Different Types of Employment Harassment and How to Defend Your Rights as an Employer
There are many different forms of workplace harassment. With the many different interpretations, it could be difficult for even HR personnel to easily identify the signs. With careful understanding, however, workers can identify the most common forms of workplace discrimination, which could help to minimize the persecution.
Every form of workplace discrimination is considered discriminatory in nature; however, unlike physical or verbal harassment, discrimination is usually defined by the intentions of the aggressor instead of how the act is carried out.
When it comes to discrimination, the aggressor usually harasses the employee because he or she is a member of a protected group. Some of the most recognizable forms of discrimination include the following:
Harassment based on race – Victims of this form of discrimination usually experience harassment relating to their skin color, race, citizenship, or country of origin.
Gender discrimination – Victims will experience harassment as it relates to their gender.
Religious discrimination – Harassment will be focused on a person’s beliefs, customs, traditions, or holidays.
This type of harassment does not involve a protected group, however, the bullying can be detrimental to a worker nonetheless. Personal harassment can include the following:
- Critical Remarks,
- Personal humiliation,
- Offensive jokes,
- Inappropriate comments, and
Physical harassment will often involve the physical attack or threat to the employee. In some cases, physical harassment could be charged as assault. Physical harassment can be extremely difficult to identify, as a playful shove can often blur the line between what is seen as appropriate or inappropriate. Attempting to identify physical harassment will demand a careful consideration of the employee’s workplace policies and codes of conduct.
Common examples of physical harassment could involve, but are not limited to the following:
- Destroying a worker’s property in an attempt to intimidate him or her;
- Showcase threatening behavior, such as the shaking of fists in an angry demeanor;
- Physically attacking the worker, such as kicking, shoving, or hitting him or her;
- Directly threatening the employee; and/or
- Intending to inflict harm on the worker
Power harassment is fairly common in the workplace. This type of harassment is usually characterized by the authority disparity between the perpetrator and the victim. Power harassment will usually involve the bullying of an employee who is lower in the workplace hierarchy.
Power harassment is not limited to a particular type of behavior. This form of harassment can be in the form of physical or verbal acts against the worker. Common examples could include the following:
- Making excessive requests that the worker finds impossible to meet,
- Humiliating demands, and/or
- Invasion of the worker’s personal life
Know Your Rights, Speak to an Experienced Attorney
If you are a victim of workplace harassment claim by a current or former employee, you should know that there are state and local laws that serve to protect you. Workplace intimidation and harassment should never be tolerated, and if someone has filed a claim against you or your business, consider speaking to an experienced attorney who can help you.
The attorneys at the Knez Law Group are highly experienced in the field of workplace harassment cases in the State of California. The firm is dedicated to championing for the rights of employers who have suffered false and exaggerated claims of workplace harassment and discrimination.