While sexual harassment is one of the most well-known forms of harassing behaviors in the workplace, there are, unfortunately, many others. Fortunately, several laws in Texas and across the United States protect employees from this type of treatment.
What are the three types of workplace harassment?
1. Physical Harassment
As the name suggests, physical harassment involves injury to another person or damage to personal property. Things such as shoving, blocking someone’s path in the hallway, and vandalizing a coworker’s car in the company parking lot may fall under the umbrella of physical harassment.
2. Verbal Harassment
Verbal harassment consists of a manager, coworker, or client repeatedly making hurtful remarks and unwarranted criticisms that are not necessarily of a sexual nature. Verbal harassment can also involve slurs targeted at another person, which may turn into a case of racial or sexual discrimination as well. Verbal harassment can be difficult to prove unless there are several witnesses to the behavior.
3. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment comes in two main forms:
- Quid pro quo, which means that a colleague, often someone of superior status, suggests that an employee provide sexual favors in order to receive something like a monetary raise or protection from termination
- Hostile work environment, which means that some employees do such things as make sexual innuendos or jokes to the extent that it causes an unwelcoming environment for others
The victim and harasser may be of the same or opposite sex.
Being aware of the different types of workplace harassment makes it easier to call out this behavior and helps make the work environment better for everyone.