Workplace harassment is more common than you think.
When you watch movies or TV series depicting the many faces of harassment inside the workplace and how it affects the victims, you often wonder whether that kind of thing happens in real life or whether it is all just an exaggeration? Unfortunately, it is very much the reality of many workers in exploitative workplaces and the sad truth is that most of them are just too afraid to speak out (read more).
You’ll never know how damaging workplace harassment can be until you experience it for yourself.
While this is something we would never wish for anyone to experience, we believe that it is more important to educate people on how to recognize different forms of harassment inside the workplace and what steps to take whenever you think or feel that it may be happening to you.
Common Types Of Workplace Harassment
From groundless prejudices to misplaced hostility, there are many types of harassment that may be present in a workplace. Worst of all, they can happen to anyone.
Abusers don’t necessarily need a reason to make you a target of their abuse. More often than not, their issues lie way beyond what you can comprehend as a mere co-worker of theirs and it’s never about what you do but who they are as people. Read more about the psychology behind abusive behaviors here: https://psychcentral.com/pro/exhausted-woman/2017/03/13-reasons-why-people-abuse#1.
If you feel that you are a target of someone’s abuse in your company, but you are not quite sure whether their behaviors can be penalized under the law of the state, we’re here to walk you through some common types of workplace harassment that can definitely be brought to court.
Needless to say, if you are harmed in any manner that has resulted in physical injury, whether internal or external, then you have conclusive evidence to file a case against your attacker. Physical abuse is never justifiable in any place, at any time, or in any situation.
Whether it’s your employer or a co-worker, no one inside the workplace has any right to hurt you or cause you physical pain regardless of the cause. It doesn’t matter if you messed up at work, cost the company money, or committed an error, physical violence is never a reasonable solution.
There are many ways for companies to penalize poor work behavior and performance, but physical attacks will never be one of them. If you have experienced physical assault in the workplace, don’t hesitate to take legal action.
Next, is workplace discrimination. The simplest way to define discrimination is when you do not receive a certain type of treatment, compensation, incentive, or other workplace benefit that others normally enjoy, or you receive unfair treatment and forced to abide by certain regulations specific only to you, because of your gender, race, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
In other words, you are given a different set of rules, a less advantageous work setup, and possibly limited access to more desirable work conditions such as promotions, salary increases, incentives and bonuses, etc. just because you are not “one of them.”
If proven true and existing, this can fall under discrimination harassment and may be taken to court as a legal case. More so, if the discrimination also leads to workplace bullying or physical and psychological assault.
Even if you’re not harmed physically, verbal attacks can affect you mentally and cause severe or even permanent psychological damage. As they say, words can cut deeper than any blade which is why verbal abuse or psychological attacks fall under another category of harassment. Being constantly yelled at, sworn at, gaslighted, or humiliated in front of other people can cause psychological damage or even trauma in a person.
Just like discriminatory treatment, when proven true and existing, this is also a harassment case that can be taken up in court.
This is also one of the most common types of workplace harassment – and yet, it’s one that is least reported because the abused may feel fear towards their abuser. Sexual harassment is when an employee is subjected to unwanted sexual advances from another co-worker or even his or her employer. This can show up in various forms such as verbal sexual harassment or physical sexual harassment.
If you find yourself receiving unwanted attention and put in uncomfortable situations because a co-worker or your employer is making unwanted advances, physically and/or verbally, you can file a case for sexual harassment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, many victims of sexual assault do not come forward to authorities right away due to the fact that they are threatened with their job security or forced into silence by their abuser. There are also those who feel shame about being the target of sexual harassment and would rather have no one else know. We strongly encourage anyone who experiences this to seek legal help from a professional sexual harassment lawyer. If it’s not you, it can happen to anyone else as these perpetrators will only move on to the next target unless apprehended by the law.
Abuse of Power
Power plays happen when someone of higher position inside a company forces those who work under him or those of lower rank to do certain tasks or duties that are no longer within their scope of responsibility. Power abuse is also a form of harassment and if left unchecked, can easily escalate to graver forms of harassment.
When To Call Your Harassment Attorney
You should call and consult with a legal professional as soon as you notice any of the above behaviors directed towards you, especially if it is already affecting your mental or physical well-being.
Many people tend to brush things off and “power through” in hopes that their situation will eventually improve, but that is rarely the case. Abusers will continue to abuse and target victims unless they are apprehended by the law. Even if you know them, even if you think that they’re just having a hard time right now, and even if you’re afraid that it might cost you your job, put yourself first and seek help.
Abuse doesn’t stop just because you wish or pray for it. It stops when the perpetrators are stopped. So don’t wait and take legal action as soon as you can.