Is it still workplace harassment if it isn't sexual harassment or discrimination?
What are the other types of workplace harassment? Can you still report it? Will it be taken seriously?
Workplace harassment can take on many forms. At its core, workplace harassment is any unwanted behavior that creates a hostile work environment. If you can't get your work down because a coworker, manager, or other employee is making you uncomfortable, there may be things you can do!
What are some examples of other types of workplace harassment?
- Offensive comments, jokes, stories
- Sharing inappropriate images, emails, texts, videos
- Unwanted or inappropriate touching
- Offensive or vulgar gestures
- Constantly criticizing your choices (This doesn't have to be work related)
- Threats, no matter how veiled
- Negative comments aimed either at you or another employee
- Making your job impossible, either by withholding information, overloading you with work, knowingly providing wrong information, excluding you from important meetings, giving you constant criticism, or yelling at you or in your company
While you may not want to speak up against your bully, because you don't want to make the situation worse, you may be making the situation worse anyways. If your bully believes they can get away with acting a certain way around you they may escalate that behavior.
How can you stop the harassment?
First, politely ask the bully to stop the behavior. If they persist, then write down all the times, dates, and actions your bully took.
Second, take this written information to your boss or HR representative. Chances are, you are not the first to make a complaint about this person! It's difficult to terminate an employee if there are no complaints in the system recording all the times that they acted in a harassing manner. As the complaints build up, however, then the company owner or human resources department can take action with the mountain of evidence they've compiled. They will then feel more confident either reprimanding the employee or terminating them because legally, they have a strong case.
Third, once you've filed a formal complaint, ask to be moved away from the harasser. If possible, have your boss move your office to a different location. Remain calm and stay professional.
Fourth, if nothing happens with the HR department and the harassment persists, speak to an attorney. You may have certain rights you didn't know about.
For more information about other types of harassment, send us a message.