Workplace harassment is a far more common occurrence than most of us think. Many times, it falls under the category of “just the way things are.” We fail to realize that there are some things we should not, and legally are not, expected to accept.
While sexual harassment is often the first form that comes to mind, it is definitely not the only form of workplace harassment. In the workplace, harassment can come from not only a boss or supervisor, but also from another co-worker or even someone who is not an employee of your company, but whom you still interact with on work related matters. So many of us are unaware or unsure of what actually qualifies as a valid harassment claim.
One way to determine if you are experiencing workplace harassment is to reexamine your regular interactions. For example, consider how you would bring in a new employee that you have been tasked with training. Do you find that when you introduce certain supervisors or roles that you feel the need to say things like “just ignore him” or “don’t let it bother you”, or “you’ll get used to it”? Think about your reasons for making those statements. It could mean that you are experiencing some form of harassment that has gone unaddressed.
There are far too many forms of workplace harassment to delve into within one blog post. If you or someone you know are experiencing any situation that makes you uncomfortable, or that just doesn’t feel right, even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what the problem is, talking with an experienced attorney can help. He or she may be able to help you determine if you do have a valid harassment claim, and what steps to take next. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You do not have to work in a toxic or stressful environment every day.