Signs of Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment is never OK.
i Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Workplace harassment can be very dangerous to individuals, families, and companies. All companies are required to educate their employees about workplace harassment and how to recognize it. There are many different types of harassment, but most of the warning signs are similar. Employees being harassed show indications of increased tension, increased harassment complaints, reduced productivity, and increased absences.

Increased Tension

When a boss or other employees harasses another employee, the tension in the relationship increases. The employee being harassed usually will not feel comfortable when the harassing party is around or in the same room. If the harassment is severe enough, the harassed employee may even feel paranoid when the harassing party is not in the room. Some harassed employees will quit their job to get away from the harassing individual. Others will either report it to human resources or try to stick it out and handle it themselves. The correct action is to report it.

Increased Complaints

A company with a harassing employee typically has a higher amount of harassment complaints in that department. Harassment complaints come in many different forms. Most complaints are in the form of inappropriate touching, verbal language, and facial gestures. Reporting these issues to human resources is easier when the harassing employee is not your boss. Issues that arise with a harassing boss is that many employees are concerned about losing their job for reporting their boss. But if no one chooses to report him or her, the harassment will continue.

Reduced Productivity

A victim of workplace harassment will begin to slow her productivity. She will be worried and stressed out about coming in contact with the harassing employee. She can also be living in a constant state of paranoia, concerned about her safety while at work. This makes it hard for the victim to focus on doing her job efficiently. The affects of the harassment slowly take over and become the primary focus of the victim.

Increased Absence

Increased absences are another sign of workplace harassment. For some employees, it is easier to avoid the harassment situation than address it up front and report it. These employees will usually skip work or use up their vacation and sick days to avoid coming in contact with the harassing party. This can get the harassed employee fired if she does not report what is actually going on to human resources.

the nest