There are various forms of harassment in the workplace. While most people might think sexual harassment is the only one, they would be wrong. Besides this type of undesired behavior, there are other forms of harassment that could involve discrimination against another based upon various factors, including, but not necessarily limited to:
- Religious Beliefs
- Sexual Orientation
- Marital Status
- Political Beliefs
- Veteran Status
- Mental Disabilities
- Physical Disabilities
- Gender Identification
- Immigration Status
In addition, an employee could potentially be harassed if they are encouraged or coerced to not report questionable working conditions, illegal activities, unsafe working environments, or other such practices, which could result in legal action being taken against the business and/or its owners, agents, or other employees. Further, being reprimanded for reporting such activities is another form of harassment.
Being harassed in the workplace is essentially a form of bullying. You might feel uncomfortable in your work environment, question your safety, or feel intimidated. Sometimes the harassment could be the result of nonverbal gestures or facial expressions, the intentional overloading of work, or withholding information so you will fail. Other times it could be verbal communications in the form of lewd or offensive jokes, comments about your appearance, clothing, or job performance, or threatening language.
Any form of harassment in the workplace can lead to a hostile work environment. This type of work environment is one where employees are fearful for different reasons. They might be afraid of being written up or losing their job for not completing a project on time, opening discussing concerns about policies and procedures, or questioning a directive of a supervisor.
Steps to Take to Stop Harassment in the Workplace
Unfortunately, many people are afraid to report harassment in the workplace for fear of retaliatory actions by their employers. Even though many of the behaviors they are being subjected to are often illegal, they do not want to be known as a “whistle-blower” or be labeled a “trouble-maker.”
Ideally, the first step is to talk to your supervisor about the issue. In cases where your supervisor is the one who is causing the harassment, then you should speak to either their manager or your HR department. It never hurts to keep a journal and notes about each time you have been harassed, the names and titles of those involved in the behaviors, and any other supporting documentation, like emails or text messages.
In situations like those where you know other employees have filed complaints about harassing behaviors and no action was taken to resolve the matters, you do have other options. It does not hurt to contact a qualified and experienced employment attorney in Atlanta, or whichever city you live in, to discuss the matter confidentially, and find out your legal rights and how best to proceed.
Most employment attorneys offer a free consultation appointment and will provide you with their expert legal advice. In addition, you can file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). You do not have to tolerate harassment and bullying in the workplace. Call the law firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP at (404) 238-7299 now for a no-obligation consultation appointment.