Reasonable Person Standard Harassment: Everything You Need to Know

Reasonable Person Standard Harassment: Everything You Need to Know

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In cases of sexual harassment, the legal term 'reasonable person standard harassment' is frequently used. In layman's terms, it refers to a supposedly reasonable individual who reasonably interprets and reacts to a scenario of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwanted behavior either done verbally or physically, which badly affects the victim's mindset or body structure. Sexual harassment occurs in many forms, like touching, grabbing, or passing out comments having devilish meanings. It can be also be carried out by making greedy gestures or asking for sexual favors, etc. Sexual harassment can affect the victim seriously by piling up the stress leading to extreme anxiety or depression.

What is reasonable person standard harassment?

Reasonable person standard policy is extremely critical in sexual harassment in the workplace. Without applying the allegation of reason person standard, the company is taking the risk of allowing their own subjective opinions to take the risk for forcing the sexual harassment claim into the courtroom. 

The term 'reasonable person standard' refers to a hypothetically created reasonable person with a reasonable way to decode and react to the situation of sexual harassment. It is a legal formality carried out mostly in sexual harassment cases. The hypothetical reasonable person is expected to exercise average care, skill, and judgment in all situations.

By applying it to any accused person of sexual harassment, the formality forces the court to visualize the same instance with another reasonable person and see what activity he performs. Depending on the answer of the reasonable person, the court could interpret the accused actions, and the overall look of the case can be drastically altered.

Although there is a higher chance of the case being a success, there are possibilities that can lead the case of sexual harassment to be deemed as wholly unreasonable Cases can also be upheld because of the reasonable person standard.

By applying the case of the same reasonable person standard, companies can confidently calculate the next steps needed for making the case reasonable. The "reasonable person standard" is an excellent tool to determine the accuracy of the case and decide whether it has the potential to go out of the workspace or in the courtroom. It throws off all the inherent bias and opinions of the managers or the seniors who are opposed to the victims. It also asks the hypothetical reasonable person to speak of his views on the incident. If the answer is positive, the court has no choice but to act on the abuser swiftly.

What are sexual harassments, and what are the types of harassment?

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome and uninvited behavior carried out to plant discomfort, humiliation, and distress over the other person's mind. Being sexually harassed is like an unwanted guest staying and affecting the workspace environment hugely through passing personal and psychological teasing over the victim. Sexual harassment contains a long list of things which include sexual assault, unwanted pressure, deliberate touching, sneaky looks, gestures, comments, etc. Below is some brief information to help you give a basic understanding of the types of sexual harassment.

  • Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is vastly carried out in a domestic setting. It is not always necessary for the conflict to stay indoors or in a private environment. It mainly happens between spouses, family members, roommates, or other people closer to you. Domestic violence is sometimes difficult to detect and report, especially when the abuser is close to you. Abuse that hasn't crossed the border of physical damage is yet more difficult to notice. But, understanding and maintaining a mutual and healthy relationship between your loved ones is an essential key for stopping the signs of domestic abuse.

  • Adult Abuse

Adult abuse is done when a person is treated badly or in a way that causes uncertainty or harms feelings by getting frightened, threatened, or unhappy. It is the most contagious harassment to be implemented because no matter how high the standards of a person, he would have abused someone in some part of his life. It occurs when the person is trying to stay strong but feels stressed internally. Or they lack knowledge, training, or understanding in the respective field they work for. Because of it, they get highly underestimated by society, which can cause discomfort, resulting in abusing the person on the other end.

  • Workplace Harassment

The workspace harassment covers all the devilish activities in the professional background. Along with sexual harassment, any activity coordinated with a workspace that makes the victim feel uncomfortable or unsafe is certain of the workspace environment. Workspace harassment may even occur while being in an interview. It can be done by anybody, including your colleagues, manager or staff members, etc.

To avoid the company from the clutches of harassment, simply file a complaint to improve the culture and policies of the enterprise. Also, being in an anti-harassment regular training plays a vital role in cultivating a safe and productive environment. Sexual harassment training can provide a baseline practice to the employees for appropriate behavior in the workspace.

  • Civil Harassment

Unlike domestic violence, civil harassment is done by people you don't have a close relationship with. Activities like threatening violence, stalking, assaulting, and credible threats fall under this category. To protect yourself from being harassed, simply get a restraining order from the law, and major actions could be taken against the abuser. The law recognizes civil harassment into four types:

  • Abuse of the elderly people
  • Violence towards the child, spouse, or any relative
  • Civil harassment with whom you didn't have a romantic relationship
  • Civil harassment in the workplace

In civil harassment cases, the term abuse implies that physical contact has already occurred. 

  • Criminal Harassment

Criminal harassment is implemented when the subject is linked to any major protective group or a gang that terrorizes people. This gang can comprise people of different gender, sex, race, natural origins, age group, etc. An incorrect behavior that makes this group angry can have severe consequences, and the threat level is categorized as a felony or misdemeanor. The action or harassment depends on the severity and frequency of crimes of the community.

How to train yourself to overcome workspace sexual harassment?

Employees are the company's most valuable tool and yet at the same time most destructive too. Plenty of harassment activities can happen in your workspace, which includes sexual harassment and cyberbullying most of the time. To make your workspace a protected and safe space to work in, doing regular harassment training is necessary. Because it helps the employees to understand the boundaries between the employees and the extent they can go for in a friendly relationship. Along with training, maintaining safe company policies with swift reaction ensures the employees work at their peak capacity.

Final word

Sexual harassment is the most major harassment to be done on a person. To avoid sexual harassment at its threshold capacity, the enterprise needs to give proper training to its employees under the country's law. It gives an opportunity where every employee is treated equally with respect. Hence, the victim has to take the difficult path and understand the harassment living with him. Instead of being depressed about it, collecting the strength for overcoming it could be a better choice for improving personality and upgrading the overall character.

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