Examples of Harassment

There are many examples of harassment that can occur in a workplace. Harassment does not have to be sexual, and it does not have to be between persons of the same gender. When it comes to a workplace, the harasser might be the supervisor, another department’s supervisor, a colleague, or even a non-employee. Because it’s impossible to keep track of all the staff, you’ll have to rely on them to know what constitutes proper behavior to handle harassment in the workplace and what measures to take.

It can be difficult for Organizational leaders to put themselves in the shoes of all staff members and pinpoint every behavior that a rational person would say tries to cross the line into misconduct. This is true for staff members as the EEOC  (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) defines harassment in the workplace as creating a hostile atmosphere.

 Here are some of the examples of Harassment 

  • Verbal Harassment

Whenever you think about harassment in the workplace, one of the most prevalent behaviors that immediately springs to mind is verbal harassment. As long as the behaviors are based on a particular characteristic, verbal harassment often includes jokes, exaggerations, slurs, name-calling, and taunts, among other things.

According to a 2014 poll by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 27% of all Working Americans are or have been harassed at work, and 21% have seen incidents of verbal abuse against colleagues.

Since people with various personalities have varying degrees of tolerance for mocking, gossip, or sexual jokes, it can be hard to pinpoint what constitutes abusive conduct and have the bully penalized. One individual may be fine with it, while another dreads going to work and is considering quitting because of it.

The most important thing to remember is that the verbal abuse and harassment a person has been subjected to is not their fault. It’s not because a person is a poor employee, and it typically has nothing to do with them. Second, acknowledge that what is occurring to them is abnormal and abusive. 

  • Physical Harassment 

Physical harassment is less prevalent than verbal harassment, although it can be more serious in some cases. Physical behavior, such as striking, shoving, grabbing, and other forms of contact, can occur in various harassment allegations, although it is most commonly linked with sexual misconduct.

New York State law mandates all businesses to teach new hires and existing workers how to avoid and respond to physical sexual harassment beginning in 2019. This training should contain instances of workplace harassment and an explanation of an employee’s rights and obligations if they are the victim of unlawful or unwelcome behavior.

  • Racial Harassment 

In the United States, racial discrimination and harassment are still prevalent in the workplace. According to the Hiscox research, roughly one-fifth of harassed workers received unpleasant comments or degrading conduct because of their race, color, or national origin.

The most common targets of race discrimination are younger employees and minority ethnic groups. Although this type of harassment may begin from genuine curiosity or crude efforts at comedy, victims are frequently subjected to recurrent abuse that increases in frequency and intensity. Executives and subordinates, as well as clients and/or patients, may be harassers.

Slanderous jokes, racial slurs, petty attacks, and displays of contempt or intolerance against a specific race are examples of workplace discrimination. Abuse can range from making fun of a worker’s accent to threatening or flashing discriminatory symbols to psychologically intimidate staff. To handle racial harassment, you may start by providing staff with unconscious bias training.

  • Supervisor Harassment

Harassment from a boss, supervisor, or director may be particularly frightening. Supervisors might abuse their power by subjecting staff to discriminatory treatment, leaving them feeling imprisoned and defenseless. When the employee’s supervisor engages in harassing behavior, federal courts have determined that a claim for harassment in the workplace arises considerably more quickly.

A supervisor and UBS Vice President supposedly mistreated a female employee of UBS Financial Services over many years with repeated sexually inappropriate remarks, references about her body, unambiguous emails, and telephone conversations to the individual employee’s home, according to another sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the staff member. 

The employee reported to her boss, but rather than being relieved of the harassment, she was dismissed. As a result, UBS was sued by the employee, who was awarded $8.4 million in damages.

Harassment of supervisors might also come from the company’s owner. It might be difficult to obtain a remedy under Title VII or other federal anti-discrimination statutes when people work for a small firm. The New York State Human Rights Act, on the other hand, applies to all businesses, no matter how minor.

  • Religious Harassment

Religious harassment is commonly linked to racial harassment but typically focuses on the victim’s religious views. An employee whose faith differs from the company’s “routine” may suffer harassment in the workplace or discrimination in several ways:

  • Intolerance of religious practices
  • Embarrassing religious jokes
  • Stereotypical statements that are demeaning
  • Trying to persuade individuals to change their beliefs
  • Coworker Harassment

While employees may not have the same degree of control over an employee as a supervisor, they may nevertheless create an uncomfortable working environment for its employees, which is just as illegal.

In 2011, the EEOC filed a complaint against a North Carolina trucking firm, exemplifying the toxic work environment that may be produced through colleague discrimination. The EEOC filed a suit on behalf of two African-American employees, saying that their employer had created a racially hostile workplace. 

As per the EEOC, coworkers contributed to the hostile atmosphere by disparaging and threatening statements to employees, using racial slurs, and even displaying a noose in the workplace. In that instance, the jury found that the employees were harassed because of their race and awarded them $200,000 in penalties.

In another EEOC lawsuit, three partners of a major law firm sued the firm for allegedly creating a fraternity atmosphere at work through colleague harassment and gender discrimination. The female lawyers claimed that their male peers would make sexually suggestive comments regarding them, compel them to dance and sing, force them to jump over them or shove them into pools during workplace events and make sexually charged comments towards them. 

Clothing, high heels, and grins have all elicited comments. When these male partners made obscene remarks, they would frequently reply, wrote this in the file, implying that their behavior was criminal. Damages of more than $2 million were sought in the lawsuit.

The description of unlawful workplace harassment does not end there. In certain situations, a combination of unwanted behavior (both physical and emotional) and harassers (managers, employees, and many others) results in a discriminatory professional workplace for employees. In other situations, when employees speak up about workplace harassment, they face retribution. Thus, every instance of workplace harassment is distinct. The precise facts of the case will determine whether it falls into the category of unlawful discrimination.Conducting anti-harassment training for employees and employers on a regular basis helps resolve the issues of harassment. Impactly offers training sessions that are solely focused on bringing a healthy and flawless workplace.

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