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Workplace Harassment

What is Workplace Harassment?


Lauren Stiller Rikleen, in her book The Shield of Silence, defines workplace Harassment as an odd behavior inflicted upon an employee by a coworker or supervisor.

Slurs, name-calling, and abusive language come under the ambit of Harassment. It has myriad dimensions and differs culturally and legally. This is a common trend in the workplace, and it occurs differently. Moreover, workplace harassment is a legal breach of ethics, and the harasser is entitled to face legal repercussions if proven guilty. Harassment is a serious offense in the workplace.

Moreover, repeated misnaming of an employee is Harassment. It has been widely accepted that workplace harassment has not only enhanced the insecurity of employees but also engendered the incapacity and inefficiency of organizations. This is an epic but universal issue across organizations. It is essential to note that giant global companies are not insulated from this menace of workplace harassment.

The culture and capacity of the workplace determine the level of security. However, it remains insecure if employees face the acute threat of repeated odd and unfavorable behavior from coworkers and supervisors in the workplace. It is essential to discuss here that the term harassment is highly volatile and subjectively taken across countries and different societies.

What is considered workplace harassment?

Different gestures, pastures, and behaviors are considered to be workplace harassment. However, some inevitable and altogether disturbing contours are listed as workplace Harassment.

Verbal Harassment

Verbal Harassment is conventionally considered the widely used form of Harassment. Most of the employees are confronted with this form of Harassment at the workplace. It is reminded that the employees usually face slurs, abusive language, and name-calling from coworkers or employers at the workplace. However, amidst the era of technology, the conventional forms of workplace harassment have overlapped with modernized Harassment.

The verbal form of Harassment has taken novel and new forms. For instance, employees working in the workplace are more often sarcastically spoken. This creates mental distractions and disturbance of a victim at the workplace, eventually declining the productivity of the victim employee. Moreover, it is essential to discuss that the employees at the workplace use different meaningful gestures and pastures using informal ways and means of pointing out to specific employees. This form of Harassment is considered the victimized form of Harassment.

Physical Harassment

This is the most serious form of workplace harassment. Most of the employees are victims of this Harassment. This is workplace harassment that plunges into myriad problems for the harasser and the employer. The organization remains susceptible to this form of Harassment, and its business could go under serious legal scrutiny and repercussions. It is noteworthy that the employee who face physical Harassment often relate their productivity to it.

Additionally, most of the employees coherently linked physical Harassment and obstacles in pursuing their careers. Physical form workplace harassment is a serious threat to organizational operations and employers as well. Therefore, this form of workplace harassment is lethal to organizations. The famous case of American President Richard Nixon had to step down due to workplace harassment, and he is considered as the only incumbent president who resigned on charges of Harassment. This validates the point that physical Harassment is poison to a career. It is noteworthy that the employees at the workplace are more susceptible to this form of Harassment. Female employees are usually caught in this menace, and their careers, family, and mental peace remain vulnerable owing to workplace harassment.

Psychological Harassment

This is often a covert and gaslighting gesture. This happens indirectly. Mostly, employers or supervisors use tactics of hard deadlines and demand unrealistic targets from employees. This causes psychological stress to employees. The stress leads to non-productivity at the workplace and eventually paves the way for the hamper to the growth of employees.

Additionally, it is necessary to note that workplace harassment is quite unrealistic and more often utilized as a tool to exert psychological strain on the employee. According to Politico, over 500 European Union parliament staffers were psychologically harassed in 2023. This unveils the fact that employees are more vulnerable to this form of workplace harassment.

The book The Covert Passive-Aggressive, authored by Debbie Mirza, explains that psychological Harassment in the workplace is passive-aggressive behavior. This is termed as timid and dd behavior so that the harasser may not be identified by his actions and could justify the actions. It is essential to note that the employees at the workplace are more eccentric and highly vulnerable to physical and other forms of Harassment. There is no denying the fact that workplace harassment is a psychological game, and this tarnishes the image of employers and organizations if it takes a more serious threat.

Workplace Harassment and Technology: An Acute Coherence

With the advent of technology, there has been a rise in the phenomenon of workplace harassment. This can be observed through the recent reports of Human Rights Organisations across the world. The scourging trend of workplace harassment is coherently linked with the technological advent of the 21st century. The modernization of communication has ushered in yet another era of Harassment in the workplace. It is noteworthy that women in the workplace face Harassment digitally. According to recent research by Ozen Bas, 73 of the 100 women are harassed digitally in the workplace. This is an alarming situation where employees are harassed digitally. It is, however, more often thought that digital platforms are used vividly to victimize a female worker at the workplace.

Different means of communication, such as WhatsApp, chatbot messengers, emails, and other means, are utilized to harass women in the workplace. Threatening emails and messages are routine at the workplace. Digital communication has reduced the space of communication. This reduced speech holds benefits and is equally alarming as well. It is necessary to note that the employees at the workplace have easy access to private communication with coworkers and colleagues. This fundamentally breaches the personal space of employees if contact is unduly and without consent. Therefore, the modern form of communication has thrived the adulteration of Harassment of females and coworkers in a number of ways. As Jose M. León-Pérez presents his research, approximately 220,000 employees across the world consider the workplace a serious threat to the organization’s growth and progress.

Randy Behaviours and Uncomfortable Workplace Harassment

Owing to technological advancement, there has been a surge in cases related to physical and emotional Harassment. Female employees usually face this trend of emotional attachment by male coworkers or supervisors. This causes an undesirable form of workplace harassment. This refers to the fact that this rise is a caution to corporate companies across the world. According to the World Bank report, 60 percent of women reported having been sexually harassed in the workplace in the United States. Moreover, the same trend was observed in the United Kingdom, where 55 percent of women reported being harassed sexually in the workplace. This trend presents a gloomy and grim picture of Harassment in the workplace.

In addition, it is naturally an increasing trend owing to the exposition of females towards the workplace environment. This creates an ambiance of an uncomfortable workplace for the women and disturbs their families and mental peace alike. This form of Harassment has taken the corporate culture to its abyss in many companies and created an omen of insecurity for the workers and female colleagues. The increasing trend of Harassment has contained the corporate culture and its operations significantly. Absurdly, workplace harassment has extensively increased due to the demanding nature of work at corporations.

Unleashing Workplace Harassment Contours Towards Ethnically Diverse Communities

The world has been grappling with the menace of ethnicity and gender discrimination. It is an inevitable fact that employees in the workplace face different dynamics and confront the menace of Harassment. There is no doubt that companies face a dynamic corporate culture, and they can sustain this if they have a diverse labor force. According to the latest reports from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there has been a rising number of Harassment of the marginalized and ethnically diverse labor force. It has been observed that workplace harassment is inflicted upon the Negros, and black Americans at the workplace. This makes workplace harassment more vulnerable and inefficient. The increased marginalization and workplace harassment have exposed the vulnerability of ethnically diverse workers in organizations. This trend remains pervasive across all the companies where diverse labor is associated.

In addition to it, diversity has also engendered an issue of marginalization and physical Harassment of the female labor force as the recent research also augurs that in an ethnically diverse labor class, females are prone to workplace harassment. In addition, poor working conditions, ethnically adverse and long working hours are also part of workplace harassment by the employers of organizations. This presents a grim picture of organizational culture across the corporate world. The workplace labor class has dynamically changed owing to Harassment. In most of the highlighted cases, females are susceptible to ending their corporate careers due to family and other societal pressures. This indicates that workplace harassment is not only a problem but a contemporary problem that needs to be resolved.

Workplace Harassment and Clutch on Innovation

This has a significant negative impact on innovation. Workplace harassment has inflicted an unmatchable threat to innovation. In research conducted by Tural Karimli of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, it is reported that innovation is significantly halted in an organization where the culture of workplace harassment prevails. Workplace harassment obviously creates an omen of dissatisfaction and unnecessary things. Moreover, it also hampers the productivity of employees. Employees who are harassed at the workplace cannot work productively, and efficiency is lacking in them. Therefore, it is rightly pointed out that innovation was greatly impacted by workplace harassment.

Similarly, in an organizational culture, where employees are significantly occupied by Harassment and their daily chores are negatively affected, then such workplace culture remains house in disorder. Modern management is more of collaboration and cooperation, where the work environment is considered to be an arsenal for growth and development. The employees’ growth and organizational development are coherently linked with the significance of a better and more friendly workplace. Therefore, it can be agreed that workplace harassment is harmful to the innovation of the industry.

How can Workplace Harassment be Curtailed?

Workplace harassment can be curtailed in a number of ways. Certain rules and regulations at the workplace work effectively. The internal rules are the most important to be kept abreast of by employees. In addition, state laws and rules protect employees and guarantee workplace safety and security to its citizens. It is noteworthy that employees are protected legally. Therefore, Harassment that takes place in an organization is subject to punishment to the harasser if proven guilty.

In addition, employees, especially female employees, must be trained and oriented on how to behave in an organizational culture. They must be given appropriate orientation about workplace safety and protection. They must be informed about Harassment and its elements.

Similarly, they must be confident and report the harassment problem to the senior management at the workplace. This is equally important. There is nothing to fear, and they must be informed that they are legally protected. If they are treated badly, they must report to the appropriate forums of an organization.

Shyness and Fear of Employees to Report Workplace Harassment

The employees at a workplace must be informed that the organizational laws and rules will protect them. Moreover, they must be treated professionally. They must report to management or the employer for any misbehavior with them. However, it is noteworthy that every country has a commission on women and workplace harassment as an appropriate forum across the world. This brings confidence among workers and female employees of an organization. The increased confidence of employees builds an environment free of workplace harassment, and this makes organizations more sustainable and efficient. Such organizations where employees are confident and bold to fight for their rights attain their goals with an efficient labor force.

Workplace Harassment needs to be tackled collectively. It is a collective responsibility of companies worldwide, and it requires a comprehensive and dynamic approach by organizations and management. It is also essentially important for leaders worldwide to create an ambiance where workplace harassment is a distant concept.


  1. Alyna Jeff
    May 5, 2024

    Good ideas and created best link between harassment and ethnicity. It’s global massacre happening even in United States. Do u have video on same content ?

  2. Cyla
    May 6, 2024

    Good discussion!

  3. Anum
    May 10, 2024

    We all should speak against harassment. We all must write such blogs without fear. Kudos to writer Ahmad Shah Adami. Very well articulated blog.

  4. Husain
    May 14, 2024

    One of the finest blog on harassment. I really appreciate your efforts writer Mr. Ahmad Shah. You have excellently linked harrassment with real life. Appreciable

  5. Palwasha Ihsan
    May 15, 2024

    Thank you for highlighting the issue in its entirety wonderful way. You said According to recent research by Ozen Bas, 73 of the 100 women are harassed digitally in the workplace.

    This really a worrisome situation. I used your this blog in my presentation and got full marks. Thank you eduta.

  6. Nizamuddin
    May 22, 2024

    Excellent 👍 write up and fine articulation. Thumbs up writer. What a research and writing language. Wonderful

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