Preventing Workplace Harassment: What Employers Need to Know
Workplace harassment is defined as any unwelcome or unwanted verbal, physical, nonverbal or visual conduct based on an individual’s protected characteristics. This includes behaviors such as disparaging remarks, teasing, jokes, and innuendos that create an offensive work environment. It also encompasses intrusive behavior such as stalking and cyberbullying. Workplace harassment can take many shapes and forms, ranging from subtle comments to outright threats. No matter the form it takes, all employees should be able to work in a safe environment free from discrimination and hostility.
Employers must take proactive steps to prevent workplace harassment by establishing clear policies, training staff on appropriate behavior, and providing resources for reporting incidents of harassment. Doing so will create a safe working environment where all employees feel respected and are able to contribute their best work.
An employer’s failure to protect employees from workplace harassment can result in costly legal action, as well as a damaged reputation for the business. Employers must take proactive steps to prevent harassment in the workplace, including developing clear policies and providing training on appropriate behavior. It is also important that employers respond quickly and effectively when reports of harassment arise. By implementing these measures, employers can ensure their workplace remains safe, respectful, and productive.
Examples of Workplace Harassment:
- Verbal: Examples include threats, insults, name-calling and derogatory comments.
- Physical: Examples include physical assault, unwanted touching or groping.
- Nonverbal: Examples include obscene gestures, intimidation by body language or leering.
- Visual: Examples include displaying offensive images in the workplace or sending unwelcome emails with sexually explicit content.
- Cyberbullying: This includes any form of digital harassment such as sending inappropriate messages or posting disrespectful remarks online.
It is important to note that workplace harassment can occur between coworkers, from supervisors to subordinates, from customers or clients to employees, and vice versa. No matter who is behind it, all forms of workplace harassment are unacceptable and ought to be addressed swiftly and effectively.
Steps To Take After Experiencing Workplace Harassment
When an employee experiences workplace harassment, it is important for them to take action. An employee should determine if the behavior is considered unlawful or qualifies as a hostile work environment and proceed accordingly. They should also collect evidence of the harassment such as emails, text messages, photos and video recordings in order to document the incident.
The employee should then report the incident to their employer. It is important that employers take every report seriously and respond quickly and effectively. Employers should have a clear process for dealing with reports of harassment and provide resources for employees who have experienced workplace harassment. This includes providing access to counseling services as well as offering support throughout the investigative process.
Employees can also file a complaint with state or federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate the complaint and may take legal action against the employer if they find that harassment has occurred.
It is important for employers to create a safe work environment by taking proactive steps to prevent workplace harassment. This includes establishing clear policies, providing employee training on appropriate behavior, and responding quickly when reports of harassment arise. Doing so will ensure a safe working environment where all employees are respected and can perform their best work.
Finally, it is important for all employees to be aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to preventing and reporting workplace harassment. Employees should know what behaviors constitute harassment, how to report incidents of harassment, and what resources are available should they need to take action. By taking these steps, employers and employees can create a safe and respectful workplace for all.
The Impact of Workplace Harassment
Workplace harassment can have far-reaching and devastating consequences for both employees and employers. For employees, harassment can lead to a hostile work environment where they may feel unsafe and unable to perform their job duties effectively. This can result in decreased morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction for the employee. It can also cause stress, anxiety, and even depression if the situation is not handled appropriately.
For employers, workplace harassment can lead to costly litigation fees as well as a damaged reputation amongst customers or clients. It can also lead to reduced workforce morale, lack of engagement among employees, increased turnover rates, and lower profitability overall. In some cases, it may even be grounds for termination of employment or dismissal from the company altogether.
It is therefore essential for employers and employees alike to take steps to prevent and address workplace harassment. By creating a respectful work environment, employers can ensure that their employees feel safe and respected while working. This will result in increased productivity, morale, engagement, and ultimately overall success for the business.
No matter who is involved or what form it takes, workplace harassment should never be tolerated. It is important for both employers and employees to recognize the devastating effects of such behavior and take proactive steps to prevent or address it quickly if it does occur. Taking these steps will help create a safe and respectful work environment where everyone can perform their best work.
How Mike Christensen Can Help
At Mike Christensen Law Offices, we understand the gravity of workplace harassment and strive to provide representation for those affected by it. Our knowledgeable Workplace Harassment Attorney in Columbus is committed to helping victims achieve justice and hold employers accountable for their actions.
We offer a free initial consultation where we will review your case and discuss the best course of action. From there, our highly experienced legal team will work hard to make sure that appropriate measures are taken against the perpetrator and that you receive any compensation or other remedies that may be available. If you have experienced workplace harassment, don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help ensure your rights are protected.