Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that makes many employees dread going to work every day. It can be difficult to recognize where the line is drawn between joking and illegal hurtful actions. Many people don’t want to speak out because they are worried about losing their jobs. However, workplace harassment is illegal, whether it is sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or discrimination against any person based on a protected class.
5 Warning Signs of Workplace Harassment
- Exclusion from company proceedings: Are relevant company meetings frequently only attended by women, or employees of a certain race? Groups that are left out of important company proceedings may have a case for discrimination.
- Being asked favors: Are male bosses asking female co-workers for sexual favors to get a promotion or keep their jobs? This is called quid pro quo sexual harassment.
- Directed comments: Crude jokes or comments about someone’s gender, age, race, or body can be considered harassment if it affects the employees job performance.
- Physical touching: This can include hitting that is meant to be playful, sexual groping or any other form of unwanted touching.
- Retaliation for speaking out: If you have brought a complaint of discrimination to your employer’s attention, they may threaten (either explicitly or implicitly) to fire, demote, or otherwise punish you for speaking out.