Harassment, Workplace, Sexual
Harassment is a form of behavior that is unwanted, uninvited, and unwelcome and causes nuisance, alarm, or substantial emotional distress without any legitimate purpose
3. Here are some key points about harassment:
- Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, etc.
- .Harassment can direct multiple repeating obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing, for example, on the targets’ race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Harassment in employment law is defined as offensive, unwelcome conduct based on a victim’s protected characteristic, that is so severe or pervasive that it affects the terms and conditions of the victim’s employment
- Harassment may take the form of words, actions, gestures, demands, or visual displays, such as photographs or cartoons
- Depending on state laws, the definition and boundaries for what’s considered harassing behavior may slightly vary. During a harassment suit, a lot of things come into consideration. While harassment laws differ between states, most states consider these two main factors when deciding the validity of an accusation: the perpetrator’s intention (or un-intention) to annoy, threaten, or demean the victim, and the repetition and severity of the unwanted action
- Harassment, stalking, cyberstalking, and menacing can result in both criminal charges and civil lawsuits
What are some examples of workplace harassment?
Workplace harassment can manifest in various forms, and here are some examples of workplace harassment:
- Derogatory jokes, racial slurs, personal insults, and expressions of disgust or intolerance toward a person’s race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation
- Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
- Interference with work performance, such as denying the employee access to necessary equipment or deliberately delaying the work from being completed
- Taking credit for an employee’s work, requiring an employee to perform demeaning tasks outside their job description, or giving an employee an unreasonable workload
- Offensive or derogatory jokes, racial or ethnic slurs, pressure for dates or sexual favors, unwelcome comments about a person’s appearance, and other forms of verbal abuse
- Inappropriate or rude comments, personal humiliation, overly critical remarks, ostracizing behaviors, intimidation tactics, or any other behavior that creates an intimidating and hostile work environment for the victim
It is important to note that harassment can take many forms, and it is not limited to the examples listed above. The severity and frequency of the behavior, as well as the victim’s perception of the behavior, are also important factors in determining whether the behavior constitutes harassment.
What are some preventative measures to avoid workplace harassment?
Preventing workplace harassment is crucial to creating a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Here are some preventative measures to avoid workplace harassment:
- Set expectations: Clearly communicate to all employees that harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated in the workplace
- Build a healthy workplace culture: Create a culture that values respect, inclusivity, and diversity. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and teamwork
- Create CultureKeepers: Mobilize employees to become CultureKeepers of your healthy, respectful workplace. They provide positive reinforcement for good behaviors and keep a check and balance on bad behaviors in a way that HR, legal, and business executives never could
- Change how you train on sexual harassment: If you’re treating sexual harassment prevention training like a check-the-box compliance activity, and doing the minimum required every other year, you’re missing the opportunity to create a culture of respect and inclusion
- Establish an effective complaint procedure: Encourage employees to feel comfortable coming to you with any problems they face at work, including any harassment concerns. Ensure that all complaints are taken seriously and investigated promptly and thoroughly
- Encourage bystander intervention: According to research, the most suitable way to prevent workplace harassment is by instructing bystanders to detect and intervene to stop harassment acts
- Create comprehensive policies: Develop and implement comprehensive policies that prohibit all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, and clearly outline the consequences for violating these policies
- Speak to your HR unit training experts: Speak to your human resources (HR) unit training experts about creating a training session that addresses and prevents workplace harassment. The harassment prevention training should be suitable for all employee levels, ranging from salary to hourly and frontline workers to administrative leadership
By implementing these preventative measures, organizations can create a safe and respectful work environment that promotes productivity, engagement, and employee well-being.
Harassment is unwanted or unwelcome behavior that can make a person feel intimidated, humiliated, or threatened. It can be verbal, physical, or visual.
There are three main types of harassment:
- Verbal harassment is the use of words to intimidate or belittle someone. This can include making derogatory or offensive jokes, using racial or ethnic slurs, or making unwanted sexual comments.
- Physical harassment is the use of physical force to intimidate or threaten someone. This can include touching someone without their consent, following them, or blocking their way.
- Visual harassment is the use of images or gestures to intimidate or threaten someone. This can include displaying offensive posters or cartoons, making obscene gestures, or leering at someone.
Harassment can happen anywhere, but it is most common in workplaces, schools, and online. It can have a serious impact on the victim’s mental and physical health, and it can make it difficult to work or study.
If you are being harassed, it is important to report it to the appropriate authorities. You can also talk to a trusted friend or family member, or seek professional help.
Here are some examples of harassment:
- Verbal: Making derogatory or offensive jokes, using racial or ethnic slurs, making unwanted sexual comments, pressuring someone for dates or sexual favors, or making threats.
- Physical: Touching someone without their consent, following them, blocking their way, or making unwanted physical contact.
- Visual: Displaying offensive posters or cartoons, making obscene gestures, or leering at someone.
If you are being harassed, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are people who can help you. You can report the harassment to your employer, school, or the police. You can also talk to a trusted friend or family member, or seek professional help.
Here are some resources that can help you if you are being harassed:
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces laws against discrimination in employment. You can file a complaint with the EEOC if you have been harassed at work.
- Your state’s human rights agency: Most states have a human rights agency that enforces laws against discrimination. You can file a complaint with your state’s human rights agency if you have been harassed.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline: The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a free, confidential resource for victims of sexual assault. You can call the hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit their website at https://www.rainn.org/.
Remember, you are not alone. There are people who can help you. If you are being harassed, please reach out for help.