Different Types of Harassment in the Workplace

By hrlineup | 09.01.2020

Harassment in the workplace is a very common thing in all parts of the world. In most cases, it goes unreported because victims are usually unsure of what qualifies to be workplace harassment and what they should do. If it is not addressed, workplace harassment can ruin a good employee and turn a business into a toxic environment where no one wants to work to their best potential. In the end, productivity in the company goes down. Harassment at work is considered as part of discrimination in the US and it is a violation of the Civil Rights Act.

Employers have a role to play to ensure that a safe working environment is maintained for all employees. Any hostility directed to any employee is a form of harassment and employees should be informed that it is illegal and punishable by law. Any kind of toxicity in the workplace should be eliminated as it has great possibility of escalating into an embarrassing lawsuit which could in turn taint the image of the company.

Types of workplace harassment

  1. Physical harassment: this is a very common type of employee harassment. Physical harassment could take many forms including physical violence directed to an employee or their property. Sometimes an employee could be threatened and in an extreme situation, it could involve assault. So many cases of employees being physically abused, either through slapping or pushing are high in various parts of the country. One employee can even damage another’s car, bicycle or motorbike. It is important for employees to be on the lookout for signs of physical abuse so that they can report it immediately it occurs to curb the vice in their workplace.
  2. Personal harassment: Bullying is another way people abuse others in the workplace and it is what is considered harassment of a person’s personality. This form of abuse happens if unwanted remarks are directed to a particular employee, derogatory statements, insults and offensive remarks. If you are constantly put down by another employee or a group of employees, you may be going through personal harassment.
  3. Discrimination: discrimination is another type of office harassment and is directed at a person’s sex, age and race. Some people suffer discrimination in workplaces because of the way they look, the way they work and where they come from. Any kind of workplace discrimination is a violation of legal laws protecting employees, therefore, employers need to be careful and discourage the vice as soon as it is realized or reported.
  4. Sexual harassment: sexual harassment happens when a person behaved in a sexual or romantic way towards another in the workplace, and it is clear that the victim is uncomfortable and does not want that kind of attention. There are cases of seniors in workplaces making sexual requests from their juniors in exchange for favors or through threats and intimidation.

Harassment at work laws are very clear and a business whose working environment is not conducive for all employees ends up paying dearly for the actions of some of its employees.

Related Articles