What Is Considered Harassment in the Workplace?
Harassment can occur in many different scenarios and circumstances. The harasser may be a supervisor, manager, co-worker, and even a non-employee such as a vendor. The victims of harassment can include more than the particular person that is being harassed. Anyone witnessing the harassment can be affected. In fact, the harassment of one employee can be used as a threat to other employees. Also, harassment can occur even if there isn’t an economic injury to the person being harassed.
Physical harassment isn’t just assault and battery. Any kind of unwanted physical contact can be considered physical harassment. It can be violent contact such as a shove or a push, and it can also be nonviolent contact such as hugging. Some forms of physical harassment can also be considered sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is generally separated into two categories. The first is quid pro quo and the other is hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo is when an employee is expected to perform sexual acts in order to get hired, maintain a position, or be promoted to another position. Hostile work environment sexual harassment is when there is repeated behavior that creates a hostile working environment for the victim.
Verbal harassment is probably the most common type of harassment found in the workplace. It includes serious actions like threatening violence, but it also includes more subtle actions like name calling, telling inappropriate jokes, and mocking.