Whether you are an experienced employee or a new graduate, you need to be aware of the dangers of workplace abuse. Not only is it a crime to be subjected to such behavior in the workplace, but it can be damaging to your career. Here are some tips to help you avoid being harassed at work.
Hostile work environment
Whether you are a victim or a perpetrator of abuse, you may be entitled to compensatory damages or punitive damages. These compensations include damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses and future economic loss.
There are many laws in place to protect employees from being discriminated against. To learn more, go here: https://clearlawinstitute.com/online-sexual-harassment-training/. If you are a victim, it is a good idea to speak to a credible attorney to find out your legal rights.
While you are waiting for your case to be heard, you can take some positive steps towards a safer and more productive workplace. First, you need to create a safe and open two-way communication environment between you and your coworkers. Second, you need to be able to recognize and respond to hostile behavior.
Quid pro quo
Whether the harassment is verbal or sexual, it can create a hostile work environment that makes employees uncomfortable in the workplace. In addition, it can lead to low employee morale and poor job performance.
The term quid pro quo has been used throughout history to describe a situation in which one person expects something in return for doing something for another. It is a Latin phrase, meaning “this for that.”
When someone offers a job opportunity in exchange for a sexual favor, they are committing a form of abuse. This can take the form of a bad shift, a promise, or a threat. If the employee does not agree to the sexual advance, the manager may threaten to fire the employee.
Sexist comments and actions
Various forms of sexist comments and actions in workplace abuse can have serious professional, personal and economic consequences. Moreover, it can interfere with an employee’s performance, productivity and advancement opportunities. Sexist behavior is a violation of federal and state laws.
Sexist comments are demeaning remarks about a woman’s gender or physical appearance. They can be overfamiliar and overt or subtle and offhand. Sexist behavior can include sexist stereotypes, gender stereotypes, objectification, masculine practices and unconscious bias – click here for more. Sexism can also be indirect, meaning it can occur when women are not given opportunities for promotion or advancement.
Sexist actions in the workplace may include sexual innuendos, requests for sexual favors and unwanted sexual advances. They can also include sexist jokes directed at a colleague. Sexist behavior has been found to affect women more than men and women of color more than other groups.
Severe and pervasive
Whether an abuse claim should be dismissed under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) depends on the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct. This is the same standard used under federal law. However, the standards are evolving due to society’s changing view of what is acceptable in the workplace.
The definition of severe and pervasive is a somewhat nebulous one. Some courts have struggled to define it. A few have decided to change it. It is not always necessary to show that conduct is “severe” to establish liability. Generally, to be actionable, the harassment must have changed the conditions of employment. Often, this will be a jury issue.
The Seventh Circuit, in a decision that emboldens workplace predators, held that the negative behavior was not sufficiently severe and quite pervasive in order to constitute a bad or violent work environment. It is a dangerous precedent that places employees at risk and should be reconsidered.
Filing a complaint
Whether you are an employee or a bystander, you should be aware of how to file a complaint about workplace abuse. It can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. There are many state and federal laws that are designed to protect workers from abuse.
The first step is to notify your employer. A supervisor or human resource department should be contacted. You may also want to seek legal advice. Depending on your state’s law, you may be able to sue for retaliation. For example, if you made a complaint about harassment and you were subsequently reprimanded or demoted, you may have a case.
If you choose to file a formal complaint, you should document your claim. This is important, as you will need to prove your claim to a company investigator or to a government agency. You should keep a detailed journal describing what happened, how the harassment affected you, and the names of everyone involved.