Examples of Workplace Harassment in Remote Jobs
With so many people working from home, workplace harassment may seem like it would no longer be an issue, but that’s not the case. A hostile work environment can affect daily life, making employees feel unsafe and unsupported even when working remotely.
So what does harassment look like in a remote workplace? Serving Allen, TX, Plano, TX, and Frisco, TX, employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson explains what harassment looks like in a remote workplace and what steps employees should take in the event of being harassed.
What Is Workplace Harassment?
Workplace harassment includes any unwelcome conduct regarding such things as a person’s race, religion, disability, sex, and sexual orientation.
Workplace harassment is often thought of as something physically happening to someone while at work, such as unwanted sexual advances. In actuality, workplace harassment includes a wider range of behaviors and does not have to occur in person.
Workers may experience harassment in their own home while working remotely. The following are some examples of workplace harassment in remote jobs that all remote workers need to know.
Harassment Through Online Communication
One of the most common ways harassment occurs in the remote workplace is through online communication, which can include email, direct messages, and texts. When these forms of communication are used, employees sometimes feel like they can be more casual in their speech, which can lead to making offensive jokes or other inappropriate remarks such as:
- Making sexist comments
- Using racial slurs
- Using aggressive language, sometimes in an attempt to bully or threaten
- Commenting on a co-worker’s religious beliefs
- Making sexual advances
Wearing Offensive Clothing
Even when working remotely, it’s important to present a professional image. Wearing clothes that could be offensive to others should not be worn. Wearing clothing with discriminatory, sexually explicit, or offensive messages or images could be considered harassment when working remotely.
Displaying Inappropriate Personal Items
When working from home, it’s possible that employees will have items in view during video meetings that are inappropriate or offensive in a workplace setting. Even if accidental, this can lead employees to make inappropriate jokes and cause others to feel uncomfortable and harassed.
Employees need to be mindful of their surroundings when on a video call or meeting. Those who intentionally display offensive images or anything that would not be appropriate in an office setting could be held liable for workplace harassment.
Reporting Harassment in a Remote Workplace
Employees should never be harassed by a co-worker or supervisor even in a remote workplace. When harassment occurs, it should immediately be reported to the employer’s human resources department. Victims should tell their harasser to stop if they feel comfortable in doing so.
A complaint should also be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, who will investigate the claims of harassment and determine if any laws were broken.
Victims of harassment can benefit from working with an employment law attorney when filing harassment complaints. An employment law attorney can help gather documentation to support claims of harassment and provide options for pursuing financial compensation for damages.
Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
If you feel that you have been harassed in the workplace, whether in the office or while working remotely, it’s important to speak with an attorney. Employment attorney Dan Atkerson helps workers who have suffered from harassment recover compensation for their pain and suffering and is available to help you. Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options.