How to Clearly Identify Workplace Harassment

by | May 17, 2019 | Employment Law | 0 comments

The news is inundated with countless stories documenting instances of workplace harassment in government, media, and entertainment. Thanks to reforms and greater awareness of what constitutes harassment, more and more victims are able to identify harassment before it gets out of control.

Countless people, whether they are bystanders, victims, or even potential harassers themselves, still don’t know what constitutes workplace harassment. With a better understanding, collective efforts to combat harassment can become possible. Once identified, in addition to swift action in the workplace, an experienced workplace harassment lawyer should be notified.

Common Kinds of Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment can be defined generally as conduct or language that offenders, endangers, or disrupts an otherwise peaceful and productive workplace dynamic. Harassment isn’t always overt, either. Often, subtle and subliminal dialogue can constitute conduct of a harassing nature.

Despite the generally agreed upon definition, the following are considered the two most common forms of harassment:

  • Quid Pro Quo- Quid pro quo is Latin for, “Something for something.” In the context of workplace harassment, quid pro quo has some specific parameters. It must be committed by someone in a position of power against a subordinate. Quid pro quo is essentially lewd or illicit propositions in exchange for sexual favors. For example, a supervisor offers a promotion to an employee in exchange for sexual acts.
  • Hostile Work Environment- Hostile work environment is a prime example of subtle or subliminal harassment. Using obscene language, making appropriate jokes, or disrupting the peace of colleagues can constitute a hostile work environment. Hostile work environment can also indirectly occur. For example, if  Coworker A incessantly makes sexist jokes to Coworker B and Coworker C is offended, that may constitute a hostile work environment even though Coworker C was a bystander.

Once workplace harassment is identified, victims have a few options at their disposal.

Addressing Workplace Harassment

When workplace harassment happens, several options are on the table for making it stop. Knowing which to choose varies on the particular factors at the time of the incident, as well as available workplace resources.

Here are common methods victims or witnesses of workplace harassment can use to put a stop to the unwelcome behavior:

  • Contacting Human Resources: Most corporations and large employers have dedicated human resources departments. These departments are in place to ensure that workplace harassment is not tolerated under any circumstances. If you suspect that you’re a victim of any kind of workplace harassment, be sure to notify human resources.
  • Document the Incident(s): Documentation is critical. If you’ve received inappropriate emails or messages. Be sure to take screenshots or save these critical pieces of evidence. If you have other colleagues that can vouch for the contact you’ve witnessed or experienced, their accounts can be useful as well.
  • Contact a Workplace Harassment Lawyer: A Michigan workplace harassment lawyer can advise you on the best options going forward once a complaint is filed and may even represent you in a case against an employer that committed or enabled harassing behavior

Among the aforementioned options to stop workplace harassment, hiring an experienced harassment attorney is always essential.

Hire an Experienced Michigan Workplace Harassment Attorney

Workplace harassment should never be tolerated under any circumstances. If you or a colleague have been the victim of workplace harassment, representation is essential. The Detroit-based Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates have defended countless victims from workplace harassment in Michigan, while boasting 60 years of combined experienced.

Our team has fought and won some of the biggest cases in the state, and have won in excess of $1,000,000 for our clients. We can provide you with the same representation to increase your odds of a fair settlement. Call 248-886-8650 or complete our online contact form today.

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