Workplace Harassment: How to Recognize And Report it

Harassment, in whatever shape it takes, is unethical. That is what there is to it. In the office, anywhere.

Harassment is a type of illegal discrimination that involves aggressive behavior against an individual who belongs to a protected group, such as gender, age, race or ethnicity, national origin, faith, disability, or genetic material.

This can take place firstly in person, secondly in writing, thirdly by email, fourthly by text messaging, or some other means of contact, and it can be physical, verbal, or visual.

Recognizing that abuse is a reality is the first step toward progress. Only then should it be properly handled. And it begins by identifying the different types of harassment and then fostering an intolerant community.

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Workplace Harassment – Examples

1. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is the most prevalent form of workplace harassment, and there are two types:

Quid pro quo: That is the trade of sexual services for monetary benefits or the prevention of loss. It happens when someone in a position of power threatens or takes action against an employee because of their desire or refusal to engage in a sexual relationship.

Hostile work environment: Any kind of sexual harassment that creates an intimidating environment for a targeted employee. Examples of aggressive harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sexual favors are demanded or pressed for.
  • Unwelcome remarks
  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Dangers
  • Insults or epithets
  • Proposals on sexual relations
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Sharing obscene images

Although most people associate workplace discrimination with sexual harassment, there are several other forms of harassment, including:

Read Also: 5 Signs of a Toxic Work Environment, Negative Effects, and How You Can Manage Them

2. Harassment on the basis of race

Victims face hostility because they belong to a privileged community. Slurs and intolerance focused on ethnic distinctions are examples of racial prejudice.

Gender inequality happens more often as men or women take on tasks that have historically been considered to be reserved for the same gender. Eg, men working as nurses or women incapable of “doing a man’s job.” Other types of discrimination include age-, sex-, and disability-based abuse, in which intolerance against a targeted community is routinely and aggravatingly shown.

Racial profiling often takes the form of:

  • racial epithets
  • Insults based on race
  • racial humor
  • Defamatory remarks
  • Intolerance to discrepancies

3. Harassment of Individuals

Insulting someone who isn’t in a safe group. Personal attacks include offensive jokes, humiliating remarks, and some other conduct that intimidates. Bullies may take advantage of the clothes that someone wears or the hobbies that they engage in.

Personal Harassment Examples

Below are examples of personal harassment:

  • Inappropriate remark
  • Jokes that are offensive
  • Personal embarrassment
  • Remarks of criticism
  • Discriminatory actions
  • Intimidation techniques or some other action that makes the survivor feel threatened and offended at work.

4. Harassment on the Physical Level

When personal abuse gets out of hand, it may turn into a physical altercation, such as tripping, shoving, or bumping into someone to intimidate or injure them. Workplace abuse can take many forms, including verbal threats of injury and intentional loss of personal property.

Physical Harassment Examples

The following are examples of common behaviors:

  • Direct threats of injury are made with the intent to cause harm.
  • Assaults on the body (hitting, shoving, kicking)
  • Conduct that is threatening (shaking fists angrily)
  • Destruction of land for the purpose of intimidation

5. Harassment on the Psychological Level

Bullies who do not cross the line of physical contact use language or acts to belittle the victim as their weapon of choice. Spreading lies or disparaging others in front of colleagues for no particular cause are two examples.

We’ve all heard about the teacher’s pet, and we’ve all known someone who has been the target of a superior’s or coworker’s wrath.

Psychological Harassment Examples

Psychological violence in the workplace can take the following forms:

  • Isolating or ignoring the identity of the perpetrator
  • Making fun of or trivializing the victim’s feelings
  • Discrediting the survivor or spreading lies about them
  • Objecting to or disputing something the victim does

Regardless of the method of harassment, you should apply the same solution: Deal with it quickly and strongly.

Many workers who are harassed at work are hesitant to file a formal lawsuit. Perhaps they don’t want to trigger a ruckus, don’t trust their business to respond, or are afraid of retaliation by the harasser or their colleagues.

Although these reasons are understandable, however, it’s critical to notify the HR department or other business decision-makers about workplace abuse.

If you should not report abuse, therefore the employer may not have the opportunity to address it. If you don’t follow the company’s reporting policies, you can not keep the company legitimately accountable for the harassment.

How to Report Harassment at Work

Submit a Complaint

You should disclose harassment at work based on your identity, color, or other protected feature, therefore check the company’s employee handbook, and see if there is a discrimination clause.

If that’s the case, follow the policy’s reporting instructions. If not, contact the HR department to inform them that you wish to file an abuse complaint.

What if the one you’re going to report the harassment to is also the one who is harassing you? This happens from time to time, particularly in workplaces where workers are required to report abuse to their immediate supervisor.

In this case, notify the company’s HR department about the abuse and explain that you did not meet the standard protocol because the harasser is the one to which you are expected to complain. Report the abuse to someone higher in the chain of command, such as your supervisor’s boss, if the organization does not have an HR department.

The Most Important Things You Should Know

  • Recognizing that harassment occurs is a crucial first move.
  • Sexual abuse can take two forms: Firstly, quid pro quo, and secondly, a toxic work atmosphere.
  • When it comes to harassing covered groups, it’s against the law.
  • Sexual harassment isn’t the only form of discrimination that exists.
  • It’s important to get a harassment policy in place and follow it.
  • To combat harassment, it is important to cultivate an environment of bigotry.


What Can I Do If I Witness Workplace Harassment?

If you witness workplace harassment, you should report it immediately to your employer. You also can tell the harasser that his or her behavior is not funny and must stop.

What Will My Employer Do If I Report Harassment?

Once your employer becomes aware that you are being harassed, there arises a responsibility to correct the situation and protect you from further harassment. Your claims would promptly and thoroughly investigated. If your employer determines that you were harassed, steps would be taken to stop the behavior from continuing, such as transferring the harasser to another location.

What Can Happen To Me If I Harass Others At Work? 

You may face one or more of the following consequences:

  1. verbal or written warning
  2. counseling
  3. transfer to another location or job
  4. suspension or
  5. termination.

Does Harassment Have To Occur At Work For It To Be Illegal? 

No, Whether it occurs on or off the work site. A good example may be a potential claim for sexual harassment if your manager pressures you for dates while at a work-related conference.

Am I Protected From Workplace Harassment If The Harasser Is Not My Supervisor? 

The laws are enforced to protect you from being harassed by ‘anyone’ in your workplace. The harasser can be your manager, a manager in another place of work, co-workers, or others in your workplace, such as clients or customers.

Are Men Protected From Sexual Harassment? 

Yes. Both men and women are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace.

Can It Be Termed sexual Harassment If Someone I Was Dating won’t Leave Me Alone At Work? 

If a person you were dating persists in seeking to continue the relationship or in making sexual advances or comments to you, you may have a potential claim for sexual harassment.

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