Harassment At Work: 5 Different Kinds Of Workplace Harassment

Workplace Harassment happens when an employee feels insulted or disrespected by their coworkers. Also, physical and online harassment and workplace aggression are all expressions used to determine harassment at work

Workplace harassment cannot be described- in one unified and solid manner.

It includes a wide range of separation and violation acts that are not limited to one group. It happens when participants harass different groups such as women or racial or sexual minorities, people with disabilities, or foreigners. 

What does Harassment at Work Entail?

Because concrete evidence of workplace harassment may or may not exist, it is advantageous to have a thorough understanding of what is going on with you when discussing it. 

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, insulting jokes, racial slurs, epithets or name-calling, violent behavior or threats, harassment, ridicule or dismissiveness, insults or put-downs, objectionable objects or pictures, and interference with work performance are all examples of inappropriate behavior.

Harassment at work can occur in a variety of situations, including the following:

  • The offender could be the victim’s manager, another department’s supervisor, an employer’s advisor, a coworker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim does not have to be the individual harassed; anyone affected by the outrageous behavior could be considered the victim.
  • Harassment can happen without causing financial damage to the patient or revocation of the victim’s employment.

First and foremost, you must recognize when you are getting harassed at work. Workplace harassment is a pressing issue laden with incertitude. If you encounter misdoings or harassment at work, you must, without any delay, report it to the superintendents. 

5 Different Kinds of Workplace Harassment

Mentioned hereunder are some common types of harassment prevalent at a workplace. 

  1. Oral Harassment

Verbal harassment can be an ongoing battle that jeopardizes your health and career. Insults, offensive gestures, and harsh judgment are all part of it. Insults, racist slurs, unwelcome “jokes,” and hurtful remarks are all examples. 

Since it is not physical, “verbal harassment” can be difficult to identify and frequently ambiguous. Experts believe that shouting, cursing, or making impertinent comments or jokes about a coworker is more likely to be a case of personality clash than harassment. Such behavior, however, can have a pretty negating impact on the person, resulting in anxiety, high blood pressure, and depression.

  1. Mental Harassment

Mental harassment is similar to verbal harassment, but it is more sophisticated and includes overbearing tactics such as confidentiality and privacy. 

Taking credit for someone else’s accomplishments, making unrealistic demands, imposing irrational timeframes on a specific employee, repeatedly asking an employee to perform discrediting tasks outside their job scope, or constantly rejecting everything a worker proposes may not constitute harassment. 

They can, however, be a form of intentional psychological bullying.

  1. Online Bullying or Virtual Harassment

Even when it happens online, virtual harassment can be just as severe as in-person harassment. It is the latest form of intimidation and can get noticed in a variety of settings. Virtual harassment includes making false accusations online, creating a bogus personality to intimidate someone online, building a website about the victim to demonize, belittle them, and posting threats or insulting comments on the internet.

Since social media and the discussion of sensitive issues has become more prevalent, anyone can now digitally harass others in the name of free speech or being “woke.” People are more likely to be courageous behind a monitor screen, which unfortunately includes being nastier.

The best thing about online harassment at work is that it is simple to prove and record. When it comes to examining and showing it, this is extremely useful. To keep records of the circumstance, experts suggest taking pictures and videos, saving personal emails to your computer, and maintaining a document of everything that makes you feel uneasy.

  1. Physical Bullying

Physical harassment and discrimination can take multiple shapes. Professionals explained that physical harassment at work ranges from minor annoyances like touching an employee’s clothing, hair, face, or skin to more serious acts like physical abuse, coercion, and property destruction. Considering the extensive assortment of levels of physical bullying, it can be a tedious task to determine. 

Some physical abuse may get ignored as a joke if there is no tangible harm. It may be deemed harassment if a worker gets jostled, obstructed, or regularly pushed, even if there is no bodily harm. It is especially true if the victim is a team captain or another high-performing staff member. Physical harassment is also taken into account even if there is no severe injury.

  1. Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment is a critical offense that happens more often than you might think, and it affects both men and women. Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace are rarely overt. It’s usually hidden behind innocuous humor, harmless remarks accompanied by sexual expressions or tones, or unhappy but relatively benign statements disparaging people of a particular gender. 

Steps to Report Harassment at Work

Human resource divisions got set up to help employees, especially those in risky or unpleasant situations. The lack of meaningful evidence should not be the reason for a perpetrator’s failure to file a claim. The majority of grievances and hatreds are unsupported by evidence.

Because many victims may have reported similar offenses by the same abuser, reporting workplace harassment is critical because the company may be waiting for more evidence before taking any action. While many companies have policies in place to investigate workplace harassment, some may not. According to professionals, employees should take the following steps in these legal situations:

  • Attempt to rectify the conflict with the harasser at first tranquility. Request, preferably in person, that they stop directing this behavior at you. Nevertheless, do not engage the harasser if the harassment is physical.
  • If your direct supervisor is not the perpetrator, consider telling the issue to them. Bring it to HR’s attention if your attempts to remedy the dispute with the harasser fail. If possible, include pictures, messages, emails, and firsthand accounts as evidence.
  • Inform the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you suspect your superintendents, HR, or company management supervised your case inaccurately. The EEOC can undertake an independent inquiry. A victim can submit a claim with a municipal government in some big cities and metropolitan areas, which have their worksite conduct laws and organizations.

When interacting with workplace harassment, there are a few things you should avoid. Most importantly, do not retaliate, as this will only make the situation worse. Also, abstain from complaining to your coworkers.

Your coworkers will most likely water down your version of the events if they are called witnesses because they have little power to change anything. Again, if you are getting harassed at work, do not stay silent. The offender’s actions will not stop if you remain silent. Every instance of harassment should get documented, and every allegation should get thoroughly investigated. 

After all, we can say that harassment at work is a severe issue that almost every business across the globe faces at some point in time. This physical or mental harassment can quickly bring down the morale of employees. It is why managers and supervisors must ensure creating a workplace free of harassment and toxic behavior. This way, companies can reduce employee dissatisfaction while increasing productivity. 

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