6 Common types of Workplace Harassment

6 Common types of Workplace Harassment

3 mins read

The belittling or threatening behavior directed at an individual employee or group of employees has become a significant source of workplace stress and the most sensitive area for effective workplace management. Constant criticism from the employees, overbearing supervision, blocking promotions all fall under workplace harassment.

Although the #Metoo movement has brought in significant changes in the scene for the past two years, workplace harassment and bullying are still very common practices. HR professionals need to play a pivotal role to find ways to establish workplace standards, and implement the best practices to improve employee relations practices.

Here are the 6 types of workplace harassment that are very common:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is one of the most common forms of workplace harassment and the most difficult for HRs to identify since most of the cases are often unreported. Sexual Harassment can range from unwelcome or offensive comments to unwanted physical advances and requests for sexual favors.

HR leaders need to encourage victims and witnesses to report this pervasive type of harassment without the fear of consequences.

Racial Harassment

Some of the common displays of racial harassment are making derogatory comments on a person’s race, mocking a person’s accent, using racial slurs, and expressing general intolerance towards a race.

HRs need to listen to the victims and take necessary actions to create a safe environment for all the employees. It is wise to remove anyone from the team who does not respect their peers based on their race.

Disability Harassment

Employees with physical or mental disabilities often need to deal with unfavorable treatments or harassment in their respective workplaces. Disability harassment can be very subtle but it can also be overt such as making inappropriate jokes, exclusions, and usage of slurs.

HR needs to educate the employees to eliminate these kinds harassment to create a better working environment for employees of all ability levels.

Sexual Orientation Harassment

Employees who identify themselves as homosexual, or bisexual often face offensive and demeaning remarks in their workplace. Research from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy revealed that 43% Gay workers have experienced discrimination and mistreatment at work because of their sexual orientation.

Gender identity Harassment

Gender expressions reflect on a person’s self-identification as a man or woman as opposed to their anatomical sex at birth. Employees often face harassment due to their transgender status.

Thus it is very important for HR professionals to have the correct information on gender identity harassment and how to deal with them.

Age discrimination

Age discrimination in a workplace is surprisingly very common and is vastly underreported due to fear of retaliation. Studies have found that 1 out of 3 employees feel that their age has prevented them from getting a job, promotions, or discriminatory behavior from the people at the workplace.

HRs need to receive age discrimination training and encourage employees to speak up when they face or hear age-related harassment and discrimination.

Discriminations can also be based on religious beliefs, national origins, marital status and convictions records. In the wake of the #Metoo movement, HR leaders need to create a more responsive and safe workplace and ensure zero tolerance for any kind of harassment in the workplace.