Everyone deserves a safe and stress-free workplace. In fact, harassment of any kind has no place in the workplace. Every employer has a legal obligation to provide a work environment that is devoid of insult, intimidation and all forms of harassment. Unfortunately, thousands of workplace harassment cases are reported each year in the U.S.
Workplace harassment happens with an employee is subjected to physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility to the employee in question. An employee can be harassed based on their race, gender, skin color, age, religion, disability or nationality of origin.
Here are the little-known forms of harassment that are often reported in the workplace.
Verbal harassment can take the form of offensive gestures, belittling remarks or unreasonable criticism. It can involve insults, hurtful comments, slurs or unpleasant jokes, all meant to disparage the employee in question.
Verbal harassment can have a negative impact on the target employee’s career and productivity with potential outcomes being depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Psychological harassment is quite similar to verbal harassment. However, it is more covert and usually involves exclusionary tactics like withholding certain information from the targeted employee. Psychological harassment results in a mental breakdown to the victim, chipping away their self-esteem and undermining them in the process.
Psychological harassment can take the following forms:
- Making unrealistic demands
- Taking credit for the employee’s achievement
- Constantly requiring the employee to assume demeaning roles that do not fit within their job scope
- Opposing everything the employee says or does
Also known as cyberbullying, digital harassment can just be as destructive as in-person harassment. Digital harassment, as the name suggests, takes place online and can take any of the following forms:
- Posting demeaning or threatening comments on social media
- Creating a fake persona to mock, bully, belittle or make false allegations against someone
Harassment in the workplace takes many forms. If you are harassed at work, it is important that you take action to stop this vice from happening to you and someone else.