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Harassment in the Workplace

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Samantha Chickonoski

on 26 October 2014

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Transcript of Harassment in the Workplace

Harassment in the Workplace
Gender Harassment
"An individual can be harassed because she is a woman or because he or she transgresses gender roles, and so forth. The concept of gender harassment is meant to permit redress where a person is harassed on the basis of his or her gender but the conduct is not sexual or does not take place in a sexual context.

Gender harassment could include physical assault or interference, inappropriate display or transmission of gender-degrading material or graffiti, sexist jokes, anecdotes, slurs (including gender-derogatory nicknames), comments, insulting, demeaning or derogatory conduct toward a person because of gender and, remarks that are obviously offensive, or continue after the speaker is informed that the comments are unwelcome and/or have caused offense" (Equity Services, 2014).


Equity Services. (2014, October 2). Equality Services . Retrieved from Gender Harassment and Sexism: http://www.carleton.ca/equity/human-rights/gender/gender-discriminationharassment/
Verbal Harassment
Verbal Harassment comes in the form of using words to bully, talk negative about a coworker to others or talking down to someone about their physical appearance, work or anything else that would be offensive.

Verbal harassment can also come in the form of using ones seniority or title to intimidate an employee in order to make that person feel bad about themselves. The harasser may also use verbal harassment by trying to make themselves look better in front of their peers by putting another coworker down.

Unfortunately there are currently no laws protecting employees from verbal harassment and takes strong company regulations in place to protect employees from such abuse. It is also imperative that the problem is handled by the company and addressed as quickly as possible. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act regulations, a company can be held liable for an employee’s claim that the abuse was hindering them from performing their job and no action was taken to correct the situation. (smallbusiness.com)


Sparks, D. (2014). Worker's Rights in the workplace regarding verbal harassment. Chron. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workers-rights-workplace-regarding-verbal-abuse-17507.html
Religious Harassment
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there are two types of religious harassment: (Chron)

Requiring employees to change or remove their beliefs as part of the conditions to work a place of employment
Unwelcome comments that create an abusive work environment
Religious Harassment is defined by treating someone differently because of their religious beliefs or background. This includes verbal comments that are frequent enough to cause a hostile work environment. This type of harassment is illegal but is not forbidden if the comments are in a teasing manner and does not make for an aggressive work area.

The employer also cannot hire, fire, demote or promote based of religious preference or due to the hostile environment created by harasser toward the victim.


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm

Williams, E. (2014). Chron. Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/legally-considered-religious-harassment-workplace-1181
Sexual Harassment
"It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer"(U.S. Equal Employment, 2014).


U.S. Equal Employment. (2014). USA.GOV. Retrieved from EEOC.GOV: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm
Racial Harassment
Racial Harassment is anything that happens to someone verbally or physically due to a person’s race that is not welcomed. This type of harassment is considered against the law only if it creates a hostile or severe intimidating work environment.

Some examples of racial harassment can be but are not limited to: racist jokes, making threatening comments because of someone’s race, and any drawings, pictures, emails or notes that are racist in its content. (Workplace, 2006)

In order to be considered unwelcome racial behavior toward another employee the targeted employee would first have to speak up and make the unwelcome behavior known. It should then be reported to a supervisor or human resources department so corrective action can be made if the unwanted behavior has not stopped.

(2006, October 25). Racial Harassment. Workplace Fairness. Retrieved from http://www.workplacefairness.org/raceharassment#1
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