Workplace harassment types can be of any type. It can be physical, verbal or of any form. Even the most careful HR specialists often miss the signals of workplace harassment since there are so many sorts and interpretations. You’ll be more equipped to cope with harassment or assist a victim if you have a thorough understanding of it.
Here are eleven of the most typical types of harassment in the workplace:
1. Discriminatory Harassment
Discrimination occurs when a person is subjected to unlawful workplace harassment. Discriminatory harassment, unlike other forms of harassment such as physical or verbal harassment, is defined by aim rather than how it is carried out.
Discriminatory harassment comes in a variety of forms, some of which are easily identifiable:
- Racial Harassment: Racism is perpetrated against victims based on their race, ancestry, skin color, country of origin, or citizenship. Racial harassment takes many forms, including racial insults, racial slurs, racial jokes, disgust, disparaging remarks, and so on.
- Gender Harassment: This is a form of gender discrimination. Negative gender stereotypes regarding how women and men should act according to their gender are a good example.
- Religious Harassment: Religious harassment is sometimes confused with racial harassment, but it focuses on the victim’s religious beliefs. Intolerance of religious holidays, traditions, rituals, offensive religious jokes, and pressure to convert to another religion are all examples.
- Disability-Based Harassment: This type of harassment targeted on disabled individuals may be teasing, refusal to accommodate, or patronizing comments. It is aimed largely towards people who have a disability, related to someone who has a disability or utilizes disability services.
2. Personal Harassment
This form of workplace harassment isn’t motivated by the victim’s membership in any protected class (such as religion, race, and gender). This type of bullying isn’t illegal but still has the potential to cause harm. Any behavior that makes the victim’s work environment insulting or intimidating is included.
Personal harassment can take many forms like:
- Unsuitable comments
- The humiliation of the self
- Hurtful jokes
- Remarks of critique
- Intimidation tactics
- Behaviors that are degrading
3. Physical Harassment
Threats or physical attacks are used in physical harassment, which is also known as workplace violence. They might also be deemed an assault when they go to extremes. Physical actions like shoving with a lighthearted aim can often blur the limits between what is and is not suitable. As a result, it is up to the individual experiencing the behavior to choose whether it is suitable or threatening.
- Threats of danger are made openly.
- Shoving, hitting, and kicking are examples of physical attacks.
- Threatening actions, such as violently shaking fists
- Destruction of the victim’s property as a form of intimidation
4. Power Harassment
The fact that there is a power imbalance between the harasser and the harassed is a defining element of power harassment. Using his/her power, the harasser, who is higher in the office hierarchy, bullies the victim. Supervisors and subordinates are frequently involved in this situation. Personal harassment, acts of violence, and, most commonly, psychological harassment are examples of power harassment.
5. Psychological Harassment
Harassment of this nature has a negative impact on a person’s mental health. Psychological harassment victims frequently experience feelings of being dismissed or belittled on a professional or personal level, or both. Their psychological harm spreads, affecting their work, social lives, and physical health.
The following are some examples of workplace psychological harassment:
- Isolating or denying the victim’s presence
- Defaming or trivializing the victims’ feelings
- Discrediting or spreading rumors about the victim
- Objecting to or challenging what the victim says
To gain the benefits of the internet and appeal to the younger generation of employees, it is customary in the modern workplace to deploy internet-based apps. For their speed, convenience, and user-friendly layout, instant messaging apps are popular.
Bullies might exploit this technology to pick on their victims because it has several drawbacks. Online harassment and cyberbullying are becoming more of a problem for employers.
Following are the ways bullies can torment their victims:
- Use the bulk chat or mass email to spread humiliating content about the victim.
- On social media, spreading fake information or gossip about the victim
- Sending nasty letters or emails to the victim directly
7. Retaliation Harassment
Many people are unaware that retaliation harassment takes place in subtle ways. It occurs when someone harasses someone in order to exact retribution for filing a complaint against them before and to prevent them from filing another complaint.
The following is an example of retaliatory harassment:
- Person A lodges a formal complaint against Person B.
- When Person B learns about the complaint and who filed it, he or she contacts Person A.
- Person B harasses person A as a form of retaliation and to prevent further accusations.
- In revenge, person B starts attacking person A.
8. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to any form of sexual harassment, including unwanted sexual actions, approaches, or behavior. Other forms of harassment take time to manifest or become more severe, but sexual harassment has an immediate effect. Sexual harassment is one of the types of unlawful employment discrimination that is immediately dealt with.
Sexual Harassment is defined as:
- The distribution of explicit pornographic material
- Sexual posters are being distributed.
- Using sexual jokes or making sexual remarks
- Sexual contact with minors
- Sexual gestures that are indecent
- Sexual invasion of a person’s personal space
9. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo, which translates to “this for that,” is a type of exchange-based sexual harassment. If the victim agrees to engage in sexual conduct, they will be offered work perks. In the majority of situations, the harasser is a manager. They would have something worth offering in exchange for a sexual favor because they are senior-level employees. It can also happen as a result of blackmail.
A victim may be asked to do the following in exchange for sexual or romantic favors:
- Receive a job offer
- Obtain a raise
- Get a free trek
- Take advantage of the opportunity
- Avoid being demoted
- Attempt to avoid being fired
10. Third-Party Harassment
A type of workplace harassment in which the perpetrator is a third party – someone from outside the firm – is known as third-party harassment. Unlike most cases, when the harasser is a coworker, manager, or supervisor, the third party in this scenario is a company’s supplier, vendor, client, or customer.
Younger personnel in low-status roles, such as cashiers and sales associates, are frequently the victims. They are easy targets because of their lack of experience and position in the firm, as well as their reluctance to speak up since they are afraid of losing their employment.
11. Verbal Harassment
Employees are frequently subjected to verbal harassment. It could be the outcome of personality clashes that have evolved from a casual eye roll to a tough fight. Verbal abuse between persons is not unlawful, unlike many other forms of discrimination. It usually manifests as someone obnoxious and impolite all the time.
As a result, workplace verbal harassment is frequently destructive and demoralizing, as employees refuse to cooperate with the abusive person. Cursing, screaming, threatening, and insulting a victim in private or public are some of the most evident verbal harassing behaviors.