offensive behavior may be illegal.
Harassment is any undesirable, disrespectful, humiliating, threatening, or otherwise unwanted behavior directed at someone because of protected qualities, such as age, race, religion, nationality, Gender Identity and Sex, Pregnancy, Disability, and sexual orientation.
Harassment can take the form of a variety of verbal or physical actions, such as jokes that are offensive, slurs, name-calling, objects that are offensive obscene photographs, insulting comments, bullying, and intimidation. Interfering with someone’s capacity to conduct their job or retaliating against them for filing a discrimination charge or taking part in an investigation is also harassment.
What is Workplace Harassment?
Harassment in the workplace can take place in a variety of ways. A harasser could be a victim’s coworker or supervisor in that certain environment, or they could be someone that doesn’t work directly with the victim at all, such as a client, customer, or vendor.
Harassment has repercussions beyond the victim or intended target. Because of the unpleasant work environment that develops, other employees may become harassed as well.
Workplace harassment affects everyone in the workplace. If left uncontrolled, it can lead to toxic workplaces that cause everyone worry and anxiety. This might create delays in work completion and take a long time for some workplaces to recover from.
While the #MeToo movement encouraged many men and women to come forward with their stories, sexual harassment remains a critical problem in many workplaces.
The most common type of workplace harassment is sexual harassment, which accounts for half of all complaints. (Hiscox)
Sexual harassment or assault affects 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men in their lives.
In the workplace, 56% of employees have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment. (TLNT)
The number of sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States increased by 13.6 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States)
36% of companies do not provide anti-harassment training. (Hiscox)
Over, 80% of poll respondents say they were harassed verbally. Unwanted physical contact or sexual advances affected 44 percent of people. A coworker or boss sent at least one sexually filthy email or text message to about a quarter of the employees. Urbanic & Associates (Urbanic & Associates)
Types Of Workplace Harassment
Harassment on the physical level
One of the most common forms of workplace harassment is physical harassment. This can also take the shape of physical or property-based violence. Someone could also construe this as threatening behavior. It can be treated as an assault in extreme cases. Pushing, striking, or slapping an employee, as well as other forms of physical abuse against them.
Bullying is another term for personal harassment. Unwanted words, insults, and unpleasant and insulting utterances against the victim. Personal harassment might include being repeatedly put down with condescending words.
Harassment Based on Discrimination
They directed this type of workplace harassment against a person’s race, age, sex, or other protected class subjected to offensive or intimidating remarks. Today, people must exercise extreme caution. Someone can sometimes overhear these kinds of comments in private chats. Because discriminatory harassments are difficult to handle and one should seek legal help from an employment lawyer.
When a perpetrator acts in a romantic or sexual manner toward a victim who is visibly uncomfortable and does not desire such attention, we know it as sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a superior makes a sexual request to the victim, and if the victim declines, the superior threatens the victim with a bad outcome, such as losing their job or not getting a promotion.
Harassment of the mind
Harassment can also be psychological and have a negative influence on the victim. They often make a victim the subject of mockery, belittled, or forced to listen to unnecessary condescending words that might have a negative impact on him or her. They might direct negative comments at the victim from both a professional and personal standpoint.
It is important to know the harassment and its types that may occur in a workplace because once you know these it becomes easy to identify them.
Preventing Harassment In Your Workplace
Every company has a human resource department, which assists employees in crisis situations. Good HR practices safeguard their safety and job security. Whether they feel uncomfortable or in danger, or threatened by a coworker.
The lack of physical evidence in most grievances or harassing actions should not stop a victim from submitting a formal report.
Employees, especially leaders and HR managers, encourage to adopt the following steps:
- Attempt a calm one-on-one conversation with the harasser. Request that they refrain from making any offensive remarks. If the harassment is physical, however, do not approach the harasser; instead, take action.
- If your employee complains about harassment and you see the harasser is in a leadership position, bring the matter to HR’s attention if you cannot address the situation with the harasser. In any case, if you have any evidence, such as text messages or photographs, consider presenting it.
- If you are a manager and believe that your company did not properly handle your employees’ concerns, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which can investigate. As they have their own rules and agencies managing the rules and code of conduct
#MeToo and #TimesUp were two major events that brought harassment out of the shadows and into the light. The headlines that followed sent a serious message: harassment is a greater issue than most people realize. It remains a problem when employees, managers, and business owners hold the attitude that “it happens, but it doesn’t happen here.”
For example, according to a late 2017 NBC News-SurveyMonkey poll, 81 percent of those polled say sexual harassment is an issue in American organizations, yet 91 percent feel it doesn’t happen at their workplace.
According to a Stop Street, Harassment poll from 2018, 81 percent of women have been subject to harassment in their lives, with 38 percent claiming it happened at work.
Harassment of any kind is unacceptable. Recognize that harassment is a reality as the first step toward change. Then and only then can it be properly addressed. It all starts with recognizing the many types of harassment and then building an intolerance culture.
Everyone has a responsibility to keep the workplace free of harassment. Everyone can avoid and halt workplace harassment in their workplace through education and training.