Types of workplace harassment

| Feb 11, 2021 | Firm News |

Harassment in the workplace is an issue that has plagued a large number of industries throughout West Virginia and across the nation. Today, it is rightfully coming to the forefront of the public. To effectively tackle this issue, people need to understand the types of workplace harassment that occur. After all, sexual harassment is not the only issue that can harm a worker.

Sexual harassment vs. discrimination

Although sexual harassment is usually the type of harassment that employees report, it is not the only one. People must understand the difference between sexual and non-sexual harassment. Sexual harassment and discrimination can involve drastically different threats to an employee. Discrimination might be directed toward minorities or those with disabilities, to name a few examples. Here are other characteristics that can be the basis for discrimination from an employer:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion

Sexual harassment in the workplace

One of the most important things that people must be aware of is that sexual harassment doesn’t only have to come from a superior. Anyone, from a co-worker to an independent contractor, can commit this offense. No matter who it is, people are always encouraged to report it. The following includes a few of the ways that sexual harassment can occur:

  • Making inappropriate jokes
  • Asking sexual questions
  • Showing sexual images or videos
  • Touching inappropriately

Non-sexual harassment in the workplace

If a co-worker’s behavior is not sexual or discriminatory, does it still classify as workplace harassment? The answer is yes, it still does. Workplace harassment is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe or prevents you from doing your job properly. Behavior such as rude comments, threats of demotion or simple neglect are forms of non-sexual harassment and should be reported to your human resources department or the EEOC.

If you’re looking to seek justice for workplace harassment, it is highly recommended to speak with an attorney first. An attorney may provide you with the best possible legal route in order to see a positive outcome in your case.