Hostile Workplace Harassment

Hostile workplace harassment covers the broadest form of harassment in the workplace in areas like Worcester, MA.  This form of workplace harassment can be difficult to recognize because the harasser may not think they are harassing the other person or persons.  It may simply be a matter of ignorance.   However, ignorance does not make it acceptable.

Harassment in the Workplace in Worcester, MA occurs when an employee is repeatedly exposed to behaviors that make them feel uncomfortable, fearful, or disrespected.  This type of bad behavior is very pervasive and often subtle.  It is likely that a victim of hostile workplace harassment just wants the behavior to stop.  The harasser may not even know they are making the victim feel uncomfortable, fearful, or disrespected.  If the victim is not comfortable confronting the harasser themselves it would be completely appropriate to get a supervisor, manager, or human resource person involved.  The focus should be to stop the offending behavior of harassment in the workplace in Worcester, MA.

What makes hostile workplace harassment particularly difficult is that it can extend beyond co-workers to include third parties as well.  These third parties could include such people as delivery drivers or even customers.  Hostile workplace harassment can happen between co-workers in the same type positions, between a person of authority and lower level employee, and persons of the same sex.  The victim does not even have to be the person being directly harassed.  The victim could just be a witness that feels uncomfortable with the repeated unacceptable behavior, making it difficult for them to work.

The hostile workplace harassment does not have to be verbal.  It can come in the form of jokes; pictures; emails; unwanted touching; blocking a person from passing; lewd movements; behaviors that mocks in a demeaning manor a person’s race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected class.  This becomes a very gray area and with each new lawsuit the definition seems to broaden and therefore becomes harder to define.

Probably the best way to stop these types of behaviors is for each individual to be willing to speak up.  If an incident of hostile workplace harassment happens in your presence at work, you have a responsibility to step up and confront the harasser, even if you were not offended or the direct target of the harassment.  At the very least you have a responsibility to notify a supervisor, manager, or human resource person of the incident.  If everyone is willing to take some of the responsibility to stop harassment it can be reduced and eventually eradicated.

Harassment in the workplace Worcester, MA The Law Offices of Michael O. Shea represents clients who have experienced harassment in the workplace. get in touch with them.

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