Workplace harassment can happen suddenly when you least expect it from. When you feel you’re the target of someone else’s biases or inappropriate attention, then it may be best to speak up – for yourself, your coworkers and the betterment of your workplace.
Before you can jump into a workplace harassment report, you may need to know what workplace harassment looks like and why it occurs. Here’s what you should know:
Types of workplace harassment
It doesn’t always matter what type of job you do, you may still be susceptible to several types of harassment in just about any industry.
You might experience physical harassment such as pushing, inappropriate touching, threats or any type of bodily contact. Or, you might be physiologically harassed through name-calling and slurs, cyberstalking, isolation or belittlement. Harassment can also involve your job duties, such as being assigned the “dirty” work or excluded from important meetings.
You might experience workplace harassment because of discrimination toward you over things like:
- Gender or gender expression
- Racial, ethnic background or skin color
- National origin
- Religious beliefs (or the lack thereof)
- Age (for those over 45 years of age)
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy or parental status
It may not always be obvious why someone made you their target. But, now that you realize that you are the target of harassment, what do you do next? The first thing you could do is ask your harasser directly to stop their aggressive actions against you. If you feel uncomfortable approaching your harasser, then you may wish to talk to someone above you – such as your boss or the human resources department.
You shouldn’t wait to report harassment. The longer you wait the more likely the harassment toward you could escalate. You may even find a coworker the next target of someone else’s harassment.
If you’re unsure what steps to take to ensure you’re protected when filing a claim over discrimination or harassment, then you may need legal help.