What counts as workplace harassment?

What counts as workplace harassment?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2021 | Employment Law |

Workplace harassment in Washington, D.C. comes in different forms. The outcome might be the same, but it’s important to know the differences when you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will need to know everything about your case before they start gathering evidence.

What are the different types of workplace harassment?

Personal harassment is one of the most common forms of workplace harassment. This involves one employee bullying another by mocking, insulting and belittling them on a regular basis. They might also try to ostracize the employee and turn the rest of the workplace against them. If an employee harasses their co-worker because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or another protected factor, employment law classifies that as discriminatory harassment.

Some managers and supervisors engage in power harassment to belittle the people who rank beneath them. This involves taking advantage of their position to demean other employees, make outrageous demands or engaging in psychological manipulation. Their co-workers might be afraid to report the issue, fearing that they’ll lose their jobs. Other higher-ups can perpetuate power harassment by refusing to acknowledge the problem.

In extreme situations, workplace harassment can actually become physical. Like a bully on a playground, an employee might hit, kick, shove or slap one of their co-workers. Physical harassment also includes threatening to harm someone or intentionally destroying their property. You don’t have to deal with this situation on your own; if your boss refuses to act, an employment attorney could help.

When does harassment become illegal?

You can’t build a case on every incident, especially if it happened only once or twice. However, harassment becomes illegal when it creates a toxic work environment. If you dread going to work every day and regularly think about quitting, you might want to speak to an attorney.