Harassment in the workplace
Harassment in the workplace can take a number of forms, but all forms are illegal under US law. Workplace harassment usually involve threats, intimidation and other mistreatment which is intended for either the satisfaction of the harassing individual or personal gain by impeding the ability of the harassed individual to work effectively.
What are motivations for harassment in the workplace?
Some harassers will target other employees that they perceive as threatening to their status or privileges. This form of harassment, generally where the harasser is marking their territory, is meant to intimidate other employees into either quitting or not competing with the harasser. This commonly affects women who face harassment in the workplace by male colleagues that feel that their presence is a threat to their occupation or status in the workplace.
Others will harass merely for the pleasure of harassing others and this behavior usually extended beyond the workplace. This harassment will be typically sexual in nature and intended to be predatory. This type of harassment may develop into more serious and dangerous behavior that can ultimately but the safety of the harassed person in jeopardy.
Most harassment is due to a craving for dominance and many harassers will engage in harassment in the workplace due to personality deficiencies or a thirst to impose fear in others. This means that the harassment will be frequent and predatory, often with many targets that are unwilling to fight back.
What prevents the reporting of harassment in the workplace?
Many that harass others in the workplace identify submissive targets that are less likely to report their behavior. Those that are harassed fear retaliation of a lack of protection from the employer, which prevents them from reporting harassment. In many cases, the harasser may have the support of others in the workplace, either directly or through tacit approval, leading the harassed individual to feel uneasy about reporting the incidents.
What is retaliation commonly taken against those that report harassment in the workplace?
Those that report harassment in the workplace often face a stigma from those sympathetic to the harasser. Is this sympathy extends to high management, the harasser can be wrongfully terminated, denied promotion and face other sanctions that may be worse than the actual harassment. This prevents the disclosure of harassment in most workplaces.
What are remedies to harassment in the workplace?
To prevent possible retaliation, as well as protect the harassed, workplaces must adopt a clear anti-harassment policy. Additionally, anonymous or closed door reporting will prevent the public debacle of a contentious harassment complaint from becoming the knowledge of others in the workplace, thus preventing the potential retaliation from coworkers that may side with the harassing individual. When all else fails that employer refuses to remedy harassment in the workplace, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may be involved and will files charges against the employer to force them to correct their practices. Harassment in the workplace violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the EEOC will penalize violating employers pursuant to the provisions of the Act.